SEX, jealousy, intrigue and violence... who would have thought Blackpool's Grand Theatre could be home to all this?

But the resort's grandest theatre will be hosting the sinfully gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller, Bad Blood.

Starring a host of top showbiz names including ex-Eastender Gillian Taylforth -- who is making her theatrical debut -- former Hollyoaks star, Julie Buckfield and last (but certainly not least) the gorgeous Gary Mavers.

Best known for wetting housewives appetites as Dr Andrew Attwood in the hit ITV show, Peak Practice, Gary has made his name playing the part of a good guy with an edge.

And judging by the rave reviews so far for Bad Blood it looks like the provocative new drama -- written by the creator of Killing Time, Richard Stockwell -- looks looks like it won't disappoint his legion of fans.

The Citizen caught up with the 39-year-old star in between rehearsals for the play, to get the lowdown on the good doctor's visit to town!

Gary said: "My character, Tom, is a more-or-less an ordinary bloke. He's got a good-looking wife, happy home life, successful business and nice home.

"Then suddenly Tom finds out that his wife, Vic, can't have children and attitudes start to change between them both.

"Things become even worse when a young girl turns up claiming to be his daughter from a previous relationship and there are some really drastic consequences.

"It's really emotionally-charged, powerful stuff and lots of seething undercurrents come bubbling to the surface.

"So far it's been good fun and -- despite this being Gillian's first time in a play -- both she and Julie are a real pleasure to work with.

"We're all really looking forward to coming to Blackpool. I think the last time I was here was when I was 17 on a lads weekend, but it's a nice part of the country and not too far from home for me."

Twice-married Gary has come a long way since he first shocked family and friends in Huyton, Liverpool, by announcing that he wanted to act.

But, after proving his dedication by resigning from his job as a shop manager -- the multi-talented actor is also a trained master butcher -- Gary earned their support in his bid for a life on the stage.

His first step was applying (and being accepted) at London's RADA -- the world famous academy which spawned the talents of stars such as Joan Collins and fellow northern hunk, Sean Bean.

Gary graduated in 1989 and got his first big break almost immediately with an appearance in the hugely successful ITV series Boon.

From there he progressed on to parts on stage and in other TV dramas including The Man From The Pru, Chimera, Fighting For Gemma, Peak Practice and 1998s The Unknown Soldier, where he played Angel -- a role written specially for him.

But down-to-earth Gary says that, despite his obvious success, he'll always be stay grounded thanks to his lifelong hero -- his grandad, who sadly died last year aged 104.

Gary added: "One of my earliest memories is listening to my grandad recounting his war-time tales. I must have heard his stories hundreds of times, but I could never imagine anyone braver than him.

"He was all of 5ft 6inch and served in the Lancashire Fusiliers during the First World War driving gun carriages over the trenches giving out ammunition to troops and carrying messages back across the battlefield.

"When I used to ask him how he found the courage back then he used to tell me that the frightening part was the thought of going into battle, once you're out there all you can do is your best.

"I know acting is nowhere near as heroic as fighting for King and country, but in a way his philosophy helps me get over any nerves before a performance.

"Facing an audience for the first time can be an absolutely terrifying experience, but there is nothing more rewarding than that feeling once you've stepped out and said a couple of lines."

Bad Blood will be appearing at the Grand Theatre from Monday, April 28 to Saturday, May 3. For further information contact the Grand Box Office on 01253 290190.