YORK-BORN actor Ian Kelsey turned tour guide to show some of the historical sights in his home city to his American co-star in a forthcoming production at York Theatre Royal.

The former Emmerdale, Casualty and Doctors actor appears in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the theatre next month with Christina Bianco.

The show has been playing recently in Wakefield and so, with New Yorker Christina eager to see around old York, the pair travelled over to the ancient city so Ian could give her a guided tour.

Before taking up acting and winning the role of Dave Glover in the Yorkshire soap Emmerdale, Ian worked at York Carriageworks and also worked as a barman and built conservatories around the city.

Part of the pair's tour included a visit to the Exhibition pub in Bootham, where Christina sampled the 'Yankee' beer and where Ian was 'surprised and proud' to discover that the conservatory he’d helped to build at the rear of the pub was still there and 'looking grand' 30 years later.

Ian, who’s been a regular in TV’s Doctors and Casualty dramas as well as Emmerdale, also took Christina to see the Theatre Royal, the Frank Matcham designed theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1744.

Ian has seen many shows at the theatre but never appeared there before, with Little Voice marking his debut, although he did admit making an appearance in the foyer before he was an actor – dressed as a toffee for a sweet promotion. His first stage experience was at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.

The pair's tour took them past the Minster, where Ian recalled that he often had an unusual view of the building. – from a dentist’s chair as a dental surgery which overlooked the cathedral.

Christina was particularly excited to visit the cobbled medieval street the Shambles. “I’m so excited to finally get to see it. It’s been a dream of mine,” she said.

Her first glimpse was delayed by Ian blindfolding her, standing her in front of the medieval street, then whipping off the mask to her gasps of excitement, and she vowed to return once Little Voice is playing in York.

The tour moved on with Ian challenging Christina to say out loud the name of the street which is one of the shortest streets in England with one of the most intriguing names – Whip Ma Whop Me Gate.

*The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, the Olivier Award-Winning comedy-drama from Jim Cartwright, is at York Theatre Royal from July 4-9. Tickets are available from the box office on 01904 623568 or by going to yorktheatreroyal.co.uk