JOE McFadden is not averse to a bold costume or two (think rosy-cheeked marching bandsman on Strictly, or Mitzi the glam drag queen in Priscilla).

It is no surprise, therefore, that the Holby City and Heartbeat star is taking the fishnets and heels he has to wear as the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show in his stride.

The audiences, however, who delight in dressing up, singing along and throwing racy insults at his character, are a different kettle of fish.

“It was a bit like being thrown to the lions at the start,” says the Govanhill actor, with a laugh.

“You really do have to keep your wits about you in this role. Obviously, there are all the usual shout-outs you expect at certain points in the script, but there is occasionally the odd, random one you have never heard before.”

Glasgow Times: The cast of The Rocky Horror ShowThe cast of The Rocky Horror Show (Image: Rocky Horror Show)

He adds, grinning: “That was pretty terrifying to begin with because there is no way to prepare for it. But with that comes a real energy, which is exciting if you embrace it.”

Joe is joining the long-running tour of The Rocky Horror Show for the Glasgow performances at the Pavilion Theatre early next year.

Richard O’Brien’s bold, brash (and more than a little bit rude) rock and roll musical is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and it still pulls in sell-out crowds up and down the country.

Glasgow Times: Joe McFadden, star of Holby City and Heartbeat, will play The Narrator when The Rocky Horror Show comes to GlasgowJoe McFadden, star of Holby City and Heartbeat, will play The Narrator when The Rocky Horror Show comes to Glasgow (Image: Joe McFadden)

It is the story of Brad and Janet, two squeaky clean college kids, who get more than they bargained for when their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion. 

Joe played the Narrator in a limited run on the tour earlier this year, but this is the first time he will have performed the role in his home town.

READ NEXT: Glasgow teen 'scared of singing' lands role beside West End and Broadway stars

“It’s such an amazing show, it always brings the house down,” he says. “I’ve watched it many times over the years and I do think this is the best production I’ve seen. The band is incredible, the cast is fantastic.

“Richard O’Brien is a kind of prophet, I think. He wrote this bonkers, punk musical before punk even properly existed, and it’s still going. It’s ultimate escapism, and audiences love it, whether they have seen it before or are complete first-timers.”

Glasgow Times: Joe McFaddenJoe McFadden (Image: Rocky Horror Show)

The Pavilion, now under new owners, has a special place in Joe’s heart, he admits.

“I saw my first gig there when I was about 12 years old,” he says, with a smile. “Fairground Attraction. It was great. I love the Pavilion, it’s a beautiful, old, proper variety theatre. And it’s exciting to be coming when it’s going through interesting times itself, with new owners and a bit of a revamp.”

Life has “never been busier” for Joe, he says. Recently, as well as The Rocky Horror Show, he has appeared in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d and Treason, a musical about the Gunpowder Plot, which attempted to bring down King James VI and his parliament more than 400 years ago.

“It couldn’t be more different from Rocky,” grins Joe, who played the divisive king. “It was fascinating researching the part, because I didn’t learn much Scottish history at school, and reading about it, you realise how rich it is.

“And a lot of it is still relevant to modern audiences.”

He adds: “It’s been a busy year. I’ve played five different roles on stage this year – that’s an absolute joy for an actor.”

Glasgow Times: Joe with professional partner Katya Jones winning Strictly in 2017Joe with professional partner Katya Jones winning Strictly in 2017 (Image: BBC)

It has been six years since Joe dazzled on Strictly Come Dancing, winning the series with professional partner Katya Jones who this year is paired with Casualty and EastEnders actor Nigel Harman.

“I HAVE been watching it – Katya is absolutely amazing,” he says, adding with a laugh: “It has taken me about six years to be able to watch Strictly without feeling total dread.

“It’s so nerve-wracking, you know, because you understand what all the celebrities are going through every week.

“But it’s been long enough now that I can finally watch it and enjoy it.”

The Rocky Horror Show is at The Pavilion in Glasgow from January 30 to February 4, 2024.