HE’S currently delighting audiences at Bolton’s Albert Halls in the family panto Beauty and the Beast, but what those theatregoers won’t realise is that Nick Newbould is on the verge of a major breakthrough Stateside.

Nick has come over to Bolton from his home in West Hollywood where he has lived for the past eight years and on his return will be putting the finishing touches to the script for a new TV sitcom which has got the major American TV networks jostling to take it on.

“It’s all a bit crazy really,” said Nick, who although born in Pontefract has kept the strong Manchester accent he picked up after moving to the city over 20 years ago.

“I did quite a bit of telly in the States after I moved there and then I started writing between jobs,” he said. “I had this idea for a sitcom set in the world of daytime soaps and word about it spread and the script was sent out to various agents and before I knew it the networks were fighting over which of them might take it on.”

The show, Booked, has according to Nick, “elements of Extras and Absolutely Fabulous with bits of Dynasty thrown in”.

“You have all these actors who get cast in a pretty dodgy soap,” he said. “Some of them think that in getting a role they’ve made it as they are so naive and then you have others who were stars in the Nineties and this is now the only job they can get. I just loved the idea of all these different characters and being able to tell their stories with the story of a sitcom.”

Nick clearly has hit upon something as he has had some leading names from US TV getting in touch asking to be written into the show.

“We haven’t even filmed the pilot episode yet there’s so much interest,” he said.

Among those lined up for Booked is Kathy Hilton - mother of Paris Hilton - who began her career as a successful actress before becoming an entrepreneur and fashion designer; Cole Crawford, best known to UK viewers through the show Chicago Fire and Sister Sister star Rolanda Watts.

“We were due to start filming when Covid struck,” said Nick, “so now we are looking to shoot the pilot in June next year.”

Before then Nick is having a ball at the Albert Halls in the comedy role of French Franc.

“This is my 17th panto and I love them” he said. “One of the great things is that it gives me a salary when I come over to see my family and friends but I also get to play in front of a British audience.

“What is really gorgeous for me is seeing the kids and their little faces lighting up as they watch the show. They’ve not been in an environment where they have been able to shout and scream and let their hair down for so long.

“When I’m ojn stage and talking to the kids I’m their best mate. Seeing them looking up at me totally engaged in the story makes me want to cry. It’s a real privilege to give them that experience.”

Nick co-stars with Melody Thornton formerly of singing group The Pussycat Dolls.

“She’s got an amazing voice,” he said, I think it’s great that she’s in a show here in Bolton.”

In between shows, Nick is looking forward to spending time with friends and family - his husband is flying over from the States for Christmas - and then in January it’s back to LA and working on Booked.

Beauty and the Beast is at the Albert Halls, Bolton until December 31. Details from www.alberthalls-bolton.co.uk.