Home And Away star Ray Meagher is relieved to have avoided a drag queen’s role in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

The actor, who has starred as lovable grump Alf Stewart since the start of the Aussie soap, has taken a break from Summer Bay to play Aussie mechanic Bob in the super camp musical in London’s West End.

He said: “Ben Richards (who plays Tick) said he absolutely hates dressing up. He loves doing the show, but he said women deserve a medal for wearing high heels – they hurt your back, they hurt your feet. I take his word for it and am quite happy I don’t have to do that.”

Although Bob and Alf are both Australian, Ray said the two characters are quite different from each other.

“Alf is a little bit like Bob on steroids. Bob is a lot calmer, not as aggressive or fly-off-the-handleish as Alf can be. But he’s a lovely bloke, with a heart of gold and all of that. Alf’s got that too, but in a different casing.”

Ray, who returns to Home and Away next year, added: “I still enjoy playing Alf, but I’m really enjoying this because it is very different.”

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert is on at the Palace Theatre in London.