Vicki remains so positive despite missing her panto
Let's Talk|December 2020
For actress Vicki Michelle, Christmas usually means performing in panto. But, due the coronavirus pandemic, this year will be different. Vicki speaks to Rachel Banham about her plans for the festive season, her outlook on life and her fond memories of filming in East Anglia.
Rachel Banham

A CHAT WITH VICKI MICHELLE MBE is a tonic and just what we all need towards the end of this unprecedented year. Her positivity is infectious and it’s hard to imagine anything getting her down.

Still familiar to many of us as waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche in the award-winning BBC TV series ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Vicki completed her 30th panto season last year, playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs at the Grand Opera House in York.

But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, pantomimes across the country have been postponed and Vicki feels for everyone involved – those who are usually on the stage, those who work so hard backstage and, of course, the audiences.

“It’s so sad because kids look forward to it every year,” she says.

“It’s a family tradition. As much as the kids enjoy it, you see the grandparents and the parents looking at the children’s faces. They’re looking at them enjoying it and they get so much enjoyment from that.

“It’s so sad for the public, because I think a lot of people across the country look forward to panto. I’m going to miss it. And there will only be three days of Christmas.”

In addition to her work in TV and film, Vicki has had an extensive career in various productions in the theatre. And pantomimes have long been a big part of her life.

“I’ve done one every year for those 30. I think the only time I didn’t do one was when I was in I’m A Celebrity when I was in the jungle,” she says.

“I just love panto. I love doing it. It’s like celebrating Christmas for a much longer time.

“I always feel like with Christmas, you build up to it and it’s over in about three days, whereas I’m celebrating Christmas all over the season.”

Vicki explains that one of the most enjoyable aspects of performing in panto is watching the faces of the children in the audience.

“They believe you, they interact with you,” she says.

“I think that sometimes it’s the first introduction to theatre for children, so it’s wonderful to see them looking at what they think is magical and inspiring them to come to the theatre in the future.

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