A SOMERSET theatre is to host what it calls a "socially distanced" pantomime this Christmas season - and has announced a TV star in a starring role.

The Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare has announced that this year's performance of Sleeping Beauty will have a significantly reduced capacity.

Panto fans are, therefore, encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.

And the theatre has also confirmed Derek Moran, from children's TV show Milkshake, is to appear in the production, which runs from December 12, 2020, to January 3, 2021.

Moran started his training in the performing arts from a young age in Dublin, and from the age of 16 he enjoyed great success with Irish boy band D-Side, scoring three Top 10 singles in the UK.

He has now been one of the main presenters of leading children's TV show Milkshake on Channel 5 for 14 years, but is delighted to be spending this Christmas season in Somerset.

Mark Thompson, general manager of the Playhouse, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have Derek Moran in our cast this year.

"I’ve been lucky enough to watch Derek’s career over the last 15 years, and he’s a super talented performer who will bring something really special to this year’s socially distanced performance!

"Tickets are selling quickly and unfortunately social distancing restrictions means we can’t offer all that attend usually the opportunity to do so."

Tickets for Sleeping Beauty are priced at £20, and can be booked via the Playhouse website.