Joe Pasquale new patron of Great Yarmouth theatre
- Credit: Sven Arnstein
The comedian and former I'm a Celebrity winner, who got his big break working as a Green Coat entertainer on the East Anglia coast, is the new patron of St George's Theatre.
He's definitely squeaky and he's definitely a regular visitor to Norfolk every summer and now comedian, actor and presenter Joe Pasquale, who was crowned King of the Jungle in 2004 when he won I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, has been named patron of St George's Theatre at Great Yarmouth.
Yarmouth is a town where he has strong connections as a regular seafront show performer. Before a recent show at the resort Joe made a surprise visit to St George's, was given a private tour and fell in love with the venue.
Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'Joe turned up unannounced when we were shut but we were thrilled to show him around – and he loved the atmosphere of St George's saying it was just the kind of theatre he would love to stage a show.
'We are hoping he will do a show here next year, but – because of his enthusiasm for our lovely theatre - we also approached him about being a patron and were delighted when he said yes.
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'Joe is not just a comic, but a talented and popular all-round performer actor, TV reality show star, presenter, big fan of pantomime and an artist. Having his backing will help raise the profile of St George's both locally and further afield, as we seek to establish it as a community hub for theatre and the arts.'
Joe Pasquale said he was thrilled to be the venue's new patron, adding: 'I have been a regular performer at Great Yarmouth for years and think St George's is a fabulous venue but a hidden treasure more people need to discover.'
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Joe is a veteran of 30 pantomime seasons, and six Royal Variety Shows, as well a television regular on Tonight at the London Palladium.
As an Essex teenager, Joe thought about becoming an actor but couldn't afford to go to drama school so ended up as a Greencoat at Warners Holiday camp in Corton, between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, eventually becoming entertainment manager.
'I was a wrestling referee,' he recalls. 'Because it was me, being who I am, the old girls used to wet themselves laughing as I'd play it for laughs and wear stockings and suspenders under my tracksuit. We'd set it up with the wrestlers that they'd pull my trousers down and it would bring the house down!'
This Christmas he is appearing in panto at Bristol with Marti Pellow, but next year he will be touring in the lead role of accident-prone Frank Spencer in a new stage show of Some Mothers Do Ave Em, coming to Norwich Theatre Royal from July 9-14.
• Learn more about St George's Theatre and forthcomning shows at stgeorgestheatre.com
Joe Pasquale Facts
• Joe used comedy as a child as a defence against bullying and recently published a book of short stories, Deadknobs and Doomsticks, each with a theme of bullying.
• After early jobs in the building trade, at a meat market and as a car factory welder, be worked as a Green Coat entertainer and later entertainment manager at Warner Holidays at Corton near Lowestoft in Suffolk.
• His big break came when he was second in the TV talent show New Faces in 1987. Since then his brand of silly humour and a squeaky voice has been showcased on television series, stage shows, and even brought him a voice over role in a Hollywood Garfield cartoon movie.
• He loves thrills, which he says make him feel 'alive'. As well as his Jungle success, he has survived for five days alone in a rainforest, and spent time in a tough Costa Rican jail for another TV series.