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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Thursday, 9 December 2010
Ice skater steps in to save Hull pantomime
Phillipa Pickard
Phillipa Pickard took up skating after watching the pantomime as a child

Phillipa Pickard was asked to take over a key role in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hull Arena.

The annual pantomime on ice needed to replace the crucial narrator's role at short notice.

Ms Pickard stepped in and had to memorise two hours worth of dialogue in just a week; as well as learning the skating routines.

The 20-year-old is juggling the rehearsals with her day job as an administrator in an office supplies company.

She said the skating offer came as a complete surprise:

"I was a little bit taken back, but flattered really that I was picked to play narrator."

She is a veteran of the pantomime on ice; having appeared in every one since the age of seven. She said the experience will help her in the new role:

"I know the atmosphere and the situation and how to deal with it really."

The role has brought her full circle, as she became interested in skating after seeing the Hull Arena panto as a seven-year-old.

Inspired to begin lessons, she developed into one of the country's leading skaters; coming third in the 2008 British Figure Skating Championships.

Her performances can be seen in millions of homes across the planet. In 2008 her routines were filmed and used as the model for a computer console figure skating game.

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