A Blue Peter presenter who became the Perfect Housewife is about to become a good fairy in panto at Windsor's Theatre Royal.

Anthea Turner will be one of the stars of Jack and the Beanstalk when it is opens next Wednesday.

She is no stranger to panto in a long and varied career.

She said: "I had been around the block already and was 32 when I got Blue Peter although everyone thought I was younger.

"I loved it and would probably be still doing it today if I had not started getting offers to do grown-up TV shows I could not turn down."

She also looks back fondly on her time as TV's domestic goddess, showing housekeeping tips to frantic wives on the Perfect Housewife BBC reality show.

She is working on a new book - offering advice of a different sort, from personal experience.

She said: "My next book is called Surviving Divorce, coming out next year. I have contacted a lot of people I know who have been through this and have high hopes it will cheer people up as well as entertaining them."

Her versatile co-star in the panto Timmy Mallett is also versatile.

Timmy may be loved by children for his crazy oufits and antics on television but he is also a talented painter whose work is much sought after.

He said: "I am serious when it comes to my art. In fact I'm passionate about it."

Back playing the dame in Jack is Steven Blakeley - his eighth appearance at Windsor in that guise.

He also wrote the show and says: "Playing dame is a very strict discipline.

"Writing the panto means I can take control of what I do - if an 'over the top' idea occurs to me I can think to myself 'can I do it, yes I can'.

'But I also have to think what is possible for the technical crew to do and be realistic."

Fans of the TV series Heartbeat will remember him as PC Younger in Heartbeat.

Earlier this year he was playing a Communist revolutionary in a play called The Roundabout by JB Priestley, which may be coming into London next year.

Pantomime people really are versatile - oh yes, they are.

Jack and the Beanstalk opens next Wednesday at the Theatre Royal. Box office 01753 853888.