Where you heading, Curtis?
The Love Island star slips on his velvetine knickerbockers for his starring role in Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan this month. He talks tans, secrets and AJ's budgie smugglers.
Love Island contestant, professional ballroom and latin dancer, younger brother of Strictly’s AJ and now – panto star! Curtis Pritchard, 23, is limbering up in his velvetine knickerbockers for his starring role in Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan this month. He talks tans, secrets and AJ’s budgie smugglers to Muddy. Curtis, we’re all ears.
How’s the panto going? I hope you’ve learnt your lines.
We start rehearsals on 3 Dec and then I have 10 days to learn all my lines before the first show. I’ve looked at the script and some of the jokes – wow – I don’t know how we get away with it. But that’s what makes it for the whole family, the innuendos that fly over the kids heads.
Can we have a sneak preview?
I can’t tell you.
Oh, yes you can!
Only for you. My favourite line is where I say ‘I’m a dancer, but I’m not so good with the ballroom’, then the other person says ‘I can tell, your trousers are tight!’ That’s one of the tame ones.
Are any of the Love Island cast coming to watch you in the show?
Obviously my girlfriend Maura (Higgins, a fellow contestant on Love Island) will be coming when she can, but she’s super busy with Dancing on Ice. I want Tommy (Fury) to come too.
Tell us a secret.
If I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret. I don’t really have any, I’m a truthful man.
Ok, I’ll tell you one. When I was younger I drew AJ’s name on our family computer screen with a rubber to get him into trouble. Mum and dad went mad, sorry AJ!
Who’s the better dancer you or AJ?
Technically it’s AJ, but on performance it’s definitely me. We’re quite competitive, if we’re doing something together then we both want to win.
Would you ever do Strictly with AJ?
The end goal is to work together, but we want our own show. Strictly is incredible, but I don’t know.
Trunks or Speedos?
I’m a trunk type of guy. AJ on the other hand wears Speedos. I’ve dropped him in it there.
Mince pies or Christmas pudding?
That’s tricky! Mince pies because they’re not so bad on the calories.
Love Island or I’m a Celeb?
I don’t really watch either.
So you haven’t watched yourself on Love Island?
No I haven’t, it’s 56 hours of footage so I don’t have the time. I like to rewatch myself dance or present, but I don’t want to watch something where I’m being my regular self.
What did you learn from being on the show?
Love Island is a unique and incredible place. I learnt that sometimes you have to go with your gut, even if it’s going to hurt someone.
So would you do anything differently?
Not at all – it’s put me in this position talking to Muddy!
What do you want under the tree this year?
I just want to spend Christmas day with Maura and I would like to get myself a car but I don’t like spending big amounts of money.
What have you been up to since Love Island? Still have a tan?
Loads! It feels like I’ve crammed two years of work into four months. I’ve done RuPaul’s Drag Race, presented in Lorraine, and I’m currently filming a new show with Tommy for December, The Boxer & The Ballroom Dancer. Tommy’s dancing and I’ll be boxing. The tan has definitely vanished, though.
What’s next for you?
After the panto I have a few things in the pipeline that I’m sworn to secrecy about. I’m doing a joint show, AJ Live, with my brother in March.
What are you wearing in the panto, velvet knickerbockers?
Something like that – I don’t know the word but it’s unique. Then I’ve got my little wooden stick with the bag on the end.
Have you acted before?
I did performing arts at school but since then nothing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, eventually I would love to star in an Avengers film.
Have you met the cast?
I’ve briefly met the leads. Everyone seems lovely and welcoming. We haven’t had a night out in Wycombe yet, but look out for us when we’ve done 10 shows!
Watch Curtis in Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan, 13 Dec – 5 Jan 2020. Tickets here.
Words: Nancy Serle