YOU MAY think Gary Lucy would be feeling the draft of predictability by now.

Each night for the past four years he has stood naked in front of 1800 (mostly) women. And for some it may demand a stiffening of their acting resolve.

But not the man from Essex. Not a bit of it. The former Hollyoaks star may have been starring in stage classic The Full Monty stage play long enough to run past two World Cups, but the fun, unlike his trousers, hasn’t yet been yanked away from him.

“Every time I go on stage with the Full Monty it feels like a different show,” he says in excited voice.

“It’s unbelievable. And you can never become complacent even after all this time.”

The Full Monty also stars Andew Dunn (Dinnerladies), Louis Emerick (Brookside) Joe Gill (Emmerdale) Kai Owen (Hollyoaks) and James Redmond (Casualty).

The award-winning play is based on Simon Beaufoy’s 1997 film which tells the story of steelworkers stripped of the jobs and their dignity when the local plant is closed.

Read more: The Full Monty to visit Glasgow for the last time

The jobs they thought they had for life are gone, and as such their relationships take a battering as money worries mount up.

In desperation, they come up with the idea of taking their clothes off.

As inhibitions are shed, confidence grows. Hopefully.

But the story touches other areas associated with male emasculation; along the way, the ex-steelworkers have to contend with mental health issues, concerns over body image and sexuality.

“Yes, it’s all of these,” says Gary in soft voice.

“And it’s still a story that’s relevant today. These guys, for example, are talking about things such as mental health and that’s a big talking point at the moment.”

Gary Lucy may be a successful theatre and television actor.

As well as Hollyoaks his cv includes three series’ of ITV drama Footballer’s Wives and a lengthy stint playing a cop in The Bill.

Along the way he has also appeared in Eastenders, and BBC 1 drama, Missing.

Yet, he never set out to become an actor. Gary, now 37, wasn’t one of those singing-dancing kids who knew they would become a performer on hearing their first hand-clap.

“I just fell into the business,” he admits. “Originally, I wanted to be a footballer. I had trials with Tottenham and Watford as a kid but I just wasn’t good enough.

“Thankfully, I found the work I’ve loved and I tell myself everyday that I’ve been so lucky.”

At school he had been a natural performer and was picked up by Sky’s Dream Team.

After a successful stint he went back to school in Essex and took his A Levels.

“I then got the role of Luke Morgan on Hollyoaks, and moved to Liverpool for four years.

“The rest, as they say, is history. I continue to learn and, hopefully, improve. The beauty of acting is that it’s different every day.”

Gary believes part of acting success is about simply being nice to people.

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“I’m not a luvvy. I just do my job and I often get booked by the same producers and directors so I think it pays off when you just try to be a nice bloke.”

He adds; “It’s all about turning up, doing your job well. It’s just not me to have attitude. You just do your prep and let them know what you can do.”

But he is part of a luvvy world. Can that be tricky to navigate?

“Sometimes, but you have to factor in you may not see these people again, and the important thing is to be true to yourself. And treat everyone as you would want to be treated yourself.”

Along the way, Gary has dibble-dabbled in the business world.

He’s had a real estate company, set up a directory of driving schools and instructors and manages several online shops for his parents and other online businesses.

Is business is in his DNA? Does he have family connections with the Eastend world of market trading?

“Yes, my family had businesses down the Roman Road and Bethnal Green,” he says.

“It’s a way of life.”

Had he not gone into acting, would he have made a career in business?

“Maybe. My sister works in the City, my parents are in the clothing game and my uncle in fruit and veg. So who knows?

“But I have family and I try to support them best in any way I can.”

Gary’s four year marriage to Natasha Gray ended in November of last year and couple have three children.

That means an added responsibility on his shoulders?

“Absolutely,” he says, succinctly.

The Full Monty film starred Scots actor Bobby Carlyle in the lead role of Gaz.

Gary has never met him. But he has huge respect for the Scot’s talents.

“I’d love to meet him, and he’s an incredible actor,” he says.

“I couldn’t even begin to do an impersonation of him on stage. So what you do is bring your own style and hope that works out ok.”

Gary Lucy continually lands the cheeky, good looking young guy parts. What will he do at 50?

“I’ll retire,” he jokes.

“No, I’ll keep on going. I’ll do what I can to keep the luck going my way.

“You see, I landed on my feet aged 17, and I’m now 37.

“I want to keep that going as long as I can.”

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The Full Monty, the King’s Theatre, April 23-27.