'I couldn't give up Christmas panto,' says Alan Hughes
THERE will be plenty of nerves, but broadcaster Alan Hughes has said he could never give up the annual Cheerios Christmas panto.
The TV3 presenter is preparing for the official opening of Jack and the Beanstalk on stage at Dublin's Tivoli Theatre next week.
"There are definitely serious nerves, you can't avoid it on opening night," he said. "There's tension when the critics are in, or people in the business come along to see the show, and you want to impress your peers."
"I'll literally be walking out on to the stage with a zimmer frame before I give it up," Alan laughed.
"This is my 17th year consecutively doing panto -- I think I've knocked Twink off her perch now, but I'm going for Maureen Potter's crown," he said.
Alan and his partner Karl Broderick, who pens the pantos and is the co-producer, have just signed a deal to continue bringing us Christmas cheer for another three years. "It's fantastic for us and the panto cast are like our family, so we'll keep going with it for a good while yet."
With two performances every day for another six weeks, Alan and Karl will have a very short Christmas. They will have December 24 and 25 off.
"It is tough giving up your Christmas, especially when you're seeing everyone going off to parties and you're rehearsing; and I've missed the TV3 Christmas party for years now because I'm wrecked from it all.
"But it is worth it and we enjoy it. At least we get to do it together. It would be very different if Karl wasn't there as well."
Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Tivoli Theatre until January 12.