Video: Panto stars from Aladdin answer your questions

Lucy Dixon, who plays Tilly Evans in Channel 4 soap, Hollyoaks, and former Gladiator and TV presenter Nick Aldis, who appeared at the Theatre Royal in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2008 answered your questions in our live webchat on

Tell us a bit about your roles in Aladdin.

Lucy: My role is Aladdin himself. He is a feisty, mischievous character with a heart of gold. I'm really looking forward to playing him.

Nick: I'm the genie, which means I get to do a lot of magical nonsense. Its a nice change of pace for me – not playing a villain for once.

And what makes this version of Aladdin so special?

Most Read

Lucy: You will be spoilt with an array of fantastic dance routines, stunning sets, lots of comedy and laughter and courageous fighting scenes.

Nick: Having just done the first read-through I can say the cast is superb.

The panto season is quite long, how do you keep in contact with your loved ones?

Lucy: My family are based in Manchester so seeing them is going to be difficult as it is six hours away. Fortunately we have Skype – it's a wonderful thing! Luckily my boyfriend's family are in London so I'll be spending Christmas with them and their dog Archie.

Nick: Fortunately I am a Norfolk boy born and raised! My parents live in Docking, and I'm staying with them during rehearsals, so I'd be lying if I said that the chance to spend Christmas with family wasn't a big selling point to taking the role, as I live in the States and rarely get to see my family and friends.

Do you follow the Canaries, Nick?

Nick: Sometimes, I get all the soccer channels in the States so I do see as much as I can. I saw them beat Man United of course.

How do you get over stage nerves before a performance?

Lucy: I've been performing on stage for years and the nerves never go away. I love the butterflies though cause working on television you don't get them, there's a buzz you get from stage that you can't get with television.

Nick: I have to deal with nerves a lot too. There's a phrase in wrestling that is 'the day you don't get butterflies anymore is the day you should stop'... I love it, I love the rush of adrenaline of getting a reaction from an audience.

We think Norwich is a fine city – what made you choose our city and pantomime?

Lucy: I've never been to Norwich before and I'm fortunate enough that my job enables me to visit parts of England that I wouldn't normally go to. I'm looking forward to have a nosey around Norwich and learning all about its history.

Nick: Norwich is a fine city indeed. I have fond memories of the city from my childhood and adult life.

I've appeared in panto here before and the company is great, so when Jane (exec producer) called me about being the genie I jumped at the chance.

Lucy, what's it like to be part of Hollyoaks?

Lucy: It's fast-paced, long hours and hectic schedules but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being part of Hollyoaks as my character is very current. She's young and confident about life and her sexuality, and is a great role model for teens. On a personal note I have made some amazing friends, that I know I'll stay in touch with and will always look back on these years with fond memories as I can say I was part of British soap history.

Which famous person inspired you to follow your chosen career?

Nick: I have a lot of people who have inspired me in different ways. Arnold Schwarzenegger was and is a huge role model; he is the ultimate success story in my view. The American dream personified. As for wrestling, I watched Hulk Hogan when I was a kid and was captivated, now I get to work in the same company as him which is very cool.

Lucy: There wasn't necessarily one person for me but I remember being fascinated by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. She had it all; the looks, the voice, the talent and, for me, that presence.

Top tip to wannabe actor/actress?

Lucy: Have determination, confidence and good family and friends around you.

Nick: Have a thick skin. You have to take rejection and criticism.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter