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TV favourite looking forward to panto

PUBLISHED: 15:39 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 05 July 2010

HE'S a focal point on children's television and they love nothing better than seeing him with a cheeky pie on his face.

But this Christmas television favourite Jamie Rickers is planning to balance his presenting role on CITV show Toonattik with an equally comic role as Smee in Peter Pan at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre.

HE'S a focal point on children's television and they love nothing better than seeing him with a cheeky pie on his face.

But this Christmas television favourite Jamie Rickers is planning to balance his presenting role on CITV show Toonattik with an equally comic role as Smee in Peter Pan at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre.

The 31-year-old is one of the stars gracing the stage over the festive period and although he will only have a day off between now and January, he isn't complaining,

“Panto is great. When you're on television, its lights, camera, action and it's such a technical procedure, but it's completely different with a live audience.

“It's the first time I've worked with UK Productions (who are putting on the panto), but Anna, my co-presenter on Toonattik, has worked with them before so I'm really looking forward to it.

“Smee is a good character and because I'm a children's presenter I get given roles like Wishy Washy and Buttons. I don't think they would want to give me the part of the pantomime dame,” he laughed.

As well as producing and presenting Toonattik, Jamie has a whole raft of experience in television.

After leaving school at 16 he joined the Colchester Institute School of Music and Drama and studied for his music foundation A-level, also getting a BA honours music degree.

He started his route in television working as a programme runner for LWT and has worked as a researcher and celebrity booker on Michael Barrymore's My Kind of People, An Audience with the Spice Girls, and many others.

He joined GMTV in 2000 and produced and presented the Sunday children's show Up On The Roof, until it was relaunched as Toonattik.

Now he has a following of millions of four to nine-year-olds across the UK every Saturday and Sunday, who regard the show as an integral part of their weekend.

Jamie said he had ideas of going into television at around the same age as his audience.

During Peter Pan, which begins on December 11, Jamie plans to bring his fiancée and two-year-old son to see him perform, as well as his parents.

“I've still got television shows to do, but we're going to pre record episodes through to November so they can release me for panto.

“I've seen the script and there are certain things I want to be able to do within it to make it special for the audience in Lowestoft.”

The panto is being staged from December 11 to January 4. To book tickets telephone 01502 533200.

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