Former Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett tells us all about her new role in the musical version of hit movie The Wedding Singer…

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Since appearing in the stage musical The Wedding Singer, Roxanne Pallett says she’s never been in such great shape.

“I have real definition in my stomach and my bum is up where it’s supposed to be,” she proudly told Soaplife. “I don’t have a jelly belly any more! I put on my underwear and I feel like Jennifer Lopez – and that’s after just two months of doing this show. It’s what doing eight full-on, two-hour performances in five days does for you. It’s like a footballer playing eight top-flight matches a week. I’m a machine! But it’s not just the way I look, it’s the way I feel. I’ve never felt so energised and alive. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying myself.”

You certainly sound happy!
“This is the most proud I’ve ever felt of a project. I’m totally in love with my job! I love, love, love it and even my very laid-back, non-showbiz mum is impressed! She was in tears when she came to see it. I get to sing, dance and act – often all at the same time.”

Who do you play in the show?
“I play a quirky, cool, eccentric character called Holly, who’s a real 1980s wild child from New Jersey in the US. She’s based on the pop divas of that era, such as Madonna, Tiffany and Cyndi Lauper. She’s not the girl next door, she’s the girl upstairs! It’s the most exhilarating, dynamic and exciting role I’ve ever had.”

Is the show just like the movie version of The Wedding Singer?
“It is based on the film, but it’s much more than that. This production was on Broadway, and the characters are far bigger than they are in the film. The writers are geniuses. In addition to the whole 1980s vibe, the music and the dancing, there’s a twerking granny who raps and a vibrating bed! It opens with 1980s movie references on a big screen so film fans will love it, too. It’s certainly not your typical musical.”

You’re on tour until October… That’s a long time!
“I know. It will have been nine months in total by the time we finish – the same as a pregnancy! I’m thrilled it’s that long. When you’ve been blessed with a great role, you just want it to go on and on and on.

ray quinn, roxanne pallett

Roxanne is joined by former Brookside star Ray Quinn in The Wedding Singer

Is there any downside to being on tour?
“Not for me right now, but I think it must be difficult if you’re in a relationship. I’ve been on tour a lot so no wonder I’m single! Actually, it’s very difficult to have a relationship when you’re in this business. You never know where you’ll be and for how long. I never complain, though. I sat at home for a year, out of work and waiting for the phone to ring.”

Do you still get recognised for playing Jo Stiles in Emmerdale?
“It happens all the time. I was being served by a waitress in a restaurant the other day and she suddenly came out with, ‘Aren’t you Jo?’ I don’t mind that. On the contrary, soap fans are just the best because they’re so loyal. Many people who come to see me in The Wedding Singer are Emmerdale fans.”

Are you still a fan of Emmerdale?
“Absolutely. I love Emmerdale and I always will. I have so much to thank the show for. I was gutted that I couldn’t go back when I was asked a few years ago because I’d just started work on a film. I’m so grateful that Jo wasn’t killed off, although initially I had wanted her to leave the show in an explosive storyline that would have finished her off!”

Are you still in touch with any of the cast at Emmerdale?
“I’m hoping quite a few of them will come to see me when The Wedding Singer arrives in Leeds. I don’t know if Kelvin Fletcher [Andy Sugden] will, though, as he’s just become a dad and, no doubt, he has his hands full. There’s always a bond between actors who’ve been in soaps – even when it’s not your own soap. It’s like being in a special club.”