Gabriella and Ernie are the Bradford panto little and large show!

Gabriella Baglio and Little Ernie, the giant gorilla

Gabriella Baglio and Little Ernie, the giant gorilla

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

Being only three feet, 10 inches high makes Gabriella Baglio the smallest cast member in the Alhambra panto, Aladdin.

And at 19ft 8ins high, Little Ernie, the monster gorilla, is the tallest.

Seven-year-old Gabriella is one of the Sunbeams in the panto, and is small enough to fit into the hand of Ernie, who has been thrilling audiences on the Alhambra stage.

Little Ernie took seven months to make, by a team of 20 people. He’s so big he has to travel in two sections and his head takes five people to lift into position. The gigantic animatronics puppet has 20 motors inside his head, linked to radio-controlled transmitters making him blink, frown and snort. It takes seven puppeteers to operate Little Ernie.

Audiences are invited to throw foam bananas at the gorilla on stage, and more than 11,200 bananas have been delivered for the scene.

One group of children not frightened of Little Ernie are the Sunbeams who attend the Sara Packham School of Dance in Oxenhope and Keighley, which has provided youngsters for Alhambra pantomimes for 11 years.

Two teams of ten Sunbeams appear in alternate performances.

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