It’s never too early for a pantomime launch ... oh no it isn’t!

Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime launch.'L-R Hayley Kay, Steve Royle, Danny Miller and Amy Thompson.
Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime launch.'L-R Hayley Kay, Steve Royle, Danny Miller and Amy Thompson.
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Look out behind you, it’s panto time already.

Crowds flocked to Blackpool Grand Theatre for the launch of its 2012 pantomime, Cinderella, starring Emmerdale heartthrob Danny Miller.

Danny was joined in Matcham Court by Channel 5’s Amy Thompson who will be playing the title role, Radio Wave’s Hayley Kay, Grand Theatre favourite and Radio Lancashire presenter Steve Royle, who all appeared in stunning costumes.

The colourful day began when the stars arrived in a special horse-drawn carriage provided by Cinderella Carriages.

As well as meeting the stars, the crowds were treated to white chocolate mice courtesy of Blackpool’s newest themed sweet shop, American Candy, plus face painting and balloon modelling.

Children took part in a best-dressed competition, which was judged by Danny and Amy.

“It was just a really enjoyable day with a great bunch of people!” said Danny. “I can’t wait to begin!”

Stockport born Danny Miller will be playing the handsome prince in his first ever panto. Danny is famous for playing Emmerdale’s troubled mechanic Aaron Livesy. His four years in the show have seen him play a key role in some of Emmerdale’s best storylines.

Many will also remember Danny in his long running role in Grange Hill, playing roguish Kyle Brown.

Amy Thompson returns to the Grand this year to play Cinderella. The Channel 5 Milkshake! presenter starred in the 2010 pantomime Aladdin. Amy also has links to Emmerdale, starring as Jenny Nelson before joining Milkshake! in 2009. She will be at The Grand again next year in the stage show of Milkshake!

“It was such a fun day and all of my dreams came true,” she said. “I got taken on a trip around Blackpool in a horse-drawn carriage, with a handsome prince and the sun came out for us. I wasn’t expecting any of this. It was a joy to meet everyone in Blackpool for the panto launch. I can’t wait to get cracking on with the rehearsals and thanks to everyone who came down to say hello to us.”

Steve Royle, who will be playing Buttons, returns to the Grand for his 10th consecutive year in pantomime.

“I really enjoyed this year’s panto launch,” he said. “It’s always like Christmas come early without the expense! It’s also the first time we get to meet our fellow cast members and everyone seems really lovely.”

The panto runs from December 7 to January 6. Tickets from blackpoolgrand.co.uk or the box office on (01253) 290190.