'I never leave Norfolk' - Olly Day on magic, missionary work and the Cromer Pier Christmas Show
PUBLISHED: 08:08 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:46 20 November 2019
Decades have gone by since Olly Day first tread the boards of the Pavilion Theatre stage.
But the magic of the venue for the entertainer now getting ready to host the Cromer Pier Christmas Show has never disappeared.
Mr Day, 56, said: "I used to bring my nanny and grandad to see the Seaside Special when Dick Condon was producing it. I'd sit in the audience and think I'd love to be a part of it, just to do one act in one of these shows."
He first got his chance in a show called A Night on Squit organised by broadcaster and writer Keith Skipper 35 years ago, and he has had the main role in the theatre's Christmas variety show for the past 11 years.
Mr Day said: "It's been a great thrill for me to be part of it for so long. We have youngsters from Marlene's School of Dance in the show, and they were tiny tots on stage years ago. Now they've gone on and become professional dancers and they send us messages from Australia, from Cuba, it's amazing really."
Mr Day, from Thorpe St Andrew, said he counted himself lucky he had built a career as a magician, comedian and entertainer in his home county.
"People laugh about it but I generally never leave Norfolk," he said. "I go on missionary work to Ipswich now and then, but I can earn a crust around here."
And the show, which is billed as the world's only remaining end-of-pier offering, isn't going anywhere.
Each year, 25,000 people are drawn to its variety of comedy, song, dance and magic, and ticket sales for this year's show are better than ever. "One of the greatest things people say to us is 'this is the start of my Christmas, coming to see your show'," Mr Day said. "The reputation has been building over the years."
Also starring are magician Mark James and singers Harvey James and Fiona Jessica Wilson, who appeared in last year's Christmas show.
There will also be a special tribute to Laurel and Hardy. Mr Day said: "We keep raising the bar each Christmas and business is up so we're thrilled about that."
This year's Cromer Pier Christmas Show runs November 23-December 30, visit www.cromerpier.co.uk for more.