ANDY Moss has just been for a massage so you’d presume he would be nice and relaxed for our interview.

“Hey it’s not pleasant you know,” said the former Hollyoaks star who is bringing the hit musical Ghost to Manchester next week. “It was a vocal massage where they grab your throat and twist it until it cracks – the things you do for your art.”

For Andy, who played Rhys Ashworth for eight years in Hollyoaks and most recently appeared as Paul Cuthbert in the long running BBC soap opera Doctors, taking on the challenge of playing Sam in Ghost has been a big challenge.

“It’s been an amazing few months,” said Andy who plays the character made famous by Patrick Swayze in the hit movie. “It did take me a whole to find my feet to be honest, it’s such a big role.

“It’s a massive emotional rollercoaster and it is really challenging but that’s why I took this job. I was ready to challenge myself rather than sitting back and putting my feet up in a TV green room somewhere.”

Ghost the Musical takes the basic storyline from the movie – Sam and his girlfriend Molly are deeply in love. But Sam is murdered leaving Molly heartbroken and alone and in danger. Helped by a phony psychic Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to get in touch with Molly and protect her.

Fans familiar with the film will recognise the plot but the musical version is quite different in many respect, featuring songs written by Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics.

“Ghost was a classic movie from the early 90s,” said Andy, “but what I think is clever with this show is that this version has stripped it all back. It’s got rid of the crazy effects brought it back to the story.

“It’s about the love story between these two characters with a supernatural twist and that resonates with everyone who comes to see.”

Spending much of the show as a ghost has created extra challenges for Andy.

“It’s not just a normal role, that’s for sure,” he said. “It is very complex for a musical. We did certain things to prepare for it. I would read my lines off stage so the cast would get used to not reacting to me physically and not noticing me when I finally did rehearse with them on stage.

“I’ve taken all my experience from all the years from my different bits and bobs of acting and managed to get them all together to make this character as believable as it can be for a ghost.”

Then there is THAT scene with Sam and Molly at the potter’s wheel.

“In the original West End version they didn’t use the pottery too much,” said Andy. “But in this version there is a lot more pottery in it now, that’s what people want to see.

“I think it’s good we have these nods to the film but have updated it at the same time.”

So can we expect to see Andy on the Great British Pottery Throwdown at any point?

“Carolyn (Carolyn Maitland who plays Molly) is the pottery expert,” he laughed. “She’s a dab hand at the wheel. Sometimes have to remind her we are acting and not just making pots!”

Ghost will end its UK tour at the Lowry and for Mancunian Andy that’s the perfect way to end.

“It has been an amazing few months. What’s really nice is that we get to finish it Manchester.

“When we started out we played Manchester in November for a week and it was a sell-out.

“It’s so great to come back to the birthplace of this show – and me.

“This is probably one of the best roles that I’ll ever get in a musical. It’s amazing, I love it. I feel really lucky I managed to bag this as my first musical theatre role.”

Ghost the Musical, the Lowry, Salford Quays, Monday, April 24 to Saturday, April 29. Details from 0843 208 6000