In the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at The Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering, Todd Carty is playing King Custard over the festive season, which is running until 31st December. Recently, Todd was in the Agatha Christie production of The Mousetrap for their 70th Anniversary Tour as Major Metcalf, and will return to the show early next year, and he has previously performed with Monty Python’s Spamalot as Patsy in the West End and on tour. On screen, Todd played PC Gabriel Kent in The Bill, playing Mark Fowler in EastEnders from 1990 to 2022, and had his first regular role as Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill and the spin-off series Tucker’s Luck. Todd was a contestant on Series 4 of Dancing on Ice, and the All-Stars series in 2014, as well as appearing on the Dancing on Ice Live Tour. Speaking with us, Todd told us about playing King Custard in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering, touring with Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and his first regular role of Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill.
You are currently performing in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Lighthouse Theatre, can you tell us about your character and what can audiences expect from your portrayal?
It’s King Custard, King of Stoneybroke. You can expect lots of fun, great songs and great entertainment and a fabulous and talented cast.
How is it being part of a pantomime cast and rehearsing for opening night?
It’s hard work preparing for the opening night, but very rewarding when the audiences come in. And of course, hoping that they will really like it.
What is it like interacting with a pantomime audience and seeing families getting involved?
It’s great to see the children in the audience who may be visiting a theatre for the first time in their lives, and great to see their excited faces.
What do you enjoy most about performing in pantomime over the festive period?
I love hearing the children laughing, singing along with the songs and having a great old time over Christmas.
Why would you recommend booking tickets to see Jack and the Beanstalk at The Lighthouse Theatre?
Everyone is saying lovely things about it, it’s a fabulous show and will be recommending it to their friends and family.
You are in the cast of The Mousetrap 70th Anniversary Tour, what is Major Metcalf like to play and what is the show like to be part of?
It’s an honour and a privilege to be involved in the Agatha Christie dynasty with great actors and production.
Was there anything that drew you to the role and what are you looking forward to most for continuing in the production?
To be part of the Agatha Christie history, the most famous crime writer in the world.
Can you tell us about your time playing Patsy in Spamalot over the years in the West End and on tour?
Being part of the iconic Monty Python setup and singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
On screen, you played PC Gabriel Kent in The Bill, what was it like joining the cast of the long-running TV series?
Most definitely playing the villain, I’d always played the good guys previously and the bad guys always get the best lines!
You started your role of Mark Fowler in EastEnders in 1990 before leaving in 2002, what are some of your stand-out highlights from your time playing the character?
I used to love working on the stall, watching all the other characters living out their lives, a bit like being the eyes and the ears of the square! It was like a family and that was the most important thing for me.
Having had your first regular role playing Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill and in the spin-off series Tucker’s Luck, do you have any favourite memories from playing Tucker?
Tucker in Grange Hill was my favourite role ever, and it changed my life forever. Anonymity was never achieved after that role. I absolutely loved Grange Hill, great times, great memories.
What was it like being a contestant on Dancing on Ice in Series 4 and the All-Stars Series and touring with the show?
Frightening! The ice is very hard and very unforgiven. That night I went through the tunnel, my two children thought they’d never see their dad alive again, but after falling on my back backstage, two big guys threw me back on the ice again and luckily I stopped just in time in front of my dancing partner, Susie (Lipanova), and the rest – as they say – is history!
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
It’s something I always wanted to do, but my mum always had a great love of the arts, so I guess it’s from her.
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
Most Clint Eastwood films, including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, old black and white films, Hitchcock films, and my favourite TV show ever is Columbo with the great Peter Falk, which I still play every Sunday, 40 years after it was first broadcast, and I still watch it to this day.
Happy Christmas, Happy Panto and Happy New Year! Todd.