HE'S camp, he’s witty, he’s very flamboyant and quite sassy too.

So says Joe McElderry, introducing his latest stage role, Garry, a club rep and hotel entertainments manager with an eye for the outrageous, a sharp line in barbed one-liners and a love of pink flamingo jackets in Club Tropicana, The Musical.

"The producers asked me if I'd be interested in taking part in this new show and the role I wanted to play after looking at the script was Garry," says the 2009 X Factor winner, now 27, who will be appearing in York from Monday at the Grand Opera House in this new Eighties’ musical.

"The thing that was really nice for me is that I've done shows like Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat and my own concerts, but I've never done a comedy role before, which was great to try out and a really good challenge."

Joe says playing Garry has been "really fun": "At first I was very nervous but I’m excited by it now. There’s no rules with Garry, he’s probably me after four or five vodkas."

Set at the vibrant Club Tropicana Hotel, the Eighties' equivalent of Love Island today, Michael Gyngell's musical travels back to a summer of love, pop smashes, big hair, bigger shoulders pads and too big mobile phones. When a budding bride and groom call the whole thing off, they decide to jet off to sunnier climes and feel the heat anyway, but little do they realise they separately have checked into the same hotel; a hotel soon to be visited by the hotel inspectors. Will the young lovers decide to go through with the wedding after all? Will the hotel inspectors close the resort or can the staff save the day?

"The nice thing for all of us in the show [former EastEnders actor Neil McDermott, impressionist Kate Robbins and ex-Sugababes singer Amelle Berrabah are among the cast too] is that it's a fun show, and from the moment certain things are set up, we almost treat the audience like they're at the hotel too, so they can heckle us. There are a few panto-esque moments where they can really join in!

"When I go to a show, I like to be involved, and that's the case in Club Tropicana, where I do the opening monologue and get everyone up on their feet."

Club Tropicana calls for plenty of audience participation. "Managing that on stage in my own concert shows is easy, but in a musical like this it's keeping me on my toes," says Joe, who previously appeared at the Grand Opera House in the title role in Joseph in April 2016.

Joe will be singing such hits as Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax, Bucks Fizz's Eurovision winner Making Your Mind Up and Scarborough-raised singer Robert Palmer's Addicted To Love, all hits from before he was born, of course.

"I was born in 1991, so I chatted to my nan about that Eighties era, and when she came to see the show, she said, 'Oh my, look at that hair'! We've got lots of great Eighties' wigs in the show, but not me. My own hair is tragic enough already!" he says.

Joe will be on tour in Club Tropicana until August. "We've been spoilt with our audiences so far; the reaction to what is a new show has been incredible," he says. "It's a feelgood show and that feels great."

Tour over, might Joe look to resume working on a new album? "I've been working on original music since before Christmas, so I've got quite a lot of the album done already and I'll do more after the tour," he says. Watch this space for any news of a release date.

"Then hopefully there'll be a tour too," adds Joe, who last played the Grand Opera House on his Saturday Night At The Movies tour in August 2017.

One final question, Joe, have you ever stayed in a hotel down on its uppers like Club Tropicana? "Yes, I've been on a few holidays where it's been a very different holiday to what was advertised, when you rock up at the hotel and think, 'no, we can't stay here!" he says.

Club Tropicana, The Musical, is booked into the Grand Opera House, York, from March 18 to 23; performances at 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york

Charles Hutchinson