Pantomime: Oakes actor Big Mick talks about panto, Paul O’Grady and Page Three girls
Dec 3 2010 by Val Javin, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
HE’S the little actor with a big career – and Oakes actor Mick Walter is looking forward to the return of panto season.
Known as Big Mick, the 3ft 11ins actor’s career spans more than three decades of film, TV, music video and stage.
And he’s back for this year’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Bradford Alhambra where he plays Skipper, or Doc as his character is known in the famous Disney film.
In an interview with the Examiner, Mick joked that appearing on stage in Bradford meant he could come home for his dinner.
He said: “With panto you get a certain amount of freedom, but with films or TV or other stage plays you have to stick to the script. With panto you get to wander about and as long as you come back on script with the last word for the next person to pick up from then it’s OK.
“Plus, we get children shouting from the audience so we can respond to them too.”
Huddersfield born and bred, Big Mick started his career more than three decades ago in Yorkshire TV’s Book Tower. It was a break which led him to appear alongside Les Dawson for four years.
From there he went on to star in hit comedy Blackadder where he played Large Jack – described as the ‘unspeakably Violent Jack, the Priest-killer of no fixed abode’ – in the episode The Black Seal.
He then made a name for himself in the hit series The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1988. He played Trumpkin in both The Chronicles of Narnia and The Silver Chair and Marmaduke in the highly acclaimed series Moonacre.
And he’s had a career which has brought him close to some of the biggest names in showbiz. He appeared with Diana Rigg, who he’d watched and admired on the Avengers, as well as Paul O’Grady in panto.
Mick said: “Paul O’Grady was magic – he was a fabulous wicked queen, just amazing to watch.”
Panto appearances have also been alongside Lionel Blair, Britt Ekland and his best ever – former Page Three girl Linda Lusardi.
“She was a wonderful wicked queen, my favourite of all time,” he added.
As well as the freedom, panto also offers Mick the chance to learn more, adding: “You never stop learning on stage. I’ve been very lucky in my career, but I can always learn more from those around me.”
One half of comedy duo Sneezewort, he tours the country and has previously shared the stage with his latest panto cast mate Billy Pearce.
At the Alhambra, comedian Billy plays the role of Muddles and Emmerdale actress Sian Reeves plays one of pantomime’s ultimate baddies – the Wicked Queen.
It’s a show which embraces modern technology with 3D wizardry and they are expecting around 90,000 people to watch them on stage.
It runs from Saturday, December 18, to Sunday, February 6, everyday except Christmas Day.
Tickets are priced £8.50 to £24.50 and can be bought by calling the box office on 01274 432000 or bradford-theatres.co.uk.