Widdecombe quick-steps in to save the show

Ann Widdecombe will replace Lorraine Chase in The Spa's panto
Ann Widdecombe will replace Lorraine Chase in The Spa's panto

Ann Widdecombe has stepped in to play the Wicked Queen in The Spa Bridlington's pantomime following an injury to Lorraine Chase.

Ann Widdecombe will feature in the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, starting on December 13 through the festive period.

MP for Maidstone between 1987 and 1997 and for Maidstone and the Weald between 1997 and 2010, she is more recently known for her explosive appearance on the BBC Saturday night favourite, Strictly Come Dancing. Her most memorable dance with partner Anton du Beke seeing here fired from a cannon.

After her stint on Strictly Come Dancing Widdecombe appeared in pantomime with Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood.

She played Widdy-in-Waiting to his Wicked Queen in Snow White at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford.

Away from show-business, she has been a novelist since 1999; her most recent book, The Dancing Detective, was published in 2014.

Ann will be accompanied on stage by returning co-stars Simon Grant, formally from CBBC and Joe Standerline, recently seen in Hollyoaks. The cast also includes additional co-star Asa Elliot from ITV’s Benidorm as the Prince.

Andrew Aldis, general manager of The Spa Bridlington, said, “With only two weeks to go until rehearsals were due to start it was pretty terrifying to hear of Lorraine Chase’s injury. We quickly learnt that she is expected to make a full recovery so our focus turned to recasting the role of the Wicked Queen.

“We are enormously grateful to Miss Widdecombe for changing her plans at the last minute to spend her Christmas with us in Bridlington. We loved her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing and we think the audience will enjoy seeing her in this somewhat darker role.

“We all send our love to Lorraine Chase and we hope to see her back on her feet soon. Who knows, we may see her in Bridlington at some point in the future.”

Tickets for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are available at www.TheSpaBridlington.com