He may be better known for fumbles under the covers on reality TV shows like Geordie Shore and Celebrity Big Brother, but Scotty T is coming to Leeds this Christmas in a very different guise. He’ll be the Prince to a fresh-faced Snow White in Leeds’s big Christmas panto, which will be performed near the Tetley.
The twist in the tale is that his Snow White is an unknown face plucked from an open audition. Revolucion de Cuba Leeds hosted the final line-up in which seven aspiring actresses sang their hearts out to a motley crew of journalists, theatre producers and tabloid stars. After this somewhat gruelling experience, a winner was chosen: the delightful Lucy Dures, a 17-year-old theatre student from Barnsley.
Clearly ecstatic about her success, Lucy was crowned the winner by Scotty T, who seemed perhaps even more nervous about the upcoming production. ‘I’ve never even acted,’ he admits, ‘I did about five minutes on Neighbours and that’s it. People will think ‘Bloody Hell, let’s go watch Scotty T’, because they’re expecting us to mess it up.’
For Scotty, it’s about proving that he’s more than just a booze cruise lothario. His usual winter schedule is jam-packed with club appearances, so he was keen to settle down for the Christmas period. After his friend, Eastenders star Johnny Partridge, put in a good word, he found himself in a position to headline the upcoming Snow White.
‘People get a bad impression from Geordie Shore and what I’m like when I go out clubbing and get all the girls and that like, but they’ve seen the good side of me on Big Brother. Because I’ve got loads of little nieces and nephews, it’s something to make them proud. I want to get out of the clubbing scene and do different things.’
The show’s producer David Lee is equally excited about having the reality TV star on board. ‘He’s a great personality and he’s well loved. We went for lunch last week and my choreographer said ‘Do you dance, Scotty?’ and he said ‘Well, I move a bit’. Then he got up from the table and started to dance! It will be great for him and I’m sure he’ll have a ball.’
Starring alongside Scotty T will be Coronation Street’s Tupele Dorgu, seasoned comedian Jimmy Cricket, Brookside veteran Louis Emerick and even Rainbow’s Zippy and George. ‘They can be trouble to work with, of course,’ says David, ‘You’ve got to keep them down. They complain about their dressing room, they wanted a fridge…’
Snow White will be high on spectacle and eagle-eyed Leeds locals may have noticed the vast big-top that’s recently emerged next to The Tetley. ‘I think it’ll be really fab,’ says David, ‘We’ve got an 1800 capacity foyer, so there’ll be entertainment and fairytale characters doing a meet and greet and they’ll create the atmosphere before we even start the show.’
For Scotty, however, it’s all about having a quieter Christmas than his usual club-chugging shenanigans. ‘It’s not like going out all the time and drinking, it’s a proper job. I’m so busy and travelling all the time – last night I slept in me car – so I’m excited to be living in Leeds. It’s got better shops than Newcastle and great clubs. I want to take over another city!’ Perhaps a quiet life is a stretch too far…
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be performing from 8th December for three weeks. Tickets are available at www.whiterosetheatre.com.