Hayley Tamaddon on taking Everybody's Talking About Jamie to Blackpool with Darren Day

Hayley Tamaddon is performing in Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Blackpool Winter Gardens between November 21 and November 25. Image: Johan Persson
Hayley Tamaddon is performing in Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Blackpool Winter Gardens between November 21 and November 25. Image: Johan Persson

Former Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Hayley is performing at the Winter Gardens between Tuesday, November 21 and Saturday, November 25 in ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ alongside actors Darren Day and Shobna Gulati.

The 46 year-old, who was born in Bispham but grew up in Cleveleys, is returning in the role of Miss Hedge, which she first played in the West End in 2019.

Now taking the musical on tour across the country, Hayley spoke to celebrity reporter Aimee Seddon ahead of her Blackpool shows, so find out what the actress had to say below:

Ivano Turco (Jamie New) and Hayley as Miss Hedge in front of a class.
Ivano Turco (Jamie New) and Hayley as Miss Hedge in front of a class.

What’s Everybody’s Talking About Jamie about?

The coming-of-age stage musical is based on a true story about a 16-year-old schoolboy in Sheffield called Jamie who wants to attend his high school prom wearing a dress and it follows him as he overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and “steps out of the darkness”.

Hayley, who plays Jamie’s less than encouraging teacher Miss Hedge, said: “You kind of follow each character – the mum, the teacher, Jamie – everybody in the musical has got their own tale to tell, which is just beautiful, but it is a really important story. We're still fighting for this idea of ‘be who you want to be’ and ‘love his love’. It's so easy, really, but we're still battling with it in 2023, which is very sad so the fact we get to come to Blackpool and tell this story is amazing.”

How does Hayley feel about taking the musical on tour?

Hayley replied: “Amazing, because when I was doing it in the West End, I was actually pregnant and I couldn't tell anybody and then I had to leave after four months because I grew a big bump. Now to do it again – when my little boy’s four – it's amazing.”

As part of it’s second UK tour, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie comes to Blackpool’s Winter Garden’s for seven shows across five days this week.

Ivano Turco (Jamie New) and cast in the Everybody's Talking About Jamie Tour
Ivano Turco (Jamie New) and cast in the Everybody's Talking About Jamie Tour

Expressing her excitement, the mum of one said: “Performing in Blackpool is everything because it's home. I've already had like all of my family and all of my friends [ask] ‘can you get me tickets? I'm like, actually, you'll have to pay, I'm not paying for everyone! So yeah, the support is going to be brilliant, I know that and Blackpool are always so supportive, no matter what show comes to Blackpool, but for me to be in it, it just feels wonderful, it really does.”

Has Hayley performed in Blackpool before?

The former Dancing on Ice contestant answered: “I have many many times! I mean, probably the first time I was about three years old so yeah, this is going to bring back some memories. I love going back to the theatres in Blackpool, both of them, you know Winter Gardens, the Grand Theatre – we're so lucky to have those theatres in Blackpool.”

Will she get up to anything fun in Blackpool after the shows?

Hayley replied: “If my family and friends have anything to do with it, they’d have me out most nights having dinner and drinks, but I'm at home and that means I get to go to bed with my little boy every night and wake up with him every morning, and I cannot tell you the feeling of joy that gives me… I would put that over anything.”

Read more : Why Blackpool was a bitter sweet place for Angela Rippon and Kai Strictly Come Dancing journey to end.

Does Hayley relate to her character?

She said: “I am nothing like Miss Hedge, I am so far removed from her. She is bitter and a bit mean to the kids. She's not a dream chaser, she's more of a ‘get yourself a job, it doesn't matter what it is, even if you're a forklift truck driver’. That's what she says to Jamie... I'd be the opposite, I'd be like ‘you want to be a drag queen, go for it!’”

Did she know any Miss Hedge’s in Blackpool?

The former Montgomery High and Norbeck Primary School pupil said: “I had a few teachers that told me I'd never make it, that it was too difficult, that I should get into normal job, and then I had a couple of teachers who said to me ‘go for it, chase your dreams, If you want to go and dance and sing and perform and act, go do it!’

"When you're an adult, you kind of remember the ones that said go for it, and most of them have passed away now, but before they did pass away, they would always get in touch with my mum and say ‘she made it!’.”

What will the people of Blackpool get from the show?

Hayley answered: “I think they are going to love it. They're going to remember the music, they're going to be dancing, they're going to be singing, there'll be emotions. You know, it's such a roller coaster of a show but the belly laughs – when I hear people laughing in the audience, it just makes me so happy, and then everybody always gets up at the end and cheers and dances and claps, it’s just wonderful.”

So why should you buy tickets if you haven’t already?

Hayley said: “You want two and a half hours of pure escapism? Come and watch Everybody's Talking About Jamie! The music is, you know, just sensational. Once that drum kicks in at the start of the show, the beat, you just feel it in your chest, you can't stop, you want to tap your foot, it’s just brilliant. And the story, the script, everything… you've got such a talented cast of performers, so yeah, come and enjoy a night with us!

“We should support our local theatres wherever we can, I know money is tight for everyone but there is always deals on, there is always cheaper tickets, and if you can come and escape for two hours, I promise you a good time.”