Blackpool actress goes from soap queen to fairy godmother in her hometown panto debut

Actress Hayley Tamaddon has performed in panto many times - but never in her hometown of Blackpool... until now.

But the star of Coronation Street and Emmerdale is finally treading the boards as the Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool's Grand Theatre.

"I'm almost 46," Hayley tells ITV Granada Reports' Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore.

"And I've never done a pantomime in Blackpool. The Grand Theatre is so special to me, because when I was a little girl I used to do all of the theatre shows on this stage.

"And then in my professional career I did Rocky Horror Show at this theatre and now I'm back doing my first ever panto!!

"I'm a mum now, so my little Jasper, who is three, is going to be here numerous times and he's so excited. Every poster around Blackpool, he's like, 'That's my mummy'," she says.

Hayley says three-year-old son Jasper is excited to see posters of his mum around Blackpool

"I'm an old mum though -  I'm 46 soon and he keeps me on my toes, let's put it that way.

"I feel like I've not slept for the past three years," jokes Hayley, who played Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street and Del Dingle in Emmerdale, and also won ITV's Dancing on Ice in 2010 with partner Dan Whiston, who was also brought up in Blackpool.

In contrast, panto veteran Steve Royle, a former finalist in Britain's got Talent, will perform in his 1,000th show this Christmas - as he chalks up 19 consecutive years in panto at the Grand.

Panto veteran Steve Role plays Silly Billy at the Grand Theatre Credit: Grand Theatre

"Well, where else would I rather be in December? I love Blackpool, love everything about the place," says Steve.So who counted the shows and realised it was his 1000th this year?

"Lockdown," he laughs. "I had a lot of time on my hands and I thought - how better to spend it than going through all the old panto leaflets I have ever done !"

The Grand Theatre has come up with a brilliant idea to help with the cost of living this year

"We've got a magic and sparkle offer," explains Steve, who is playing Silly Billy.

"So people who buy a ticket can pay an extra £10 and that ticket gets donated to charity or a family in need who can come to the pantomime.''We try to make it as accessible as possible to all people."

Blackpool's Hayley Tamaddon and Steve Royle can be seen in Sleeping Beauty at the Grand theatre in Blackpool until 1 January, 2024. 

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