IF he's got to work on New Year's Eve, then Blackpool Grand Theatre is the only place David Steadman (pictured) will do it.

Out of all the theatres and concert halls in the country, "The Glorious Grand" holds most sentiment for the conductor.

The music director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company will be back in town on December 31 to conduct the National Concert Orchestra for a New Year's Eve Gala.

And it comes as no surprise that this year's musical extravaganza with the conductor-cum-composer will be extra special with some of his own compositions, the traditional Viennese and a touch of comedy thrown in. "There will be something for everyone, from a 12-minute medley of songs from My Fair Lady, Strauss, Mozart, Bizet's Carmen and songs from South Pacific," said David whose all-time favourite Gilbert and Sullivan production is Iolanthe.

The piece-de-resistance will be a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan songs, including music from the rarely-heard Thespis, whose score was destroyed in a fire. It is the first time the self-written arrangement has been performed in the North of England.

"I know it sounds a bit of a clich, but coming to Blackpool is like coming home. If I have got to work on New Year's Eve then the Grand is the only place I'll do it.

"It will be a great night, with something for everybody from romanticism to sentimentality."

TICKETS for the New Year's Eve Gala cost between £12 and £25 with concessions available. Call 290190 to book.