EASTENDERS star Anita Dobson has been revealed as a headline act for the first ever pantomime at the Brighton Centre.

Known for playing Angie Watts in the hit BBC soap, Anita will be playing the villain Abanazar in Aladdin, being staged at the seafront venue from December.

She will be joined by children’s TV star Carl Tracey - who will be playing Aladdin - BBC Sussex breakfast presenter Allison Ferns and girl group The Sundaes.

David Hill, producer for Brighton production company E3 Events, said it was great to have such a big household name in this year’s show.

He said: “We couldn’t be more excited and we are absolutely thrilled to have Anita star in our panto.

“We now have some great names in place, and judging by the amount of tickets we’ve sold already, we are confident it will be a sell-out.”

As well as starring in the soap drama alongside "Dirty Den", played by Leslie Grantham, Anita has also starred in musicals in the West End, including Wicked, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof and Chicago.

Anita’s husband, Queen rockstar Brian May, will be one of those attending to support her.

David added that, following a difficult period due to the pandemic, the city needs such an event to liven spirits.

He said: “Brighton - and Sussex - deserves the very best Christmas family panto after all the turmoil of the last two years. We are going to deliver just that.”

The show will be the first of its kind at the seafront venue, with previous pantomimes in the city being held at the Brighton Metropole hotel.

David said he expects the show to be a success at the bigger venue, and said: “I can’t think of a better venue for this year’s panto.”

Ten shows will be taking place over the Christmas period between December 22 and 27, with three on Christmas Eve.

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