CHRISTMAS may still be six weeks away but former Emmerdale star Kelsey-Beth Crossley is already getting into the festive spirit.
“I’m mopping my kitchen floor with Christmas songs playing in the background,” laughs the actress, who played Scarlett Nicholls in the soap.
“My Christmas has already started. When it’s Christmas for everyone else I’ll be celebrating New Year!”
The 19-year-old – who says she has stocked up on festive pyjamas – is about to swap the Yorkshire Dales for New Brighton to play Aladdin in the pantomime of the same name at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion Theatre.
Completing the cast are Balmory’s PC Plum, Andrew Agnew as Wishee Washee, former Brooksider Dean Sullivan as wicked wizard Abanazar, Nickelodeon’s Helena Dowling as the magical genie and Anthony Williams as the Dame.
It will be Kelsey-Beth’s first panto role – and she says she can’t wait to get started.
“I had a costume fitting yesterday,” she reveals.
“It’s lovely – but it’s really short!
“Everyone always raves about panto and says how much fun you have so I rang my agent and asked if she could get me a panto.
“It’ll be my first Christmas away from home. We start rehearsals in two weeks and I’m really excited about meeting the rest of the cast.”
Kelsey-Beth grew up in Blackpool and began her showbiz career at the tender age of eight, when she won the part of Eva Lawrence in Her Benny at the Liverpool Empire.
She went on to win various talent shows including reaching the finals of the Talented Youngster of the Year competition at Manchester United.
With both of her parents working as talent agents, showbusiness runs in her blood – but she admits there’s one skill she’s yet to master.
“I can’t dance to save my life!” she said. “I sing and play piano but from day one I’ve never been a dancer. My mum tried me in every dance school possible.
“At school I was never academic. I was always being told off for talking in the classroom.
“I was always like, ‘I want to sing, I want to play the piano’. I nagged and nagged!
“My mum and dad have always been really supportive but at the same time they know how hard the business is.
“They were like ‘if you choose that you’re going to have to work hard for it’ so they’ve pushed me but in a good way.”
Kelsey-Beth spent four and a half years in Emmerdale playing Scarlett, the daughter of Tom King and Carrie Nicholls (Linda Lusardi).
She left this summer in a storyline which saw her character jetting off to Mexico.
She said: “Everyone was so lovely to work with and Linda Lusardi is brilliant.
“She’s such a funny woman and she taught me a few naughty words when I was younger! We had a really good time working together.
“I had some great storylines but there’s a time that you need to move on and do other things.”
l Performances of Aladdin are from December 10 to January 2. Tickets are £11 - £16.50, with special offers for families and groups. Call the box office on 666 0000 or buy online at www.floralpavilion.com