It is going to be a busy time of year for Eastenders actress Samantha Womack.
Not only is she leaving the soap after two spells over a ten year period., she’ll be unleashing her villainous side at Milton Keynes Theatre.
She plays Queen Rat in the pantomime Dick Whittington alongside X Factor contestant Stacey Solomon running from Thursday December 8 to Sunday January 15.
Describing her character, Samantha said: “She is very ratty, part of the monarchy and she wants to get in the way of Dick Whittington and Alize Fitzwarren romance and ruin his fortune.
“She’s a really nice character as you can tell and my intention is to scare as many children as possible.
“I’ve never done a baddie before, I like the idea of being a baddie and they look like having such a good time.
“I suspect there will be a lot of sarcastic comments and picking on one or two people in the front row and making children cry.”
And while she might be relishing the opportunity of upsetting children, it was one child’s heartbreak that led her to return to pantomime.
Samantha said: “I didn’t do one last year which was really upsetting for my 11-year-old daughter as we’ve done them together. She’s my assistant and appeared on stage. She was devestated when I didn’t do one last year but she is back on track.”
But she did say she wouldn’t be singing her Eurovision song, A Message To Your Heart, as she said it will scare children too much
Samantha did say that doing pantomime will be a doddle compared to the job that she has just finished.
She said: “If you are filming something like Eastenders, you can be working 15/16 hours days and then you get back in the evening and have to learn 30 scenes for the next day’s filming.
“I look back at every job I do though with fondness and when you are playing a part for so long, it becomes an important part of who you are.
“It is upsetting to leave but that is the nature of the business.”
If one part has upset her daughter, another past role is having an all together entirely different impact.
Talking about her role in Game On, she said: “My son watches that show now, it is a little bit awkward but he loves it. Mandy was a bit loose, and that’s his mum but he thinks it was a funny series.
“You can go back to it now and it still stands the test of time. Everyone always remembers than Men Behaving Badly and it was a bit ruder than that. We had to be a bit more mainstream when we were on BBC One but while we were on BBC Two we could be as rude as we would want.”
Tickets for the pantomime can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 871 7652 or by visiting www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes for more details.