JOANNE Clifton came to a tour of The Rocky Horror Show from a production of Flashdance, and she was surprised to find she’d actually be wearing more clothes.

Rocky Horror, of course, has a reputation for naughtiness; and the character Joanne has been playing since November - the demure but potentially wayward Janet Weiss - goes on a certain kind of journey, when she sees the light and finds the house of the sweet transvestite scientist, Dr Frank-N-Furter.

Perhaps it was all very shocking some 45 years ago, but ‘Dammit Janet’, what’s the appeal for a modern audience, whether they are dressed in suspenders or not?

Former Strictly star Joanne said: “It’s very different to what I’ve done before, but I love it. It’s one of the best shows from the past 45 years. I didn’t know much about it, before the audition. I hadn’t seen the film. I hadn’t been to a production - but now I absolutely love it.

“I could not have wanted the job more!”

She added: “The show has such a cult following and our audiences are always amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s just mental!

“Members of the audience come dressed as absolutely anything. I’ve heard that once someone even came dressed as the bed!”

But how did Joanne approach the role of sweet Janet Weiss?

She said: “Janet goes on a journey; she’s a sweet, innocent girl who gets led astray. I just love the journey she goes on.

“First, I try to be the girl my mum would like me to be, and then it’s about being led astray. The show is about just being what you want to be - the message is, “Don’t Dream It, Be It”.

“That message is still relevant today.”

It’s been a long tour - so many stops since last autumn; but Joanne says the energy from the audience gives her the energy she needs.

And there’s less dancing. “It’s not as tiring as Flashdance” she says, but in any case “I do get energy from the audience; as soon as the overture starts, you hear the roar.”

She’s having a blast; but would she ever go back to Strictly?

Joanne said: “Never say never. I do love it, but I’m happy with the stage.”

She’s so devoted to the performing arts, in fact, in the New Year she’’ll head to the famous New York Film Academy to enlist on a few courses for a few months.

The Rocky Horror show comes to Malvern Theatres next week, for a run from Monday, July 22 to Saturday, July 27.

A spokesman said: “ Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical returns to the UK as part of a sell-out worldwide tour, having now been seen by over 30 million theatregoers.

Starring Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton is Janet, James Darch (An Officer and a Gentleman, Wicked, Mamma Mia) is Brad alongside West End star Stephen Webb as Frank ‘N’ Furter and Kristian Lavercombe, who reprises his role as Riff Raff following more than 1500 performances around the world.”

Tickets: 01684 892277