TONIGHT the curtain rises on this year’s Alhambra pantomime - which sees Bradford’s beloved Billy Pearce return to the theatre for a 21st time.

Billy appears with funnyman Paul Chuckle and Steps star Faye Tozer in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, featuring jaw-dropping special effects as well as the traditional laughs and singalong fun of panto.

Yorkshire’s biggest panto, the Qdos-produced show runs at the Alhambra from today until January 26.

Billy told the T&A that returning to the Alhambra “feels like coming home”.

“It’s my favourite place - the staff are wonderful and for panto, this theatre is first division,” he added.

“Panto for me is the energy from the audience; the families and children. When I meet kids they just want me to do the ‘Don’t touch the box...’ routine. That’s what they remember most. You need special effects, because theatre is modern and sophisticated, but you also need the gags and slapstick.

“One thing I love about my job is trying to make people happy.

“I don’t think there’s anything better than that.”