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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Aladdin: Andy Day plays Abanazer

Andy Day as Abanazer

Get ready to boo and hiss, CBeebies' presenter Andy Day is pulling on his baddie cloak to play evil Abanazar in the CBeebies Christmas Pantomime.

Here he talks about his first panto experience and why his mum cooks the best Christmas dinner in the world.

What can CBeebies' viewers expect from this year's panto?

A great laugh, a Christmassy feel, amazing costumes and a fantastic set.

Tell us about your character.

Abanazar is the greedy one and all he wants is power. He just wants to get hold of the lamp so he can have his wishes and become the most powerful magician in the universe. So he uses Aladdin to get the lamp for him and attempts to take over the world. He's really not a very nice character.

Can you describe your outfit?

My costume is very big and very cloaky. It's dark, mysterious and greedy – a big symbol of my character.

What do you love about pantomime?

Panto caters for everyone – kids, adults and stuff for people who don't normally come to the theatre. There's a magical story there but it's very spontaneous and you never know what's going to happen next.

What is your first pantomime memory?

My first panto experience was playing the Genie in Aladdin at the age of 19. I had to come up from the stage on one of those hydraulic lifts so I had to wait in the pit for about 10 minutes and then come out to a sea of people – I was quite nervous!

Can you explain the magic appeal of panto?

I believe that panto originated in Italy and there were always the two sides – good and bad. And there's always a history behind it – there's always a love story and it covers all areas.

What are you doing for Christmas this year?

I'm going to be in panto in Mansfield but for Christmas Day I'll go back to my parent's home in Essex. And my mum makes THE most amazing Christmas dinner. She's from Belgium and she makes these amazing croquette potatoes, no one else in the world can make croquettes like my mum!

What is your best ever Christmas present?

When I was a kid I was given this robotic truck and you keyed in numbers and it had different codes for where the truck would go. But I never knew the codes so I'd just key in random numbers and see what would happen; it was brilliant!

Finally, what is your Christmas wish?

Ooh – I hope it snows on Christmas Day!

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