Ex-Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy is on stage in Tina: The Musical. He tells Soaplife what it was like meeting rock legend Tina Turner for the first time...

Former Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy Lane tells us about his new stage role!

What’s the story?
Gerard starred as cross-dressing Kris Fisher in Hollyoaks from 2006 to 2010. Since quitting the C4 soap, Gerard has appeared in TV series including BBC 2’s The Fall and Vikings on the History Channel. He’s currently back on stage, starring in Tina: The Musical.

Former Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy talks to Soaplife…

Soaplife: You’re playing Tina Turner’s second husband, Erwin Bach, in Tina: The Musical on the West End stage! Wow!

Gerard McCarthy: “I know. It’s really is amazing. It’s such a privilege to be part of this show. It’s a real pinch-me moment and I feel incredibly lucky.”

S: Do you get to sing?

GM: “No. It’s a musical but Erwin isn’t a musician or a singer. He’s a business man. It would be odd if he suddenly burst into a Tina Turner song on stage. Erwin and Tina have been together for 35 years and they’re still very much in love.”

S: What’s it like playing a real person on stage – especially when he’s in the audience watching you?

GM: “I was nervous about that, but Erwin set my mind at rest. He’s a lovely man and we had a quiet word after the press night. He said that whenever I was on stage, he looked at Tina and she was smiling ear to ear. That told me everything I needed to know.”

S: Has Tina herself had much input into the show?

GM: “Lots. She’s an executive producer and therefore she’s very much involved – and she has been from the beginning. It was so surreal to start with to have her – this total legend – there when we were rehearsing but she really is part of the team.”

S: How did you find her?

GM: “She’s very down-to-earth, kind and supportive. Having said this, it still feels surreal when someone says, ‘Tina’s in the audience tonight’ and you realise they’re talking about Tina Turner!”

S: Are you still in touch with any of your Hollyoaks co-stars?

GM: “Absolutely. I’ll never be able to thank Hollyoaks enough. It’s thanks to them that I was able to raise my profile and prove I could play a different kind of role. Before Hollyoaks, I was doing musical theatre and, although I loved it, I wanted to try something new.”

S: We understand you have a former EastEnders star to thank for giving you the push!

GM: “Yes. It was actually Shaun Williams, who played Barry Evans in EastEnders, who suggested I try and get some TV work. I was only supposed to be in Hollyoaks for a few months, but I ended up staying for four years. In addition to acting, Hollyoaks also allowed me to prove myself as a writer as I penned some episodes, too.”

S: Would you go back and play Kris Fisher again?

GM: “If the timing was right and the idea was good, then, yes, I’d be up for it. I kind of miss Kris. He was a one-off. It couldn’t be for a while, though. I’m signed up to play Erwin until March 2019.”