YORK Theatre Royal pantomime heartthrob Vincent Gray is back after two years away, and who else could he be playing in Robin Hood And His Merry Mam! but Robin Hood.

Where has “Berwick’s nephew” been spending his “missing years”? “Germany,” he says. “First I did We Will Rock You; I played Mick Jagger for 18 months, which was great, and it was a really nice production, working with [Queen guitarist] Brian May and [the show’s writer] Ben Elton.

“We had the premiere in Berlin so they came to rehearsals; they were there for about four weeks with us, and we had six weeks in rehearsal as most of the show was in German.”

From there, and such memorable experiences as Brian May performing with the cast at the premiere, Vincent moved on another German production: the European tour of The Rocky Horror Show from May 2011 to May 2012, in which covered the role of Rocky 40 times.

All the while, Mr Kaler wanted him back at the Theatre Royal. “Berwick did badger me in a way, saying ‘When are you coming back? We miss you’, and I got the biggest, tightest hug from him when I arrived back last month,” says Vincent.

“It felt quite strange at first because it felt like I’d been away from home as I’d grown up here; this year would have been my 11th year if I’d stayed and it’s been like returning to your family. I’ve slotted straight back in, playing Robin Hood – with nice tight trousers.”

What can audiences expect from Vincent’s Robin Hood? “There’ll be a few arrows shot through the air – hopefully they’ll hit their targets,” Just like the dame’s gags, then.

The day after the Theatre Royal pantomime ends, Vincent will be off to Germany again, this time to appear in the roller-skating musical Starlight Express in a purpose-built arena in Bochum.

“As soon as I finish here, I go to skate school in Germany,” he says, with a confession to make.

“Actually, I’ve never skated, but I’ll be sure to take care.”

Robin Hood And His Merry Mam! runs at York Theatre Royal until February 2. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Ticket sales update: Nearly 40,000 seats have been sold; Christmas week has “pretty much sold out” but there is availability for matinees next week and for shows from January 7.