Horsham panto offers home-town gig for Nicola Hume

Horsham panto this Christmas will be a home-town date for Nicola Hume who will be tackling three roles in Peter Pan.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:37 am
Nicola Hume

Mostly known for her presenting skills on the Heart FM breakfast show until earlier this year, Nicola will be treading the panto boards at the Capitol as Mrs Darling, Big Chief Chillaxin’ Cow and Ethel Mermaid.

Ethel Mermaid is the part she’s particularly looking forward to: “I have always wanted to be a mermaid. I always used to love Little Mermaid!”

This will be Nicola’s second year in panto at the Capitol: “I have done quite a lot of panto. I did one a couple of years ago in a lot smaller theatre. But I got in touch with Nick (general manager at the Capitol and the venue’s panto director) and I said that if he needed me for panto, I would love to do it. He asked if I would come to the Capitol for Sleeping Beauty last yearand now he has asked me to come back for Peter Pan. I didn’t even have to think about it. The answer was yes!

“I loved it last year. Every member of the cast became a friend. We just had such a great time together, and we really weren’t pretending to be getting along so well on stage. We all just clicked together instantly.”

And that was key to the success of the show: “I think people know if you aren’t getting on. And I just love it as part of Christmas, hearing the Christmas music, getting you into the mood and everyone feeling festive. We had one hell of a good time, and it is really really exciting for me to come back.”

Speaking at the panto launch in September, Nicola confessed it was hard to say too much about the parts she is going to play – given that she hadn’t seen the script. But it’s great to be finishing the year in panto, just as she started it, a year which sadly saw her days on the Heart FM breakfast show, with Tom, Jack and producer Brian, come to an end after “six wonderful years.”

“They had major cutbacks, and they have gone for the national breakfast show. They ended up shutting our whole building down. All the four regions are one big combined area now, and the breakfast show is now completely national.

“It was around 80 presenters that ended up losing their jobs. I was very upset at the time, but it is very good to be awake! We were told back in February and we came off in May. We were not allowed to talk about it until the last week of being on air, and so it was two and a half months of doing the show as if everything was fine while trying to think of other things.”

But since then, things have gone well. She regularly works with Whatcar magazine as their digital presenter. If there’s a new car that needs talking about, like a Kia, Vauxhall or MG, guarantee Nicola will the one on screen doing the talking.

This year she’s hosted numerous events, including at the Capitol where Nicola spent the evening on stage with author Peter James talking about his books and his career.

And Nicola is delighted no longer to be waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning: “It has been good. I have been having lots of meetings at the moment and prepping for what is going on. I am enjoying doing what I am doing.

“Tom, Jack and producer Brian were fantastic to work with, and I miss them every day. When you see someone every day, they become like family, so it was hard in that respect. But we still talk and meet up.”

Peter Pan is at Horsham’s Capitol from Friday, December 13-Sunday, January 5. Box office: 01403 750220 or www.thecapitolhorsham.com.

Peter Pan is played by Anthony Sahota; Mrs Darling/Big Chief Chillaxin’ Cow by Nicola Hume; Captain Hook/Mr Darling by Nicholas Collier; Mrs Smee by Hywel Dowsell; and Mini Smee by James Fletcher.