The Alhambra theatre has been temporarily turned into a studio for the filming of a £150,000 CBeebies television show due to be screened this Easter.

The Ugly Duckling, a re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen fable, features CBeebies star Ben Faulks – Mr Bloom – Northern Ballet dancers and schoolchildren.

“It’s exciting using a stage setting, working with ballet dancers to bring ballet into kids’ TV,” said Ben between takes on stage, against a vast back-projection of a sunny river scene.

Filming started yesterday and continues today.

Executive producer Tony Reed was much taken with the Alhambra.

He said: “The theatre has been brilliant, they’ve really welcomed us and been very good, so I suspect we will be back.

“Rather than use a voice- over to explain the story we thought it would be better to use children as a kind of chorus. Ben feeds the storyline to them and they react.”

One little boy was so excited by the sight of the dancers dressed up as ducks waddling elegantly across stage that he kept running off to follow them and had to be called back.

Producer Angela Young was evidently delighted with the spontaneity of the children, who go to Newby Primary School, Green Lane Primary, St Barnabus Primary and Westminster CE Primary.