It’s a fairytale launch for this year's Bradford Alhambra pantomime (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Cinderella stars Billy Pearce, Lynda Bellingham and Brendan Sheerin arrive in horse-drawn glass carriage for official launch of magical show
Bradford’s favourite funnyman Billy Pearce, actress and Loose Women panelist Lynda Bellingham and Brendan Sheerin, the presenter of Channel 4’s Coach Trip, arrived in a glass horse-drawn carriage to the glittering unveiling of the panto, Cinderella.
Fake snow fell on to a red carpet at City Park as guests including the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith , turned out for the fairytale event.
Executive producer Michael Harrison revealed the “wow factor” in this year’s panto will include Billy on a flying motorbike. The special effects are being created by the team behind the giant animatronic smoke-breathing dragon in last year’s panto, Robin Hood.
Cinderella will be Billy’s 14th Alhambra panto. “It’s wonderful to be back in Bradford, it feels like coming home,” he said. “It can be like the Big Brother house rehearsing for 10 hours a day, then spending all that time together in the theatre, so it’s important to have a good team - and we have a great team this year.”
Miss Bellingham, who plays the Fairy Godmother, said she was delighted to arrive via the mirror pool. “When I was last here, in Calendar Girls in January, it hadn’t been finished so it’s wonderful to see it now. It looks beautiful,” she said. “The Alhambra has a huge panto tradition, it’s a special theatre.”
Mr Sheerin, playing Baron Hardup, is a former manager of Scarborough’s Spa theatre but is best known as the host of TV’s Coach Trip. The reality show sees passengers driven across Europe, voting each other off along the way.
“I’ve never taken a coach trip quite like this before,” he said. “I’ve done a couple of pantomimes but Bradford’s is the biggie. I’m thrilled to be working alongside Billy, he’s a panto legend.”