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At Home With... Thanet actor and Canterbury panto star Lloyd Hollett and his life in lockdown

From family time to Joe Wickes' workouts and working at home, we've all gone through new experiences while we've been having to Stay at Home. Here, our At Home With... feature hears from Thanet-based actor Lloyd Hollett - best known for his nine years in the Marlowe Theatre's panto - about how life's been for him in lockdown.

Lloyd Hollett with wife Danielle and two-year-old daughter Ottillie during lockdown
Lloyd Hollett with wife Danielle and two-year-old daughter Ottillie during lockdown

Who are you locked down with?

My wife Danielle, our daughter Ottilie who will be two in June, and our two cats Arthur and Mogwai, adopted from Cats In Crisis Thanet which I am a very proud patron of.

What has been a typical day for you while staying at home?

We, as a family, do Joe Wickes' workout together.. Daddy occasionally joins in. We have breakfast then have playtime with Ottilie, doing activities ranging from making tea and cakes with the kitchen she got for Christmas, to building puzzles and reading lots of books and we go for our daily exercise in the fields nearby and have lunch in the garden At 2pm we have what has now been labelled ‘Tea At 2’ where our neighbours Nikki, James and their children Ethan and Imogen meet at the end of our gardens and sit and chat about the world.

Afternoons have also been a good productive and creative time for me as I've been working on some new material for a new show which was scheduled to take place at Margate's Theatre Royal on May 9, but has now been rescheduled to Saturday, October 17.

Lloyd in action in a previous Marlowe panto with Ben Roddy Picture: Paul Amos
Lloyd in action in a previous Marlowe panto with Ben Roddy Picture: Paul Amos

Which bit of your lockdown day are you enjoying the most?

Family time 100%.

Name one thing which has helped you get through lockdown:

Positivity. I almost feel like a completely different person already. Never before have I appreciated life more so than now. Being forced to stop and reflect on life is something that not many people get to do.

Like many of my friends and colleagues in the entertainment field, I was due to be working away from home for almost 80% of this year. I spent many a sleepless night in recent months worrying about this; worrying about missing out on my daughter's precious moments as she approaches two; worrying about my wife being a single parent for most of the year; worrying about missing my family. Even though I would be working away to provide for them I would still worry.

Lloyd is cheered on by the neighbours as he plays ring toss in his garden during lockdown
Lloyd is cheered on by the neighbours as he plays ring toss in his garden during lockdown

And now we are forced to stop... I now realise that all those months of worry and sleepless nights were unnecessary and pointless. And instead of worrying, I could have appreciated the magical moments I have with my family. Like so many of us at the moment, I too have had moments of dreadful anxiety when all of my work was cancelled until further notice. Waking up depressed, feeling like your head is going to explode. But talking about it helps. Since being isolated I've reflected on my life more than ever.. feeling the bond grow between my daughter and my wife more by the day; we've got more adventurous with our cooking; chatting with my dear mum; this week I set up a live video chat with some of my closest friends - a conversation that would never have happened if it weren't for lockdown.

Every Tuesday my wife has a video chat with her friends. Watching the happiness those few hours bring her is quite something. (The gin consumed probably helps.) This Sunday I'm recording a podcast episode with another friend of mine on the subject of becoming a dad for the first time and fatherhood. Whenever we get back to normality I will appreciate more than ever my family, my friends and how unbelievably lucky we are to be blessed to be on this planet. Stay safe everyone.

What are you looking forward to doing most when lockdown ends?

Making people laugh again.

Read Lloyd's fellow Marlowe panto favourite Ben Roddy's At Home With... by clicking here.

For more ideas of ways to enjoy lockdown click here.

Lloyd's show in Margate has been rescheduled
Lloyd's show in Margate has been rescheduled

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