HE’S best known for performing in one of the UK’s most popular pop groups.
But now Ian Watkins – better known as ‘H’ from Steps – is preparing to grace the stage for a Christmas pantomime.
The former star of the pop band will feature in this year’s Beauty and the Beast at Ferneham Hall in Fareham.
He will play Potty Pierre, a character who works in the castle and will star alongside Steven Pinder, best known as Max Farnham, in Brookside, who will play Beauty’s dad.
Ian made his first visit to Fareham this week to announce the cast for the pantomime, which kicks off on Friday, December 9 and runs until New Year’s Day.
Since he left the band he has been performing on stage in the West End, including playing the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Speaking about the pantomime, he told The News: ‘I love the script, and the production and the company.
‘I love pantomimes and it’s great to be involved in one that is such a traditional family show.
‘I’ve got some different things planned next year.
‘But I just love theatre. It’s where my heart lies.’
Ian is currently involved in a documentary about a Steps reunion.
‘We’ve been friends for a long time now and it’s not the first time we’ve worked together since the split in 2001,’ he said.
Actor Steven Pinder was looking forward to getting on the stage, adding: ‘It’s hard work doing two or three shows a day, but you still enjoy it – that’s the most important thing.
‘I do have a family back home but I imagine they will come down and see it at some point.’
The show will also feature Chris Casserly, Zoe Nicole Adkins and Samantha Hughes who have all performed in panto before.
Tickets cost £15.75 for adults, £14.75 for over-60s and children or £56 for a family of four.
Visit the box office or fernehamhall.co.uk for more information.