Kim’s former career was good practice for Wicked Witch role

Kim Taylforth and Angela Webb
Kim Taylforth and Angela Webb

For someone playing the Wicked Witch in Panto, you could argue that Kim Taylforth has had the perfect training to be the character the audience will all love to hate. She was a police officer for 15 years.

“It’s the perfect grounding for the part I’m playing in Beauty And The Beast at the Deco Theatre this Christmas,” she laughed. “I know all about being booed and jeered at!

“But that said, I served with the Metropolitan Police in London, and loved every minute of it; it was a pleasure to go to work every day.”

Her career came to an abrupt end while she was on duty and her enforced retirement led to her following the same career as her sister, Gillian.

Kim said: “Had it not been for that incident, I would probably still be serving in the Met even now, but the outcome of the injury to my ankle meant that I had to retire from service.

“It all started because I fancied a lad who went to a local stage school, and after six months of enrolling myself I landed a part in a film, which was fantasticI also appeared in a few TV shows, including Steptoe And Son, and Minder.

“But into my early 20s I started to get bored with it all, and decided it was time to do something completely different, so ended up joining the Police, which, as I say, I loved every minute of it.”

However when she returned to acting, she secured a role in the popular ITV series London’s Burning.

Kim added: “The great irony is that when I first left acting, I fancied joining the Fire Brigade – my husband was a fireman – but it never happened, and I joined the Police. So how ironic that the first acting role I landed after leaving the Police was in a series about the Fire Brigade!”

More recently, Kim has been a regular stage actor, and this Christmas is making her second visit to The Deco Theatre, having first played Panto in Northampton seven years ago.

“I really do love The Deco, it’s a fabulous, homely theatre, and what Jill and Kevin Roach have achieved is putting on a top class annual panto at fantastic value for its audiences.

“For me, it’s perfect – I’ve been on tour for six months, and living as I do across the border in Bedfordshire it means I can go home at night, and get to see my two year old grandson every day, who I so miss when I’m on the road.”

She also briefly spoke of her sister who is one of the most beloved characters in Eastenders.

“I’m really proud of Gillian, she’s a fantastic sister and one of the nicest people you could wish to meet,” said Kim. “She’s done so well in EastEnders, but she’s never let fame alter her – she’s still the same lovely Gillian she’s always been.

“I’m really excited about ‘Beauty And The Beast’ – all the cast are lovely, lively and great fun people, and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. If our audiences have as much fun as we will, then it’s going to be a great Panto season at The Deco.”

Beauty And The Beast runs at the Deco Theatre from December 11 to 29. Tickets can be bought in person at the Deco Theatre, or online, by visiting www.thedeco.co.uk