Resort favourite Linda Nolan has withdrawn from an upcoming tour – which includes dates at the Opera House –after being diagnosed with cancer.
The singer and entertainer, 58, who found fame with The Nolans in the 1970s, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer earlier this year.
She had been due to star in Our House, a musical featuring songs by ska band Madness, which is coming to Blackpool in October.
Deena Payne, best known for her role as Viv Hope in ITV’s Emmerdale, will take up the role of Kath Casey that was vacated by Linda’s departure from the tour.
She said: “My thoughts are with Linda, and we all send her lots of love at this very unsettling time. Though I know she’d want the madness to continue, and I’m thrilled to take on the challenge.
“Great songs, brilliant story – a real fun-loving musical.”
My thoughts are with Linda, and we all send her lots of love at this very unsettling time
The show, by Calendar Girls writer Tim Firth, tells the story of Joe Casey who on his 16th birthday takes the girl of his dreams, Sarah, out on their first date.
In an effort to impress her with bravado, Joe breaks into a building site overlooking his home on Casey Street.
When the police turn up, a split-second decision forces him to choose between himself and his heart.
News of Linda’s diagnosis was revealed by her sister Coleen in March.
Speaking on ITV show Loose Women, she said the diagnosis came just as Linda, who lost her husband Brian to cancer in 2007, had turned her life around.
“She’d had her great face lift, turned a corner from losing her husband,” she said.
“The positive thing is, although they’ve said it’s not curable, it’s treatable and it’s not spread anywhere else.”
Linda has previously spoken about her diagnosis, saying it brought the family closer together.
She said: “I couldn’t do it without their support.
She said she hoped to live for another ‘10-15 years’ with the cancer.
Her sister Bernie died from breast cancer in 2012.