‘Rickyyy’ the heir to Jimmy’s fairytale throne

Sid Owen swaps Bianca for Snow White this winter
Sid Owen swaps Bianca for Snow White this winter

LAST year Hastings was flooded with Jimmy-mania at panto time - this year it will be awash with Ricky Fever.

Sid Owen - most famous for his role as loveable loser Ricky Butcher in the long-running BBC soap Eastenders - will be the star of the show at this year’s pantomime.

The White Rock Theatre confirmed this week that the actor will follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Osmond who headed the bill last time round.

Owen, who has won an army of fans with his on-off TV antics with Patsy Palmer’s ginger haired Bianca, will play the Prince in the seafront venue’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And, just as Osmond brought an army of fans to 1066 Country, staff at the White Rock Theatre are hopeful their Eastender can provide a similar boost.

David Sismore, the theatre’s marketing manager, was delighted with the booking. He said: “We are thrilled that Sid will be joining us for us for Christmas this year.

“Snow White is a wonderful pantomime story, and Sid will be a really popular Prince.”

Although best known for playing Albert Square’s henpecked husband, Owen has a host of strings to his bow.

He appeared in the 1985 film Revolution alongside screen legends Al Pacino and Donald Sutherland and more recently battled TV nice guy Ben Fogle in a celebrity boxing match for Sport Relief.

In 2005 he finished third in I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and two years later released his own cookbook, Life on a Plate: The Journey of an Unlikely Chef.

Owen follows in the footsteps of other former Eastenders Leslie Grantham, Dean Gaffney and Michelle Gayle, as well as S Club 7’s Jon Lee, Neighbours’s Ian Smith and Home and Away’s Michelle Hardwick.

Snow White will be staged by the same team behind last year’s critically acclaimed Cinderella and tickets are on sale now direct from the venue.