A former star of The Bill is returning to the Lichfield Garrick for the theatre’s Christmas panto.

Graham Cole
Graham Cole

Graham Cole OBE will play the evil Hemlock in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Although best known for his role as PC Tony Stamp in the ITV crime series, local audiences will also remember him as Scrooge from the 2011 panto A Christmas Carol.

Graham said: “I’m genuinely excited and delighted to be asked back to play the villain in Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m looking forward to working with the talented team at the Garrick again.

“My wife Cherry is also thrilled to be coming back to Lichfield, as we had such a lovely Christmas in the city last time we were here.

“The positive reaction from the Lichfield audiences to my role as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol has had a defining effect on me. I love playing the intimacy of the Garrick and once again I will have the chance to look children right in the eye and say ‘Boo me – if you dare’.”

Graham Cole as Scrooge
Graham Cole as Scrooge

The city theatre’s pantomime will be written and directed for the ninth successive year by Ian Adams, who will also star as the dame this year.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Graham is returning to the Garrick this Christmas. We had a terrific season in 2011 with him playing Scrooge and I’ve hoped ever since that there would be an opportunity to ask him back, so I’m delighted that he has agreed to play the Giant’s henchman Hemlock.

“He is a great pro and a wonderful ambassador for the theatre and I can’t wait to work with him again.”

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Lichfield Garrick from December 3 to January 3. Ticket prices start from £12.50 for children and £21.50 for adults. To book call 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.