Strictly star follows champion partner into panto

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton
Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton won Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 [BBC]

A star of Strictly Come Dancing is set to take the stage in panto at the same theatre her champion partner appeared at last year.

Joanne Clifton lifted the glitterball trophy in 2016 alongside TV presenter Ore Oduba.

She will lead of the cast of Cinderella at Northampton's Derngate Theatre, where Oduba starred last year in Snow White.

Clifton said the fairy godmother is "one of my favourite roles" having played it twice before.

CBeebies presenter Andy Day will also appear in the show which will run through December.

Speaking to BBC Radio Northampton, Clifton said Cinderella was "the first time panto I ever did".

She said: "There is a moment in it where I, as fairy godmother, look out and I say to the kids when we get getting Cinderella ready to go to to ball, 'you really have to believe and say after me, I wish, I wish, I wish,' and that's the moment I fell in love with panto.

"Because I looked out and I saw these kids proper wishing and believing and then making the magic happen, so I've got it tattooed on my arm... 'I wish, I wish, I wish'."

Joanne Clifton and Ore Oduba on Strictly Come Dancing
Joanne Clifton said he regularly talks to Ore Oduba and spoke about panto in Northampton [BBC]

She said she recently spoke to Oduba and said: "He's told me how great [Northampton] is."

Clifton, 40, left Strictly after winning show to pursue a career in musical theatre.

She has appeared in shows including The Addams Family, The Rocky Horror Show, and Flashdance.

"I did want to do musicals as a kid but I concentrated more on my dancing and then dancing took over," she said.

Clifton said after doing classic musicals, like Top Hat, she took on "more quirky" roles such as currently touring as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical.

She said her career had "gone in a direction that I didn't think it would go".

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