teams up with Chico
By Ruth Lumley
Pop star and Quadrophenia
actress Toyah Willcox says she prefers performing
in panto to the Australian jungle.
The feisty Eighties pop
icon, who was a contestant on I'm A Celebrity!
Get Me Out Of Here, will star in Aladdin at the
Theatre Royal in Brighton this Christmas with
former male stripper and X Factor contestant
Toyah is a veteran when it
comes to pantomimes - this will be her 14th. She
is looking forward to working with Chico and
loves coming back to Brighton - this will be her
sixth pantomime at the Theatre Royal.
She said: "I am one
of the genies. Brighton's such a fabulous and
cultural place to be, it is going to be an
"I am addicted to
pantomime, it gets me through the winter and it
is also the only time you perform in front of
three generations of one family. It puts your
feet on the ground when you look out there.
"Panto is demanding,
it is never boring or tedious. Working with Chico
is going to be perfect.
"He has a magnetism
and is charismatic. He's generally wonderful to
watch and I think the audience is going to love
It will be the first time
Chico, a Moroccan goatherder who moved to Crawley
when he was 14, has performed in pantomine and he
is relishing the prospect of playing the lead
He said: "It is a
natural progression and there is going to be a
bit of Chico time' in there. My head is in the
clouds and my feet have not touched the ground. I
am riding a wave and I don't want it to stop.
What I love about panto is the audience
"I love children and
they love me. There will be a good crosssection
of families there."
The Theatre Royal is
celebrating its 200th birthday while the panto is
on. Chico never imagined he would be treading the
boards, let alone be the show's main
He said: "I had
dreamt about it but I never thought I would end
up doing it. But if you believe in it, it only
goes to show you can do it."
Aladdin runs from December
14 until January 14 and tickets cost £11.50 to
25th September 2006