MILKSHAKE! presenter Amy Thompson will be back in York in December to begin rehearsals for the title role in Cinderella And The Lost Slipper at the Grand Opera House, where she is starring in The Full Monty this week.

“I’ll have been doing Milkshake! [the Channel 5 show for pre-school children] for ten years this coming March,” says Hull actress Amy. “The opportunity came along; I thought ‘why not?’, and the best thing is they’ve always been supportive of me going off and doing a play or a show when I’m offered something.

“Like when I did a few episodes in Coronation Street two years ago, playing a shop owner who helped Fiz choose a dress to go to Carla’s wedding. I’d like to do more of that!”

Likewise, Amy jumped at the chance to play Mandy, troubled Gary’s ex-wife in The Full Monty’s 2018-2019 tour. “I’m a Yorkshire girl, so it’s a special play for me, and it was a chance to do something different – and I’m having the time of my life,” she says. “I can still go down to Camden to film Milkshake! tomorrow [she was speaking on Monday afternoon].”

There is an echo of a Sixties’ kitchen-sink drama in Mandy’s broken relationship with redundant steelworker husband Gaz. “For me, the women in The Full Monty are the core of why Gaz and his mates decide to become male strippers,” says Amy. “Gaz owes Mandy maintenance money, or he will no longer be allowed to see their son, and she’s now with Barry, who’s very safe, very secure, but there’s still some love there, so there’s still a chance for Gaz if he can get his act together.

York Press:

Amy Thompson as Cinderella, her upcoming role in the Grand Opera House pantomime

“Like Gaz’s best mate Dave’s wife, Jean, these are strong women, not bitching or nagging, but women who are frustrated, who want the best for themselves and their men, but jobs are hard to come by, just like now. It feels great to be doing this play in Yorkshire this week, in York, as the first Yorkshire venue on the tour.”

Come December, when The Full Monty tour takes a six-week break, Amy will fill that space with rehearsing and performing in Cinderella at the Grand Opera House. “For ten years, I’ve done panto working for the same company, UK Productions, but this year I wanted to be at home,” says Amy, who made her professional debut in 2001 in John Godber’s Thick As A Brick at Hull Truck Theatre while still a university student in her home city.

“I’ve played Rhyl, Sunderland, the Blackpool Grand, Mansfield, Malvern, New Brighton, over the years, but the opportunity came up to work here in York for Three Bears Productions.

"I thought, ‘I love pantomime, I’ve loved working for UK Productions – and they were very understanding that I wanted to be close to home – but I knew I couldn’t resist the opportunity to work in Yorkshire and be Cinderella again after being Sleeping Beauty for five years. Cinderella is the best role; not the princess roles; you have much more to do emotionally with all her ups and downs,”

The Full Monty runs at the Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday; Cinderella And The Lost Slipper will run from December 14 to January 5. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at