SLEEPING Beauty pantomime star Andrew Lancel is being replaced by a girl.
The 42-year-old actor announced yesterday he was stepping down from the ECHO arena’s inaugural Christmas show to fight allegations of historical child sex offences.
He was due to play the wicked wizard Carabose in the show, which opens in a 3,000-seat heated big top next to the arena next week.
Now actress Charlotte Milchard will step into the role, playing the wicked FAIRY Carabose instead.
The Italia Conti and TVI Actors Studio in New York-trained actress has played the role in panto several times before, including the 2008 production of Sleeping Beauty at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.
Today she said: “I’m thrilled to be coming back and really looking forward to meeting the Liverpool audience. I’ll welcome as many boos as possible, and can’t wait to wish everyone a wickedly Merry Christmas!”
Charlotte appears alongside Bread star Jonathon Morris, Gemma Brodrick, and children’s TV favourite Fifi Forget-Me-Not.
Director David Lee said: "I’m so pleased we’ve engaged Charlotte in this most pivotal role. I predict this girl is destined for global stardom, and we're so lucky she has returned from Hollywood to visit her folks over Christmas, and can jump into the role at such short notice.
“I'm confident audiences will agree her performance will be deliciously wicked.”
Sleeping Beauty opens next Friday and runs until January 6.