The married father of two said he had survived lockdown by focusing on caring for relatives and doing odd jobs around the house. Now, as he prepares to return to the stage, he is thinking of fellow entertainers who can’t find work because most theatres have been shut and filming cut back. Of playing Scrooge in a musical version of A Christmas Carol at London’s Dominion Theatre, Brian, 59, said: “I am so lucky to get this gig. The Dominion is one of the few theatres that won’t be dark this Christmas. I feel as though I have won the last ticket to Disneyland.
“Like my fellow entertainers and others in the business, I haven’t worked since March and it has been a struggle to get by, mentally.
“The only way I have got through lockdown has been by forcing myself to forget who I am and what I do. Now I’m looking forward to setting foot on stage again but I’ll be crying a tear for those who can’t.
“There are so many talented people in all branches of show-business who are unable to work.
“For a while it looked as though this would be my first Christmas for decades that I was not working and I wouldn’t have liked that at all.”
A Christmas Carol will be presented to a socially distanced audience, with capacity halved when the curtain rises on December 7.
Brian said: “Sadly, Covid means so many restrictions. I won’t even be able to sign autographs at the stage door.”
Brian, who has daughters Lucy, 18, and Amy, 23, with wife Anne-Marie, said his diary for the next year is largely up in the air.
He added: “Let’s hope it’s not too long before the lights go on again in theatres throughout the UK.”