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Ryan Thomas on panto and his surprising New Year’s Eve plans

We caught up with the actor and Celebrity Big Brother winner to talk Christmas plans and New Year career moves.

You’re starring in panto this year – where and when we can see your performance?
‘I’m going to be Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Beck Theatre in Hayes. I played the same character last year, so to be asked to return means I must have done a decent enough job. My daughter, Scarlett, loves it and can’t wait to come along again this year. She’s my biggest critic so I’ve got to up my game!’

Christmas is all about spending time with your family, but for kids it’s all about the gifts! What was your favourite Christmas present as a child?
‘My Nana and Grandad bought me two electric cars. We had a big back garden and I remember I could bring my friends over and we would race them around. I’ll never forget it because I was very lucky as a child to have not one, but two electric cars!’

What about the best Christmas present you’ve ever given anyone?
‘I once bought my brothers these little Mini Motos, which are like tiny little motorbikes just off the ground. They didn’t last very long, because they came off them and broke them, but it was the enjoyment on their faces that I remember. That’s probably the nicest gift I’ve ever given anyone.’

Are you good at writing and sending Christmas cards?
‘No, I’m not really a card person. If Lucy [Mecklenburgh, Ryan’s girlfriend] wants to buy some and write them then I wouldn’t say no, but I never really have the time!’

How are you going to see in the New Year?
‘I’m not sure where we’re going, but we are definitely planning to go away. It’ll be nice to relax and chill out after a super-busy December spending all my time performing in panto. This year’s Peter Pan is going to be bigger and better than ever!’

And what are your plans, career-wise, for 2019?
‘There’s nothing set in stone yet – I’ve got to get Christmas out the way first! The new year will be a fresh start, but I haven’t got any concrete plans. There’s obviously lots of positive things on the table, but it’s just about making those decisions.’

And do you have any philosophical thoughts to see you in to the new year?
‘I’m always one of these people who takes things a day at a time. You never know what’s around the corner, and you never what opportunity will happen tomorrow. I’m a big believer in one day at a time, and not thinking too much into the future.’

Ryan is appearing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Beck Theatre from 7th – 30th December. becktheatre.org.uk

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