By John Smith •
Published: 05 Nov 2023 • 14:37
Peter Amory in his role as panto baddie
Credit: Costa Pantomimes
Audiences of a certain age will remember actor Peter Amory from Emmerdale where he played controversial businessman Chris Tate for 14 years.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) his first professional job was on the stage in 1984 and he has been a great lover of theatre ever since although he has a long list of appearances on TV and Film.
His big break was to land the role of Chris Tate who was initially quite a popular character but following a plane crash where he became wheelchair bound his character became increasingly resentful and became involved in numerous feuds with other characters in the soap,
Talking about Emmerdale Peter said “My first contract was for just nine months but the part kept growing and for most of the time although hard work, it was great fun.
“Working in soaps is really hard work, there’s a constant round of filming, learning lines, going into takes, “normally without rehearsals and you are not very popular if you fluff your lines.
Many people think it’s a bit of easy life if you get a long term contract like I did but eventually, I had to get out just to do something different and rekindle my career on the stage.
“There were no hard feelings on either part and my character could have carried on longer but I just had to call it a day!”
So back to the theatre and very regular work, including pantomime where Peter has carved out something of a reputation as a baddie but he doesn’t mind the boos as although it’s also hard work often with two performances a day it’s also great fun especially when the children are really engaged with the show.
“I do worry about some of the adult audiences however “, Peter explained, “If you get a bunch of drunks in (which does happen sometimes) they can be quite vulgar and we have to try to make them recognise that that’s not fair on the kids.
“The problem is that you can’t really improvise or speak directly to them because everyone depends on cues to ensure the panto moves on at the correct pace but we generally manage to sort things out.”
Peter visited Ibiza with his partner eight years ago and they liked the laid back life style and the generally fine weather so much that they decided to settle there and Peter has no problem in flying back to the UK for acting work as it becomes available.
This year however he is looking forward to appearing in Aladdin as the evil Abanza but in what may be a first, a professional pantomime with a predominantly British cast is being performed at the Auditori Teulada Moraira from November 30 to December 15.
“I have worked with Ian Dickens in the UK for many years, appearing on stage in touring productions but now he has set up Costa Pantomimes as he feels sure there is a real market for good old fashioned pantomime on the Costa Blanca.
“I’ll be appearing on stage with Fraser Hines, also a former Emmerdale star although he was also a very popular Dr Who companion.”
Asked if he had a words for those thinking of attending the panto, Peter simple said “Come along and have fun as the cast is great, especially Steve Barclay who is an accomplished Pantomime Dame.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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