Michelle moves on from soaps to take panto role

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Top of the bill at Aylesbury’s Waterside pantomime this year is actress Michelle Collins.

The former EastEnders and Coronation Street actress was dressed for the press launch in her stunning pink Genie of the Ring costume.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre presents Aladdin

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre presents Aladdin

But Michelle, who was a singer at the start of her career, was keen to remind us that EastEnders was, in fact, 20 years ago and she has done plenty of other things since then.

That includes the BBC dramas Real Women, Sunburn and Two Thousand Acres of Sky, as well as a guest spot on Death In Paradise.

How did she cope with the heat while filming the latter on the island of Guadeloupe?

She said: “It was pretty hot but you’re a bit more dressed for the heat when you’re over there. I didn’t have a heavy satin costume on. It was nice.

“I’ve been lucky over the years, I’ve filmed a lot abroad. I did Sunburn which was in Portugal, I filmed in Cyprus and I filmed in America for Daylight Robbery.”

Aladdin is not Michelle’s first foray into the joy and wonder of panto land.

She last strutted the festive stage in 2008 when she starred as the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella at Bristol Hippodrome with the late Mickey Rooney and she said it was amazing to work with such a huge legend.

Back in the 80s, Michelle sang in a band called Mari Wilson and the Wilsations and this year she spent seven months on tour with the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so it is more than likely she will be entertaining us with songs in the panto.

She said: “I am an actor who sings, not a singer singer. But I can put a tune over.

“I love doing theatre and pantomime is traditionally an old fashioned theatre production, so I enjoy it, it’s fun.”

Aladdin will be at the Waterside from Friday, December 9 - Saturday 31. To book call the box office on 0844 871 7607 or visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury