An international singing star has started learning Doric as he prepares for a leading role in the Christmas panto at His Majesty’s Theatre.
Jimmy Osmond, the youngest member of renowned 1970s band The Osmonds, has signed-up to star in this year’s pantomime, Aladdin, when he will take on the role of the show’s villain, Abanazar.
Jimmy is celebrating his 50th year in showbusiness and said he is looking forward to perfecting his Doric for the show – the 10th Aladdin production to grace the HMT stage.
He said: “I’m trying to learn Doric right now, and I’ve been asking the locals to teach me a couple of words. ‘Fit like’ seems to be very popular.
“What I love about pantomimes is that they include the community, so when people come to the show they feel immediate comfort and connection.
“I’m hoping my Doric will add to this.”
It will be Jimmy’s first Christmas in Scotland, and he is looking forward to celebrating the festive season in Aberdeen.
He said: “I’m looking forward to becoming part of the legacy of this wonderful theatre.
“I have the most supportive wife and kids. They love coming along to create memories and I’m thrilled to have a unique, fun experience here.”
And he is also looking forward to spending some time on the golf course.
It’s anticipated that more than 60,000 theatregoers will be booing and hissing Jimmy’s stage villain during the run of what will be his sixth pantomime.
He said: “I’ve done Aladdin before but I was a different character.
“I started being a villain and it was so fun, I really throw myself into the character.
“I only wanted to play the villain. I still perform a lot, and to have a role like this to come back to is brilliant.
“I understand pantomime. I grew up in that old Hollywood way and we did a lot of variety television and slapstick comedy. I love it when audiences boo.
“I like what panto does for the people that come.
” I learned a long time ago that showbusiness is all about the people. I give every show my all.”
During his long career Jimmy has starred alongside some of the world’s greatest performers.
This year will see him share the stage with BBC’s River City star Jordan Young who plays Aladdin, and Alan McHugh who has written the Aberdeen HMT pantomimes for the past 13 years, and also stars as Widow Twankey.
Jimmy said: “I’m thrilled to finally meet Alan. He writes all of the pantomimes and he’s written for me before, so he knows what I can and can’t do.
“It’s great to be working with him on one of the 35 shows he’s written this year.”
Jimmy is thrilled some of his famous songs will make it into the show. He said: “I’ve had so much fun changing Crazy Horses, Love Me For A Reason and Long Haired Lover From Liverpool.
“It’s great fun how you can localise them to the area.
“No matter where we go, The Osmonds have Scottish fans so I’m hoping they come to see the show.”
This year’s production is again by Qdos Entertainment – the world’s biggest pantomime producer.
Jimmy said: “It’s about the legacy of this theatre and Qdos as they put everything into it.
“You can always expect fantastic costumes, amazing sets, an incredible cast, and a cleverly written script. It will be great, this is the big one that’s so well known.”
The Christmas pantomime will run from Saturday, December 2, until Sunday, January 7, meaning there’s plenty time for fans to jump onboard and take a ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet.