(Blue) Peter’s villainous role

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FORMER Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan will be taking on a role in a brand new play at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

He appears alongside comedy actor Norman Pace in the title role of the show called Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend. It is based on the real life Victoriancat burglar of the same name.

He was a master of disguise, an accomplished musician and irresistibly attractive to women. On the run, having murdered his lover’s husband, he holed up in the warrens of Nottingham’s Narrow Marsh before reinventing himself one final time, on the streets of Victorian London.

Talking about the role, Peter said: “In a way, he was a poor man’s hero in that he was getting one up over the establishment.

“This is a show which imagines what he would be like and is a very well written script by Michael Eaton.”

It is also a very different technical challenge to the show when it comes to Coventry.

Peter said: “We have just been performing the show at Nottingham and the B2 stage at Coventry is a lot smaller so we’ll be working that out quite a lot.

“However there are a lot of back projections rather than traditional sets so it is a very technical show in that sense.

“There is also a lot of climbing across different bits of the stage, it is a very physical part which I am still able to do. Although I do feel it in the morning!”

“This is a brand new show and I hope that doesn’t put people off coming to see it because it is a fantastic play and one a lot of people will enjoy.”

Peter has had a long career even before he took on the presenter role in Blue Peter.

He said: “I had been doing a lot of plays as an actor and then the opportunity to work on Blue Peter came along and thought this was a very different challenge and one that I would very much enjoy.

“Getting to know the different sides of television was one of the most interesting things about the job. The stunts were also great. I do a lot of them in this show, although my body aches a little more than it used to.”

And there is no rest for Peter following this show as he will be working in Oxford.

He added: “I am going off to write and direct Robin Hood at the Oxford Playhouse which is the panto this year. We have assembled a good team to work on it and the script is in place.

“I won’t be performing, I’ll be making sure the actors don’t change the script too much. But it is a lot of fun.”

The show is performed from Saturday until Saturday, November 16.

Tickets, priced between £8.75 and £20.75, for the show can be booked by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or by visiting ww.belgrade.co.uk.