EastEnders’ baddie Paul Nicholas talks to Soaplife about his Christmas and holiday job on stage…

Tell us about the production you’re appearing in, Paul?

“It’s Christmas Carol, a musical based on the classic book by Charles Dickens, and I’m playing Ebenezer Scrooge. It is truly glitzy and spectacular. The musical score was written by Alan Menken who wrote the songs for the Disney film Beauty And The Beast.”

Are you a bit of a Scrooge yourself or do you like Christmas?

“I love it! We always have a big family Christmas at our place, with about 14 people sitting around the table.”

Do you do the cooking?

“No. My wife’s in charge, helped by our grown-up sons and daughters. One of my boys always does the spuds.”

Will Gavin have a happy New Year in EastEnders?

“I can’t tell you that but he’ll be back on the Square as I start filming again when I’ve finished in panto. I don’t know how long he’s back for, though.”

Which do you prefer: TV or theatre?

“Am I allowed to say both? I’m lucky in that I’m able to diversify. I sing and dance as well as act, which means there are more opportunities. I can do musicals and straight drama. I also direct. Before joining EastEnders, I’d just directed the stage musical Tommy with X Factor winner Joe McElderry in the title role.”

What qualities do you think a person needs to be successful showbusiness?

“A sense of humour is a definite plus. You get a lot of knock backs so you have to be able to laugh about it – even if it’s through gritted teeth.”

Paul Nicholas is starring as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at

Blackpool Opera House until January 3 2016. More details at: www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk