A DANCING superstar waltzed her way into Blackburn today for the launch of the town’s pantomime – oh, yes she did!

Strictly Come Dancing favourite Katya Jones will play the evil witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at King George’s Hall.

Katya, who was on her first visit to Blackburn, said she was keen to show off her ‘local accent’ after listening to current Strictly contestant ­— Blackburn’s AJ Odudo.

She told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I have been to Blackpool many times for Strictly. I am really excited to be here in Blackburn in this beautiful hall and I am looking forward to seeing all the Blackburn people.

“I adore this tradition (the pantomime). I feel like I really get it. I played a positive character before as the good witch. This year I play the evil witch – please do boo as much as you can. I love panto and everything it stands for. We know the festive season is with us when panto starts.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 32-year-old said she is delighted to be performing live for families again.

She said: “After such a long break with Covid and everything - to bring this back to theatres for families to enjoy, is really a big thing. It is more than just entertainment. It is hope and joy.

“There is nothing like coming on stage and to see people’s faces light up. Kids smiling. That is what I live for. Getting booed for the first time is going to be interesting.”

Katya revealed she will be dancing and singing during the performance when she joins the cast on December 19 after the final of Strictly Come Dancing.

This year saw her paired up with Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty but the duo were eliminated in week seven.

Katya started dancing at the young age of six, training in gymnastics, as well as ballroom and Latin-American dancing. She joined the cast of Strictly Come Dancing as one of the professional dancers in 2016.

She admitted this year had been really hard for all the competitors and praised AJ for her performances and attitude throughout the process.

She said: “AJ is one of those people who is a non-dancer but fully embraces every single week and works so hard. She demonstrates anything is possible to become a dancer in the space of three days.

“I just love her personality. She is so open and the positive energy is shining from her.

“I think this year is the worst year to be doing it as the competition is so strong. When you look at the leader board every week it changes. It is so unpredictable. I can’t call it. That’s what makes it so exciting.”

The main role of Snow White will be played by Blackburn’s own Chloe Carrington.

Chloe, 27, grew up in Wilpshire and attended Salesbury Primary School and now lives in Great Harwood.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Chloe Carrington who plays Snow White (LT)

When she was a child, Chloe used to come to the pantomime every year at King George’s Hall and said it inspired her to go into the performing arts.

She said: “It’s amazing! I absolutely love coming home and getting to do panto at Christmas.

“I must have been about six-years-old when I was here watching the panto when I said maybe I want to do performing.

“I ended up pursuing it and going ahead and now I get to be back where it all started.”

The Blackburn-raised performer has been in productions worldwide including Moulin Rouge at the Secret Theatre in London, Maggie May on the Finborough stage in the West End and was also in the Jersey Boys world tour.

Due to the pandemic, she has not been on the stage for months but is excited that theatre is finally back.

Chloe added: “I have had two years without being on the stage.

“Being back inside a cosy theatre, being in the dressing room and feeling the buzz.

“The buzz is always great in a lead up to a show but this year it’s even more.

“Now is such a busy time to be a performer – it’s just amazing to be back; I can’t contain the excitement.”

Steve Boyce will be playing Dame Dolly and Charlie Guest as Muddles to bring comedy and fun to the stage.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Steve has visited the county before, featuring in the Aladdin pantomime in Colne as Widow Twankey.

Steve, 39 from Hull said: “We are going to be bringing pivotal plot points – and if you believe that you will believe anything!

“We will be providing comic relief and nothing that we do is in any way important to the plot but we are very funny.”

With co-star Charlie quipping: “And sometimes we might even follow the script!

“We will bring loads of songs; loads of gunge and slosh and things flying around the stage and lots of falling over.”

The pantomime will be in Blackburn from December 6 until December 31 (Katya Jones will only appear in performances from December 19). Book tickets at bwdvenues.co.uk or by calling the hall on 01254 582579