Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt takes the stage in Crawley panto
Scarlett Moffatt (Gogglebox, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Saturday Night Takeaway) is delighted to be heading down from Durham for Christmas in Crawley.
She will be fairy godmother at the Hawth in Cinderella (December 10-January 2) alongside CBeebies’ favourite Nigel Clarke (The Baby Club) as Dandini. Michael J Batchelor and Richard Franks are back, and this year they will be joined on stage by George Akid.
This should have been Scarlett’s third panto. Thanks to the blank year last year, it’s her second – and she is relishing the return.
“I am a massive panto fan. I always went. It was a tradition that we would go. We would go to the Sunderland Empire and the first ever performance I saw was the Chuckle Brothers in Peter Pan. I would have been about five. It would have been about 1996.
“And it just felt so magical. We were sitting right at the top looking down on the stage, and I was just thinking that this was something I wanted to do myself one day.”
And now she is, on panto number two: “I am now starting to feel like a seasoned professional fairy godmother! Traditionally, it is something that is given to women who are a bit older, but it is good that you can do it whatever your age.
“My first panto was two years ago and then Covid came. It was a bit overwhelming at first but I have always loved Disney and panto and it was so nice to be so over the top, to get dressed up as a princess on stage. It’s just another world you go into. I used to dance. I did ballroom and Latin for 18 years of my life, and so I am used to the canned glitter and sparkle! I have done live TV, but there is something very special when you can actually see the eyeballs of the people sitting in front of you in the audience in panto. You can hear the reaction. It gets the adrenalin pumping.”
The pandemic hasn’t been too bad for Scarlett fortunately: “I was really lucky that I was still able to work during the pandemic. Anybody coming out of all that still with a job is just a blessing really. So many people have really struggled. I am just hoping that now theatres are returning we can all just get back to it and bring back all that magic that we didn’t have last Christmas.
“I think Cinderella is the best pantomime. It has got everything.
“It has got a lot of dance and song and it is the best story. And for fairy godmother, I think you have got to have a lot of charisma and a bit of cheekiness. I think people will be shocked that I am going to be such a cheeky fairy godmother.
“I have never been to Crawley before, but the theatre is wonderful and all the staff are lovely. I think it is wonderful. The theatre is modern. When you think of panto, you tend to think of the old theatres, but there is something lovely about being in a modern theatre.”
But really, it probably doesn’t matter quite where you are: “People will soon forget. The idea is that you are all transported to the world of Cinderella.”
Scarlett has become a regular on TV screens after making the public laugh with her quick-witted humour on Gogglebox before being crowned Queen of the Jungle on I’m A Celebrity.
Scarlett has also enjoyed a number of presenting roles, including Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV); 2 series of Extra Camp (ITV2); and Celebability (ITV2). Her success in these roles led her to take on Davina McCall’s previous position as host of dating show Streetmate and to work alongside Dermot O’Leary at the National Television Awards.
Scarlett released her debut book Scarlett Says in 2016, which topped the Sunday Times Number 1 Bestsellers list.
She followed this up with her second book, Me Life Story, Sofa So Good.