Almost thirty years since he first popped up our screens on talent show New Faces, and following six Royal Variety performances and reality TV success, Joe Pasquale remains one of the nation’s favourite family-friendly entertainers.

This Christmas the 55-year-old comedian will star as Muddles the court jester in the Orchard Theatre’s pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Essex boy Joe, who lives in north Kent, told us he is excited about performing close to home.

He said: “I am very much looking forward to it because it’s Dartford. I live Dartford. I like going shopping in Dartford.”

The 2004 King of the I’m a Celebrity jungle added: “What’s important for me, it sounds a bit strange this, but it is the first experience kids get of seeing live theatre. You get a kid enjoying the theatre at five, six years old they’re a theatregoer all their life. And I think it is important.

“If you go into a theatre you can interact with people on a stage rather than the video screen that everyone seems to be growing up with.”

While most of his year is spent on the stage performing his stand-up or in more conventional theatre – recent roles include Spamalot in the West End and on tour and playing Sherlock Holmes – Joe loves returning to panto.

He said: “It is still a discipline but it is a different sort of discipline. Thankfully with my role in a panto I can throw the script out of the window, which I do on a daily basis. It is worth coming to see because I don’t know what I’m doing at the best of times.

He added: “If you are doing a straight play normally you are directed – you move there, you say that there – but with panto they let me have my head and I enjoy that.”

In some respects it is a wonder that Joe has stuck at pantomime for so long considering a nasty incident that occurred in one of his first.

“I was doing a touring panto about 30 years ago and the scenery fell on my head and knocked me out. I said ‘oh look, the sky’s falling in’ and it actually did. It fell on my head and knocked me out.

“I was unconscious for about 30 seconds. I came to and everybody was throwing me sweets: ‘give him sweets, that’ll wake him up’.”

Since then Joe has performed regularly in the festive shows, including nine years as Smee opposite EastEnders icon Leslie Grantham’s Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Remarkably, however, this is the first time he will appear in Sleepy Beauty – and the production probably has a few other firsts for the star too.

“I have never done Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ever before so I am looking forward to it. I have never seen the dwarfs because they have got some kind of special effect, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what that means.

“Also we have got 3D in it, we have got monsters, we have Ceri Dupree – the best dame in the business.”

Joe Pasquale stars in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, from December 10 to 31. Go to

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