HI-de-Hi star Nikki Kelly is best known for playing glamorous Sylvia Garnsey in the hit British comedy — and she has lost none her appeal as she takes to the stage as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother in Bolton.

Nikki is starring in the panto at the Albert Halls after being brought in at the last minute to take on the role.

The fliers had already been published and it undoubtedly leaves some members of the audience saying ‘oh no she isn’t’ ‘oh yes she is’ as they wonder if she really is the former yellow coat star.

Nikki, who as well as appearing in panto, acts in theatre and television productions, is still recognised as Sylvia.

She said: “It makes me feel good. Sometimes they still call me Sylvia. Lorry drivers do when they drive past, particularly if I am wearing a short skirt — which I still do.

“It is a BBC television classic comedy, and classic lasts, it lives and it has a shelf life forever really. I watch it now and I really laugh.

“When it was on I didn’t watch it that much because I was a bit self-conscious, but I watch it now. It is a fabulous, harmless, clean, good-fun comedy

“And the characters were so well depicted. Sylvia, who I played, was me. There is no difference between Nikki and Sylvia — and that’s why I get the baddie roles.”

The panto opened at the start of the month and is proving to be a big hit with audiences and the cast.

“I’m absolutely loving appearing in the panto — every minute of it,” said Nikki.

“We’ve been going quite a few weeks now and the audiences are fabulous here, great fun and the cast is fantastic.

“I’ve done panto for many years and always play the wicked queen or one of the baddies and I love it. I couldn’t play a goodie, it is not me. I think it’s the role everyone wants really.

“David Heath playing the prince is fabulous. He is the assistant director and has done a great job.

“The bosom buddies are particular favourites of mine because they play my daughters and they play it really wicked and naughty and so we have huge fun together.”

She added: “I think Bolton is fabulous and I love Le Mans Crescent.”

The panto runs until the end of the month.

Tickets start from £10 plus booking fee and can be purchased from www.quaytickets.com/boltonalberthalls or by telephoning 0843 208 1851.

There is also a box office facility at Bolton Library.