DARREN DAY is glad to be out – out of the Celebrity Big Brother house, that is.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert star Darren has just completed the full four-week run in TV’s most infamous house, making it through to the final three contestants.
“It was an amazing experience but I was glad when it was over,” he says. “It was a long 31 days; the longest series they’ve ever done.
“I didn’t expect to be there at the end to be truthful and, although I’ve gone on tour working before, I could still speak to my family and say goodnight to my kids. Things like that you take for granted and that’s what I missed. Not to do that for a whole month was tough.”
It’s straight from the confines of the CBB house to Woking’s capacious New Victoria Theatre stage to star in Priscilla. Former soap star Darren admits to feeling a bit like a bird released!
“In the house there’s also a little bit of monotony, that’s one of the hurdles you have to overcome,” he says. “There’s long periods of doing nothing and suddenly you’ll be set a challenge and there’s loads of activity – and you don’t know when it’s going to happen.
“There’s the bedroom, kitchen and living room and the garden, that’s it – it’s difficult.”
As a veteran of the first series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2002, you would imagine that Darren would have welcomed a stint surrounded by four walls, but he says that’s not the case.
“It was tougher than going in the jungle,” he says. “For a start that was shorter, the first series was just two weeks, and also you’re in a jungle in the Northern territories of Australia so it’s very different and quite exciting to be there. I definitely found the Big Brother House harder.”
However, his time in the reality TV spotlight has helped change his ‘bad boy’ tabloid image.
“I never expected to be there at the end and certainly not to make the final three – especially among a load of reality TV stars with a much younger fan base than mine. I was very chuffed.”
Now Darren is concentrating on his role as Tick in Priscilla, which tells the story of two drag queens and a transgender woman who are to perform a show in Alice Springs, in the remotest Australian desert.
The group encounter a series of mishaps as they travel on their way in Priscilla, their tour bus.
“It’s fantastic!” enthuses Darren. “I went to see Jason Donovan play the lead and it’s a great show, so when I was offered it, I didn’t have to think too hard.
“It’s like a big party and the audience is on their feet every night. I did a lot of rehearsals before I went in the house, so I’m ready.
“I’m so lucky because I get to do everything – sing all the big songs, wear great costumes, take part in tender moments and it’s a great story – it’s the full package.”
Darren Day is currently starring in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, and it runs until Saturday 27 February. For ticket details go to atgtickets.com.