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Panto debut for radio star

PUBLISHED: 12:50 21 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

MOO'S That?

Mark Murphy?

Oh no it isn't!

Oh yes it is …

The BBC Radio Suffolk presenter will tonight make his first ever panto performance as … moo guessed it – the back end of a cow.

MOO'S That?

Mark Murphy?

Oh no it isn't!

Oh yes it is …

The BBC Radio Suffolk presenter will tonight make his first ever panto performance as … moo guessed it – the back end of a cow.

The Co-op Junior's humble role in the Wizard of Oz pantomime was up for grabs and Mark was more than happy to put his best hoof forward and oblige.

"I was at our variety show and was offered this career opportunity," said the 37-year-old, who will perform tonight at the Ipswich Regent.

"I was asked if I wanted a role in The Co-op Juniors panto? I thought – great – as what? A lead role?

"They said the back end of a cow. It was an offer too good to refuse. But I am trying not to think about what prompted them to decide I would be an ideal back end of a cow.

"Maybe one day I'll graduate on to play Cinderella or Dick Whittington, but for the time being I'll be making the most of this crucial role as half a cow. I'm looking forward to it."

Mark, who has been locked up at Ipswich Police station before to raise Money for Children in Need, said his new role ranks among the strangest things he has done.

"Going out on stage will be quite scary. There'll be an audience of about 1,800 people. But the real stars are the Juniors. They are fantastic and put on a great show.

"The Juniors have all been working really hard and I am just here to have a bit of fun."

Mark's last performance was also at Christmas time – he played an angel in a nativity at Priory Heath Infants 32 years ago … when he was just five years old.

This latest role won't be easy.

Not only will he be bending forward, but there's also going to be a child placed on his back.

However, he's got plenty of moral support. Friends and family will be in the audience on the night to cheer him on.

N The Wizard of Oz is on at the Ipswich Regent from tonight until Sunday, December 30. For tickets telephone the box office on 433100. You can also visit the Co-op Juniors website on www.co-opjuniors.co.uk


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