TV stars excited by stage return

The cast of the Cbeebies Christmas Carol go through a dress rehearsal at the Crucible
The cast of the Cbeebies Christmas Carol go through a dress rehearsal at the Crucible
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Stars of children’s TV channel CBeebies have promised a show to remember when they take to the stage of Sheffield.

The BBC channel is bringing its Christmas show to the Crucible, with performances today and tomorrow being recorded to be screened over the festive period.

Phil Gallagher, who plays Mister Maker on the channel, said he was delighted to be back in Sheffield after performing in the CBeebies Live show at the Motorpoint Arena last year.

And the keen sports fan admitted it was a thrill to follow in the steps of snooker stars by walking out at the Crucible.

He said: “I love Sheffield. It’s a fantastic city. As well as snooker, I’m a big football fan and I’ve been to Bramall Lane a few times watching Gillingham against Sheffield United.”

And Phil said he was thrilled to be part of the Christmas production.

He said: “It’s absolutely amazing, so exciting to be part of it.

“This year is going to be the best yet. It will have a lot the audience will expect, CBeebies characters, lots of jokes and lots of singing, but this year it’s a musical, so it’s so much better.

“I think the audience are going to love it.”

Other CBeebies favourites appearing on stage include Andy Day as Scrooge and Chris Jarvis and Rebecca Wheatley as Bob Cratchit and his wife.

Playing the Cratchit children are two youngsters from Sheffield.

Seven-year-old Benedict Meleady-Hemme, who plays Tiny Tim, said “It’s brilliant, really exciting.”

Playing his older sister is eight-year-old Daisy Sequerra, a stage veteran having appeared at the neighbouring Lyceum in Annie in 2011 and Cinderella last Christmas.

Daisy said: “It’s really good because everyone is really friendly, even if they’re not in a scene with you.”

Proud mum Sally, aged 38, a civil servant, said: “It’s fantastic, the show is really good, really funny.”

Free tickets for the recordings today and tomorrow have all been allocated.

However, families are invited to a CBeebies winter wonderland outside the Crucible, where they can see the show on a big screen.

There will also be appearances by the channel’s stars, as well as family-friendly activities daily until Sunday.