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Peter Panto Jake Carter gears up for Peter Pan role in Ireland's first drive-in panto

Jake Carter leaves his green tights behind at the theatre as Ireland's first ever big-screen pantomime gears up for Christmas audiences

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Jake as Peter Pan

Jake as Peter Pan

Jake as Peter Pan

Singer Jake Carter is set to fly on to the big screen as Peter Pan in Ireland's first drive-in panto.

But he joked that he wasn't Hooked on the forever young character's famous green tights.

"I haven't actually brought them home with me," laughs Jake. "I left them in the theatre.

"I don't think it's something that I would wear off stage, to be honest. They weren't the most comfortable piece of clothing, I'll put it that way."

Pop sensation Jake stars in the magical Christmas experience taking place at Malahide Castle in Dublin from December 11 until 5 January.

And the 22 year-old revealed that he couldn't wait to get back on stage after a nine-month hiatus.

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Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

"It was filmed in the O'Reilly Theatre at Belvedere College and it's being shown as a drive-in panto at Malahide Castle," explains Jake.

"We're obviously done now, which is crazy - usually we'd be getting scripts and going into a two-week rehearsal for a 60-show run.

"It was tough doing the whole social distancing thing in the theatre and sanitising and wearing masks. I think my hands are actually wrecked from that much hand sanitiser over the last two weeks.

"But I was just delighted that something was able to go ahead and to get back working. The entertainment industry especially has taken such a huge hit this year," he adds.

"So it's great to see not only the performers, but the likes of the stage hands, light and sound people back doing what they do best."

Dancing with the Stars winner Jake and professional dancer girlfriend Karen Byrne - who met on the RTE reality show two years ago - famously spent lockdown with big brother Nathan Carter in Northern Ireland. But the Liverpudlian insisted the trio are still speaking after hunkering down together during the pandemic.

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Jake spent lockdown with brother Nathan

Jake spent lockdown with brother Nathan

Jake spent lockdown with brother Nathan

"We're all good," jokes Jake, who has since moved back to Dublin with Karen. "No-one killed each other too much - we survived.

"It was great to spend time with Karen and Nathan in Enniskillen and relax and look back on the year.

"After about two months, I was like 'right, I need to get back working now', so I've been flat out songwriting - I can't wait to get into the studio and get recording all the new songs that I've written.

"I'm actually filming a duet with Nathan today, an acoustic version of a Christmassy song that we'd already done, so that'll be coming out later in the month too."

Johnny Ward, Michele McGrath and Paul Ryder round out the glittering cast in the panto, created by Karl Broderick and Alan Hughes, who also returns as family favourite Sammy Sausages.

As for leading man Jake, 'oh no he isn't' looking forward to seeing himself on the giant LED screen for the first time.

"We finished filming on Sunday so none of us have seen it yet," he says.

"I'm probably going to be a bit nervous looking at it back because you can't change it now. That's it - it's going to be up there [on the big screen] for the next 30 days.

"It's a completely different scenario playing to camera than it is playing to an audience. Usually you get that praise coming back from the audience which tells you you're doing a good job.

"It's actually one of the funniest scripts I think I've ever worked on for a pantomime. But I think for kids to actually have that experience of getting dressed up and going somewhere is going to be just as good as going to a (regular) pantomime."

  • Tickets for Ireland's first drive-in panto, Peter Pan, priced at €50 per car, are on sale now. See panto.ie.

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