Lily James starring in BBC's Beauty and the Beast panto

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Lily James has been cast in the lead role credit:Bang Showbiz
Lily James has been cast in the lead role credit:Bang Showbiz

Lily James is set to star in BBC's production of 'Beauty And The Beast'.

The 'Downton Abbey' actress has been cast as Beauty opposite Oliver Chris as The Beast in the broadcaster's Comic Relief pantomime, which has been written by Richard Curtis, Dawson Bros and Ben Crocker and will air on December 19.

They will be joined in a "unique interpretation" of the classic fairy tale by a star-studded cast featuring 'Ghosts' star Kiell Smith-Bynoe as Beauty's brother Jacques, 'Car Share' actress Sian Gibson as their mother Ma, and Susan Wokoma ('Enola Holmes) as Amelie.

The production will also see Keeping Faith's Celia Imrie play Malabelle and 'Call The Midwife' star Pam Ferris as Marie, while 'Friday Night Dinner' duo Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal have been cast as Remy and Mr. Bell respectively.

There are plenty of guest stars lined up too, including Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry, David Tennant, David Walliams and Michael Sheen, and Quentin Blake will return to provide illustrations.

Richard Curtis - Executive Producer for Studio Crook and Comic Relief co-founder - said: "I don’t know that we’ve ever done anything for Comic Relief which was more full of a sense of fame and fun - last year the show made nearly a million pounds, and I’m really hoping that 'Beauty and the Beast' will also raise a beautiful amount of cash for all our brilliant projects at a pretty beastly time.”

Sian Gibson added: "I thought my Panto career was behind me, but oh no its not! I’m so thrilled to be taking part in this years’ Comic Relief Pantomime for BBC Two, 'Beauty And The Beast'.

"Just thrilled I’ve not been asked to play the beast actually. It's going to be lots of Christmassy fun and a great chance to raise crucial funds for such a wonderful charity.”

And Tom Rosenthal quipped: "The chance to act alongside Simon Bird is an opportunity I cannot turn down, seemingly. 'Beauty and the Beast' the Comic Relief Pantomime will be the best thing to happen to Zoom since the Handforth Parish Council."

'Beauty And The Beast - A Pantomime for Comic Relief' will air on Sunday, December 19 at 9pm on BBC Two.

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