Shaun Willamson and James Argent swap the East End & Essex for swashbuckling on the South Coast

The cast of The Kings Theatre panto launched the show onboard HMS Warrior Credit: ITV NEWS

Shaun Willamson, best known for playing 'Barry' in Eastenders and James Argent who found fame on ITV reality show 'The Only Way is Essex' are preparing to take part in this year's pantomime season.

They have swapped the East End and Essex for the South Coast and will appear in this year's production of 'Hook at The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth.

There is still a lot to do ahead of their month-long stint at the beautiful grade 2 listed theatre.

James told us: "I only looked at the script for the first time today, I might get in trouble for that, but we've got our read through and we're excited about that later. I'm going to be at some point learning to fly. I'm playing Peter Pan."

They launched this year's show onboard HMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. "It was fun and a great opportunity to meet the rest of the cast", says Shaun.

Shaun Willamson is playing 'Hook' Credit: ITV News

Shaun, who plays 'Captain Hook' says panto is very different to soap acting, he said: "All forms of television acting are long days and it can take a long time to get the take they want.

"Whereas it's so immediate when you get on that pantomime stage, especially with children in the audience - just that wave of hatred I get, it makes me feel great.

"If you're not being booed you're a failure."

Both Shaun and James both love singing and the audience could well expect a few tunes in this year's production. James says he got into singing through amateur dramatics when he was younger.

Shows run from 1 - 31 December.

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