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Joe Pasquale will play Sherlock Holmes at the Swan
JOE Pasquale never says no before thinking about it. And with this gung-ho attitude he is half way through a degree, is touring the country with his latest stand-up show, has learned to fly, took up boxing and has completed a marathon. The 51-year-old talked about his upcoming show, Ha Ha Holmes, his midlife crisis and Monty Python.
With perhaps one of the most recognisable voices in showbiz I spoke to Joe during a break from Spamalot, in which he was playing King Arthur.
Just the day before I had heard him on Radio 1, where the DJ had to guess which celebrity he was talking to. It took about a second to realise who it was when he heard his squeaky voice.
But there is a lot more to Joe than just his voice, as the audience of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here realised in 2004, when they crowned him the winner. Since then he has had a variety of jobs and he was touring in the Monty Python musical, Spamalot up until the end of last month.
He told me: "It is hot at the moment. Playing King Arthur you have to wear three layers of costume and a crown on top.
"Some of the theatres we are playing in are 130 years old.
"I am losing a quarter of my body weight each night. "It is an unfortunate part of the job.
"I can’t take anything off. The King wouldn’t be walking around half naked."
And besides the heat- he seemed to be having a ball starring in the Monthy Python show.
Joe said: "I am the generation that grew up with it on TV. I am 52 this year. "It first came on in 1970- the first film was The Holy Grail.
"I was 12/13. I grew up with it. There are certain jobs I have done where they are just fantastic.
"Another one was The Producers."
Then for the month of August he is doing stand-up, which he has been doing for almost 20 years.
He then starts Ha Ha Holmes! and the Hound of the Baskervilles on September 3, followed by panto in Wolverhampton, which he then finishes in January.
Joe takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes in the comedy, with Ben Langley as Doctor Watson and Andrew Fettes as everyone else.
He said: "Holmes has been having a big resurgence over the last few years.
"With Benedict Cumberbatch, the Guy Richie film, also with Johnny Lee Miller in the American Elementary, with Lucy Liu as Watson. "I think I prefer Elementary as it is more light hearted."
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the detective in the popular series, Sherlock on BBC1. Almost 18 months ago viewers saw Holmes plunge to his death and are waiting for the hotly anticipated new third series.
But Ha Ha Holmes is a different take once again.
Joe said most pieces can be changed into comedy and gave the Reduced Shakespeare Company as an example.
Joe said: "It is a mickey take. It is Sherlock Holmes meets panto meets a West End musical. There are only three people in it.
"I am playing Sherlock Holmes and the other two lads are playing everyone else."
He only has 10 minutes off stage during the whole show. And he loves to be on stage and the variety his job brings.
He said: "I just like working and the diversity of it. I was recording voice-overs last week. Doing Monty Python at the moment, stand up and then Sherlock Holmes.
"You never get bored of doing anything for too long."
I can't imagine Joe ever getting bored anyway. At the moment he is halfway through a degree in Geology.
He said: "I didn’t get any exams at school and I came into this business.
"I had a midlife crisis a few years ago and I took up boxing, learned to fly, did a marathon, painting and started a degree.
"I wasted so many years not doing it when I could have done."
And although he had never had a fight before the challenge made him fitter and on the back of that he did a marathon. He still runs about five to six miles a day. Joe even went on Dancing on Ice this year.
He said: "It was never a case of I would win it. I lasted six weeks which was six weeks longer than I expected. It was tough. I had never been on ice skates before."
With all of this in mind I asked if there was anything left he wanted to achieve?
He said: "There is probably a million things to do but I don’t think about them until the opportunity arises. I never say no to anything- I always think about it first."
Ha Ha Holmes! and The Hound of the Baskervilles is at the Wycombe Swan on September 14 at 7.30pm and at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on November 16 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £21. To book go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk or call 01494 512000. For Aylesbury go to www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call 0844 8717607.
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