Amy’s having a ball

Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime launch.'Amy Thompson.
Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime launch.'Amy Thompson.
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Pretty presenter Amy Thompson is looking forward to going from rags to riches – again.

Channel 5’s regular Milkshake presenter starred in Aladdin at Blackpool Grand Theatre two years ago and is back again next month in Cinderella (December 7 to January 6).

“Time flies,” she laughs. “It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was being locked in a cave and now I’m sweeping up a kitchen!”

Not that she minds – both characters end up laughing all the way to the bank and living happily ever after – because she loves performing in pantomime.

“It’s a lovely theatre with lovely staff and a lovely cast,” she gushes. “There’s a real sense of fun and it’s something for all the family. Where else would you get away with the things that you can in panto – and get paid for it? I’m so lucky to be doing what I do.”

Not that it’s piece of cake.

“It’s hard work making it seem so easy,” she says. “You’ve got to commit 100 per cent to every performance, twice a day, or the youngsters in the audience will soon catch you out.”

But despite a strong panto pedigree Amy, who graduated in drama from the University of Hull, stresses there’s more to her acting bow than festive fun.

“I’ve always acted – my mum always told me what a drama queen I was but it’s what I always wanted to do.”

Her days in Hull served her in good stead and she became a regular member of John Godber’s Hull Truck Theatre Company appearing in such plays as Teechers, Wrestling Mad, Screaming Blue Murder and Thick As a Brick.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been part of what John has done and it has meant I’ve been able to do a lot of comedy drama,” she says. “I suppose if I were to have a burning ambition it would be to have a stab at something a little meatier, something like Line of Duty. I think there might be a bit of murder in my heart – though I’d also like something like The Office.”

Having played Beauty in York Theatre Royal’s Beauty and The Beast she would also like to tackle a major West End musical.

“But I’m happy with pretty much everything I get and I’m lucky enough to have been involved with Milkshake! on and off for three years.

When nationwide stage version tour, Milkshake! Come Out to Play!, comes to Blackpool Grand Theatre next year, Amy will be with it.

“We did some before and it went really well,” she says. “It’s a strong brand with an enormous following.”

But is it all for kids or have one or two dads joined her fan club too?

“I couldn’t possibly say,” says Amy.

All the Milkshake! favourites will be out to play on Saturday February 2 for performances at 1 and 3.30pm.

Channel 5 and Premier Stage Productions are presenting Milkshake! Come Out to Play! which features all the programme’s favourites such as Little Princess and Scruff, Noddy and Tessie Bear, Roary and Big Chris, Fifi and Bumble and B1 & B2 –the Bananas in Pyjamas.

In the stage show the favourite Milkshake! friends come out to play but when the time comes to go home they find themselves stuck outside the TV and hoping they get back to Milkshake! in time for the morning show.

The show features new songs, classic favourites and funky dance moves, plus plenty of laughter, bags of audience interaction and plenty of fun for all the family.

Tickets are £11 (family of four ticket including a minimum of one adult, £40). Booking and transaction fees apply. Go to blackpoolgrand.co.uk/whatson or call the box office on (01253) 743339.