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From Calendar Girls to panto: Kelly Brook camps it up to play Sleeping Beauty in Paul O'Grady's panto

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

She may be busy starring in the West End production of Calendar Girls, but Kelly Brook still found time to star in a pantomime.
The 30-year-old was given the leading role in Paul O'Grady's annual panto Sleeping Beauty last night.
Dressed in a medieval yellow and orange costume with renaissance curls piled on top of her head, Kelly put on a suitably camp performance as she joined a host of stars in the entertaining show.
Kelly has currently being performing six nights a week in West End Calendar Girls alongside Hannah Waterman and Jan Leeming.
But she managed to find time in her schedule to rehearse for the colourful production of Sleeping Beauty on the popular Channe 4 chat show.
After sleeping for a hundred years after being pricked by a spinning needle, Sleeping Beauty is finally roused from her bed by Prince Charming, played by I'm A Celebrity heart-throb Stuart Manning.
The production also starred Loose Women presenter Denise Welch and EastEnders villain Larry Lamb as Sleeping Beauty's parents and Stephen Fry as The Narrator.
Getting into the panto spirit by dressing in drag was comedian Johnny Vegas, who joined Jo Brand and Lisa Maxwell as the three fairy godmothers.
The panto also featured a tap-dancing cameo from Lionel Blair and panto legend Jeanette Krankie as the Nanny.
Coincidentally, Celia Imrie, who played the Wicked Fairy in last night's panto, played Brook's Calendar Girls character Celia in the film version of the play.
O'Grady's annual pantomime has been a regular Christmas staple of his Channel 4 chat show for five years.
While he has cast a host of friends, including Cilla Black and Joan Collins in past productions, the only permanent castmember is comedienne
As he prepares for his chat show to bow out this year on Friday, O'Grady decided to organise his panto one final time.
O'Grady announced in October he would be ending the show after Channel 4 bosses told him they wanted to cut the estimated £14.3milllion budget by 60 per cent.
He said at the time: 'It is likely to go at the end of the year. We can't make it on that budget – it would just be me and the dog.
'We'd have to be in a tiny studio, with not more than 30 in the audience, and we wouldn't be able to attract the kind of guests we get now. I can't believe they want to kill it off, but after six years, perhaps I have to move on. It is such a shame.'


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