A TELEVISION personality is the latest star to be announced for the cast of Aladdin in Poole this Christmas.

Melinda Messenger, currently starring in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, is set to play the Spirit of the Ring in the show at Lighthouse.

She said: “She is there to help balance the Genie out and give him a bit of guidance in the right direction.

“I'm really looking forward to coming to Poole.

“I used to come down quite frequently with my friends in my late teens/early 20s when we first learned to drive. The Harbour and Sandbanks beach - that used to be our favourite place to go.”

She got the part after speaking to writer-director Chris Jarvis, at the suggestion of Ionica Adriana, who is set to play Princess Jasmine.

“It was so lovely the way it all came together. Ionica is awesome and she and I have worked together in pantomime before and had a really lovely time,” said the former Cowboy Builders presenter and model.

“She put me in touch with Chris and the way he spoke about it all and described how things work at Lighthouse and how the show is constructed and the ethos and the values of panto, it sounds really lovely. It's all the things that align with how I like to see it.

“I can't wait to start work.”

Melinda currently works as an integrative psychotherapist after retraining since reducing her regular TV work.

“It is a total change of pace, but I like to keep a balance in life and this is very different to my other work,” she said.

“I hear there's a really good atmosphere in Poole for panto, which is so important. If the cast and crew are having a good time that energy translates to the audience and they pick it up.”

Tim Colegate, head of programming at Lighthouse, added: “We are so happy that Melinda is coming to spend Christmas with us in Poole this year. She’ll certainly bring glamour and fun in equal measure, and I know that as our magical Spirit of the Ring she will make sure our audiences have the best possible time at the show.”

The show is written and directed by CBeebies star Chris Jarvis, who will also play Widow Twankey.

Aladdin opens on Thursday, December 7 and runs until New Year’s Eve. Tickets are available on the Lighthouse website.