Last week we scoured theatres across the land for the famous faces who will be making fools of themselves this Christmas in the name of that hallowed British tradition: the pantomime. And we couldn’t help but notice all the soap stars – past and present – who will be swapping gritty storylines for naf jokes.
Whether it’s because pantos offer some much-needed respite, or simply because they can’t resist the shiny costumes, here are the EastEnders and Corrie veterans who will be bursting into song and dance this year…
Jessie Wallace is the Fairy Godmother in Hastings
The actress best known as Kat Slater will be making her panto debut in Cinderella at The White Rock Theatre in Hastings – and is looking forward to revealing her lighter side. “You have to take it tongue-in-cheek. It feels like playtime, unlike the other roles that I’ve played,” she said, with some understatement.
Sally Lindsay is Fairy Fazakerley in Liverpool
The former Corrie star will be treading the boards with Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey and a cross-dressing Eric Potts – who eagle-eyed fans may remember as a baker on the cobbles once upon a time.
Adam Woodyatt is Chambers in Swindon
No, we don’t recall Chambers the dwarf either, but apparently he has the biggest role in The Wyvern Theatre’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – and he’s played by the actor best known as Walford’s Ian Beale (although you may not recognise him with a smile).
Shane Richie is Dick Whittington in Kent
Walford’s landlord will be swapping the Queen Vic for thigh-high boots at the Orchard Theatre, which is sure to set a few hearts racing in Kent.
Steve McFadden is Fleshcreep in Crawley
The EastEnders hardman is playing – surprise, surprise – the villain in The Hawth Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Walford’s favourite alcoholic and wife-beater will play evil henchman baddie Fleshcreep. McFadden has warned audiences that there may be singing.
Terence Maynard is Abanazar in Sunderland
Maynard (aka dodgy builder Tony Stewart) is waving farewell to Coronation Street in December because he wants to pursue projects away from the ITV soap. His first transformation will be into a baddie in Sunderland Empire Theatre’s Aladdin alongside Big Brother housemate Alison Hammond’s Slave of the Ring.
Dean Sullivan is Nurse Glucose in Stockport
The actor who used to go by the name of Jimmy Corkhill in Brookside will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and wins our vote for best panto name.
Marc Baylis is Dandini in St Helens
Baylis played Prince Charming last year but is making his panto villain debut at St Helens Theatre Royal. Of course he’s had plenty of practice as Coronation Street bad boy Rob Donovan.
See if you can identify Benidorm star Crissy Rock as one of the fetching ugly sisters.