Barbara Windsor is to star in Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas.

Playing Fairy Bowbells in this First Family Entertainment production will mark not only Barbara’s first confirmed engagement after leaving the cast of EastEnders later this year, but also a return to pantomime for the first time since 1995.

Kevin Wood, Chief Executive of First Family Entertainment, said of the announcement; “Barbara is one of the greatest stars in Britain and is truly loved by the general public. I have had the pleasure of working with her on many of her past pantomimes and not only is she a dream to work with, her performance is one not to be missed. We are very much looking forward to working with Barbara this Christmas season.”

Gary Roden, General Manager, The Bristol Hippodrome, added; "We are honoured and proud that one of this country's greatest national treasures will be starring in our pantomime this Christmas. With superb star casting, a stunning new Dick Whittington set and dazzling costumes, this is going to be another fantastic pantomime for our Bristol audiences, who we are sure will take Babs to their hearts!"

Starring alongside Barbara is Andy Ford as Idle Jack, one of the country’s leading panto comics who has previously appeared at The Bristol Hippodrome in Snow White to rave reviews. Eric Potts, who is probably best known for his role as baker Diggory Compton in Coronation Street, takes on the role of Sarah the Cook.

The production runs from Saturday, December 11 until Sunday, January 9. Further casting is yet to be announced.