Russell Grant is Strictly delighted to be at the Waterside (and he’s eager to try out Aylesbury’s restaurants too)

Russell Grant is having the time of his life preparing for his role as Roger the cabin boy in this year’s Waterside pantomime Peter Pan.

He began rehearsing with the cast last week and is preparing to spring lots of treats on the audience.

Rehearsal for the forthcoming Peter Pan panto at Aylesbury's Waterside Theatre starring Russell Grant - Pictured with Steve Serlin (playing Hook)

Rehearsal for the forthcoming Peter Pan panto at Aylesbury's Waterside Theatre starring Russell Grant - Pictured with Steve Serlin (playing Hook)

His Strictly Come Dancing partner Flavia Cacace is choreographing a routine for him, and he is also going to mingle with the audience to perform his soon to be released Christmas record, a cover of The Clapping Song.

In an exclusive interview with The Bucks Herald he said: “There is a part of the pantomime where I dance with the pirates, and when I told Flavia she said she’d put some steps together for me. It’ll be hilarious.

“I am hoping she will pop along to see the show after Strictly has finished. She’ll probably come between Christmas and New Year, but she won’t come up on to the stage. She’s quite shy.”

Russell will also be performing The Clapping Song, a record which was originally in the charts back in 1965.

The new release coincides with the opening of the pantomime and Russell hopes everyone will join in and sing along.

Since arriving in Aylesbury Russell has received lots of tweets recommending good places to eat.

He said: “I’m definitely trying the High Tide chippie and I love Greek food so I’ll be going to the Greek Taverna.”

Russell is now based in Aylesbury for the duration of the pantomime and will be making his astro videos for his website in the mornings before performing at The Waterside in the afternoons and evenings.

He received 15 pantomime offers this year but plumped for Aylesbury.

“This is the first time I’ve done Peter Pan,” he said.

“It’s a pantomime with a proper story, which is appealing. I also believe in the cause, that royalties go to Great Ormond Street Hospital; and First Family Entertainment , who are putting on the show, have great production values.

“I also believe that Christmas is a time for families and being in Aylesbury will mean I am close to my family, and I will see both my mum and my dad on Christmas Day for the first time in many years.

“My mum is coming to stay with my niece in Hemel Hempstead. So I will be able to spend Christmas morning with my mum, brother and niece and then I can spend Christmas evening with my dad and stepmother in Uxbridge.”

Russell confessed he had not seen the Waterside Theatre prior to taking on his latest panto role, but has since been blown away by the £47m building.

“It is absolutely stunning and I am very excited about performing there,” he said.