Ritchie Neville and Natasha Hamilton to star in Aladdin

Richie and Natasha

Fri 19 Jun 2015

We're very excited to announce that 5ive’s Ritchie Neville and Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton are to join the cast of Derby’s biggest all- star traditional family pantomime, Aladdin, at the iconic Derby Arena this Christmas.

Ritchie Neville will take on the title role of hero Aladdin, as he goes on a quest for hidden treasure, whilst trying to win the heart of the beautiful Princess Jasmine while Natasha Hamilton will star as Slave of the Ring, who has mystical powers and is concealed within a ring that Abanazer gives to Aladdin.

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

“Every year our pantomime is an important highlight in the Derby LIVE calendar. This year will be very special though because it’s the first year in the brand new Derby Arena. We’re hoping the new production of Aladdin with the double headline billing of Ritchie Neville and Natasha Hamilton, will mean the show will be bigger and better than ever, with something for everyone.”

Paul Holman, Producer of the pantomime, said

“We are delighted to have been able to secure two of today’s top pop stars, from leading boy and girl bands: Ritchie, in the title role of Aladdin, and his partner Natasha as Slave of the Ring. Their vocal and acting strengths will bring high energy and strong audience appeal to the star-studded pantomime production at Derby’s amazing new Arena.”

Ritchie Neville is best known for being a member one of the UK’s most successful boy bands of the 90s, 5ive. They stormed the charts continually securing the coveted number 1 chart spot in the UK, Europe and Asia. 

To the delight of 5ivers (their fans!) all over the world, Ritchie and his band reformed in 2013 for ITV2’s The Big Reunion show. Following the series, 5ive embarked on their first world-tour in nearly a decade, which sold out within hours of going on sale. On the back of that tour’s success, 5ive went back on tour - selling out again - in 2015.

As well as having an incredible music past, Ritchie has appeared on various TV shows as both presenter and contestant over the years, wowing the British public with his winter sports prowess on Channel 4’s debut series of The Jump 2014. Ritchie was also part of ITVBe’s launch TV series 7 Day’s With, which followed celebrity couples around for 7 days and Ritchie is set to take part in a new TV show towards the end of 2015.

Music, TV presenting, winter sports are his renowned talents and he can add acting to that list. Whilst living in Australia, Ritchie studied drama at Sydney’s prestigious NIDA under the tuition of RADA’s Dee Cannon, which led to his first acting role in the Last Detective. This summer Ritchie will be filming his first comedy role in the Irish cult comedy show Hardy Bucks, before taking on the role of Aladdin this Christmas.

By far the most stand-out part of Ritchie’s life to date is the birth of Ella Rose, his daughter with partner and fellow pop star, Natasha Hamilton. Following the birth, he was invited to become a celebrity blogger on Dad’s Network and a guest blogger on BabyCentre giving all his regular updates from being a new father to turning chef and cooking up healthy meals for the new mum and family.

Natasha Hamilton is known for being one third of Atomic Kitten, the UK’s most internationally successful girl group of the last decade, selling over 10 million records worldwide. She’s also known as a TV personality, West End actress, mother and businesswoman and is also a celebrity columnist for BabyCentre.

Natasha has played a number of leading theatre roles including Mrs Johnstone in the highly
acclaimed West End show Blood Brothers. She then moved from one epic show to another – Natasha was then cast for the role of Maureen in the Tony Award winning musical Rent on Tour.

2014 saw Natasha relive her Atomic Kitten highs on ITV2’s most successful launch show The Big Reunion. Super group Atomic Kitten along with 6 other 90s bands (911, Liberty X, Honeyz, Five, Blue, B Witched) reformed for the series ending in a climatic live show at the Hammersmith Apollo. It was a phenomenal hit show for ITV2 and has stirred a wave of pop nostalgia up and down the country with sell out tours on the back of it.

To top off an incredible year of pop nostalgia, Natasha and Ritchie Neville met and fell in love through the show. They are now a happy couple, with daughter Ella who joins Natasha’s three boys Josh, Harry and Alfie.

Alongside her successes in music and stage, Natasha's triumphs in TV have been many. From 2 hit series of the BBC1 show Just the Two of Us (including being the judges’ winner on the 1st series) to her appearance in Celebrity Come Dine With Me which helped that episode gain a nomination as 'funniest reality TV episode on the 2010 National TV awards'. Natasha added to her TV credits, turning her hand to comedy when she was featured in the RTS winning comedy show Mongrels.

Her competitive nature has seen her win numerous celebrity challenges on TV including Celebrity Mr and MrsCelebrity Family Fortunes and Celebrity Weakest Link, all raising substantial sums for her favourite charities.

Natasha has continually fronted high-profile campaigns for many A list brands including Johnson and Johnson, Nature’s Way – Alive, Littlewoods, Fairy Non Bio and Seven Seas while also working for numerous charities including the New Children’s hospital in Manchester, Alder Hey Children’s hospital, Cancer Research UK, Children in Need, Barnados and The Outward Bound Trust.

Audiences can see Ritchie and Natasha in Aladdin at Derby Arena, alongside Mike ‘Squeaky’ McClean and Richard David-Caine and Joseph Elliott (from CBeebies' Swashbuckle) as PC's Ping and Pong from Monday 7 December until Sunday 3 January, with tickets priced from £11.25 and concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

With fabulous new sets & costumes, hilarious slapstick comedy, high energy music & dance routines, and lots of audience participation, Aladdin will fulfil all of your three wishes for Christmas 2015.

It’s never too early to book for this fantastic festive treat – call our Box Office on 01332 255800pick your seats online, or book in person at the Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby.