Former EastEnders star Todd Carty is looking forward to casting a spell over King’s Lynn when this year’s pantomime comes to town.

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The 49-year-old joined the rest of the cast of this year’s pantomime, Aladdin, where he has the role of the evil Abanazaar, to help launch the event this afternoon.

Carty, who played Mark Fowler in Eastenders, will be third member of the soap’s cast to tread the boards at Lynn’s Corn Exchange in three years after performances from John Altman, and Letitia Dean in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

“I love to play the villain in a panto,” the former Dancing on Ice star said. “I’ve not done a panto for a couple of years so I’m really looking forward to spending five weeks here.”

Carty’s first major TV role was playing the lead of Tucker in BBC TV’s Grange Hill before going onto Eastenders.

He then went on to play the role of PC Gabriel Kent in ITV’s The Bill and is currently starring as Patsy in the UK tour of the stage show Spamalot.

He continued: “This is the first time I’ve ever to King’s Lynn but I have been to Norfolk before when Spamalot went to Norwich.

“I love pantomimes because they are all good fun and it’s the one time of the year you can throw on a frock and people won’t think anything of it.

“I like the look of the Corn Exchange and I’m sure once it’s filled with lots of kids screaming, it will be electric in here.”

Asked what his favourite role has been, he replied: “It’s hard to say really but Grange Hill really put me on the road. It was huge for me.”

Referring to his Dancing on Ice stint, he continued: “I don’t think I’m ever going to live Dancing on Ice down.

“I was asked if I wanted to appear and after speaking to my kids about it, I agreed to do it but I guess I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for.

“I was told the penny would drop eventually but it never did for me – I fell down nearly all the time.”

Starring alongside Carty is West End star Charlene Ford who is looking forward to playing Aladdin.

She said: “I haven’t a panto for such a long time so I’m a bit nervous but I’m also really looking forward to it because Aladdin in one of my favourite pantos.

“It’ll also be the first time I’ve played a boy but I think I still look quite glamorous as a boy.”

Taking the role of The Emperor is Junix Inocian, best known for playing Cook in Sky’s Sinabd.

“This is my third time playing The Emperor,” he said. “Pantos are so much fun and I can’t wait for the first show.

“We don’t have anything like this in the Philippines, where I grew up, and I can still remember now how thrilled I was when I was first introduced to it, seeing the faces of the kids and I just loved the interaction with the audience.”

Playing the roles of Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey in the pantomime will be Scott Cripps and Ian Marr respectively.

The pantomime runs from Friday, December 7 to Monday, December 31. Tickets are available on 01553 764864 or online at www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk and prices start at £15.50 with group discount available.

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