Matt Willis on touring musical comedy Waitress around the UK and Ireland

Virgin Radio

17 Aug 2021, 10:10

Matt Willis with Sam Pinkham and Gaby Roslin. Photo Credit: Virgin Radio

Matt Willis with Sam Pinkham and Gaby Roslin. Photo Credit: Virgin Radio

The Busted star joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about starring in the hit musical, Waitress, training his daughter to become a superhero, and volunteering for St John Ambulance during the pandemic. 

Matt will appear as Dr Pomatter in the tour of romantic musical comedy, Waitress, which begins on Saturday 4th September. He told Gaby Roslin and Sam Pinkham, who are in for Chris, “I love it. I went to see it at the West End and I was kind of blown away, and then the opportunity came up to audition and I was like, ‘Come on! Let’s do it!’”

Waitress is based on the 2007 film by Adrienne Shelly. It opened on Broadway in 2016, and then in London’s West End at the Adelphi Theatre in March 2019. Explaining how he came to secure a part in the touring version of the musical, Matt said, “I was doing a show with Lucie Jones, who plays Jenna in the show. Me and her were doing A Christmas Carol in the Dominion just before Christmas, and she said that they were about to take [Waitress] on tour and I was like, ‘Ah I’ve always wanted to play that role,’ and she was like, ‘Well, come in!”. So I came in about two days later and sung what I knew, and then I came back for finals and did it with her, which was amazing. It was so great. She’s absolutely breathtaking. She’s amazing.”

From the start of September until next August, Matt will be embarking on the first UK and Ireland tour of Waitress. “Much to my family’s dismay!” he joked. “To be honest, it was third lockdown, and it came through and I was like, ‘Yes! Sign me up!’ How long? Yep, sign me up!’ And then it suddenly dawned on me how long I’m going to be away for.”

The 38-year-old, who is married to Emma Willis with whom he has three children, told Sam and Gaby that he’ll still be able to regularly head home to see his family. “It’s actually really nice, because we’re away for a few weeks and I’m coming back every weekend, after the show on the Saturday night I’ll drive home, wherever I am. And some days we don’t open until the Tuesday, so I’ve got Monday at home too.” 

The singer added, “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be really great.” 

When Gaby asked Matt about that fact that his daughter, Trixie, wants to be a superhero and is currently in ‘superhero training’, he said, “She’s five and she’s absolutely obsessed. We’ve got a gymnastics bar now in our living room, believe it or not! One of these bars, just so she can do, like, hanging stunts and training and stuff like that!

“I was stroking her hand the other night, and Emma was like, ‘There’s a lump on her hand, there’s a lump on her hand.’ And I went on her hand and she’s got a callous from the gymnastics bar. She’s five!”

When asked which superheroes his daughter likes in particular, Matt said, “She loves all of them. She loves Thor. She loves Wonder Woman at the moment. She’s a bit obsessed with her.”

Sam asked Matt whether he plays Busted songs to his kids when they are in the car together, to which the singer said, “We’ve been through that period! They had to listen to that for a little while, but then they had to come to shows and, to be honest, they got a bit bored of it. So, they are a bit over dad being in a band now.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Matt and his wife Emma completed training with St John Ambulance to act as vaccination volunteers. He told Sam and Gaby, “About 90 percent of what I do is in front of a crowd, so I’ve been very quiet for the last year-and-a-half, and it really gave me something to do, and something to focus on. I felt like I was kind of part of something big, and it was a really amazing experience. I advise anyone that’s got some time on their hands to volunteer. It’s an incredible process.” 

The award-winning musician continued, saying, “The first lockdown especially, it was kind of amazing, I adjusted to it really well. I was like, ‘Cool, do nothing. Great.’ By the second one, I was like, ‘I haven’t worked for a long time. I need to, and the phone’s not ringing’. It was a bit worrying, going through ups and downs with it. But I alway knew that things were going to come back, and I was lucky enough to be able to kind of sit back and enjoy life a little bit, but then the Saint John Ambulance came up and that really gave me something to focus on and something to be part of.”

Waitress: The Musical’s UK And Ireland tour begins Saturday 4th September. For tickets and info visit

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.