Theatre is your first love – you must have been keen to get back on stage …
Like for everyone, lockdown has been gruelling, but I’m very hesitant to say that it was hard on me – I worked and I had my kids. I’m more concerned with how it actually impacted the huge swathes of the entertainment industry that are more behind the scenes.
What can we expect from the stage adaptation of North by Northwest?
Hitchcock’s films were very stylised and funny, and the stage production is the same. If you love the movie, you might wonder, “How are they gonna do that on the stage?” Then you’ll see it and think, “Oh my God!”
How have you coped with the lockdowns?
The first time around, my wife Lisa [Hewitt] and I had a “we’ll get through this together” mentality and were both doing loads of Zoom get-togethers and charity stuff. I was on Instagram every Saturday night doing gigs and all sorts of other things. Next time around, Lisa and I took a more “let’s just get through this” approach. We didn’t worry about coming out with a killer summer body or self-improvement classes. If the kids wanted to watch TV, we let them. If I wanted to eat more ice cream, I did. We forgave ourselves a lot.
How’s your summer body looking after all that ice cream?
Well, now I regret it! Because I’ve got a big show coming up, which involves me running around the stage all night, and now that I’m 48, it’s just so much harder to shift the weight as you get older!
You’re also a dad to three young kids. How do you juggle it all?
It’s all about forward planning. We don’t just take stuff on and then look at one another and ask, “But who’s going to look after the children?!” We always have conversations. The kids are top of mind all the time and I fully support my wife’s career. I think she’s incredible and I hope she thinks the same about me. But top of our mind is to make sure that our kids have at least one of us there all the time.
Have you learned any lessons over the past year?
I’ve had some self-worth things that I’ve had to go through. I went through the negative self-talk of “you’re not good enough”, “you’ve got to work harder”, and all those other crazy things that you sometimes torment yourself with late at night. So, I’m being kinder to myself during this period, which has been great, both for my own sanity and so that I can be a better father.
You’re returning to present Carols by Candlelight. Is that fun for you?
Oh my God, yeah! It’s the proper start of Christmas for me. I’ll be working on the Today show until two days before and then I fly down to Carols and, once we’re there, we’re like, “Let’s party!”
Do you have any festive traditions in your family?
For us, the tree is a memory tree – all of our baubles have been collected over the years. Decorating the tree also marks the start of playing Christmas music. Another tradition is gingerbread house building. We have friends over and we all make one, so it’s kinda like The Block but for gingerbread houses.
Anything on your gift wish list this year?
Whenever Lisa asks me, I say, “I dunno.” I’m an almost 50-year-old man and I buy what I want through the year. I’m the worst to buy for but I really do have everything I need.
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