IT’S only February, but already Hebburn star Victoria Elliott has got the year off to a flying start.
The actress, who plays Denise in the BBC sitcom written by Hebburn comic Jason Cook, has been nominated for best actress in the Manchester Theatre Awards.
Victoria, originally from Westerhope, Newcastle, starred alongside comedian Justin Moorhouse in Two, a play by Jim Cartwright.
The actors – the only ones in the show – played the landlord and landlady of a Northern pub, as well as 12 other characters, the pub regulars.
The show ran at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester for just over a month last year.
Victoria said: “It’s an amazing play – it was one of my favourite jobs ever.
“But it was all over a year ago, so I kind of forgot about it, then Justin rang me the other day to say we’d been nominated for the Manchester Theatre Awards – I couldn’t believe it.
“I’m not sure I stand a chance of winning because people like Maxine Peake and Imogen Stubbs are nominated as well, but just to be on the same list as them is a huge honour.”
Victoria has also been involved in Harry Hill’s project, X Factor: The Musical.
The show, backed by the ITV1 talent show’s creator, music mogul Simon Cowell, will hit London’s West End once it’s complete.
Victoria was asked to take part in a workshop to test out ideas for the show last year. She said: “They got a lot of actors, creative people and musical directors together to basically try things out, and see what works and what doesn’t.
“It was so much fun, and I was asked back again just a couple of weeks ago to do another one.
“Simon Cowell’s label, Syco, is backing it and he came along to watch us – it was so surreal.
“I’m a huge X-Factor fan and I watch it religiously, so when Simon Cowell walked into the room, it was just like someone had left the telly on in the corner.
“Singing in front of him was so nerve-wracking, because he’s a man who says ‘no’ for a living, but at the end he stood up and said those immortal words, ‘It’s 100 per cent yes from me’ – I felt like I’d just got through to boot camp.
“It’s not definite whether or not I’ll be involved in the show yet, but I’d love to be.”
Victoria is also set to make a return as feisty Northern lass Denise later this year, after Hebburn was commissioned for a second series.
She said: “I’m just so excited. I was really excited for the first series, but we weren’t sure how it was going to go down.
“Knowing how loved it was, we’re all even more excited for the second series and we can’t wait to get started on it.
“I know that Denise is going to have a proper good laugh this series and I can’t wait.”