Scottish star Elaine C. Smith has reflected on the impact pantomimes have had on her life ahead of an exciting new role.

The panto legend, known for her roles in BBC Scotland sitcoms like Rab C. Nesbitt and Two Doors Down, will take to the stage at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow alongside Johnny Mac to star in Beauty and the Beast.

Smith will be playing the teapot Mrs Potty with Johnny playing her son, Jack Potty.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Spooktacular Halloween-themed fairground is officially OPEN in Glasgow​

Smith has starred in dozens of pantos, but she told the Glasgow Times her first experience was anything but great.

She said: “I hated it, I absolutely hated it.

“I was terribly miscast.”

Smith was in her early 20s when she got the role of Cinderella in her hometown of Motherwell.

She said: “I looked more like a Snow White than a Cinderella.

“This was about 40 years ago, and pantos were still very traditional.

“The cross-dressing was still there, so the principal boy was played by a woman.

“My prince charming was a woman who was about 30 years older than me, and she had a much higher voice than me. I’ve always been much more of a blues and jazz singer.”

She added: “The costume designer, who did beautiful costumes, had spent so much time making the gorgeous costume for Sheila Grier, who was playing the fairy godmother, that I went on the opening night in my ballgown with no sleeves on it.

“Also, his design was an empire line, which actually, if you’ve got a bust, makes you look as if you’re about six-months pregnant.

“And the wig they gave me, I looked like Pat Phoenix out of Coronation Street.”

Smith had a good laugh doing Cinderella and made great friends with other members of the cast, but it was very old school.

She said: “At the time, it felt really archaic, and I thought, I never ever want to be in this again.”

Since then, Smith has gone on to specialise in playing characters she describes as 'gallus Glasgow women with a bit of magic'.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Love Majorca? Glasgow's newest cocktail bar is inspired by the Spanish island

Many of the panto traditions, such as cross-dressing, come from the Victorian era.

Smith said: “Basically, the principal boy was played by a woman so that men could see women’s legs because they never did.

“You had to have great legs to play principal boy, and it was titillating.

“The misogynistic and homophobic stuff from that era, and racist stuff as well, I’m happy to see it gone and to be part of that.”

Even though Smith has an impressive resume of panto roles, she still gets nervous before the curtain goes up.

She said: “It’s not getting nervous in the way that you do when you’re 25, when you’re thinking 'I hope they notice me I hope they think I’m great'.

“I don’t need them to notice me, I just want to do a good job, and so I’m hard on myself.

“I think, 'oh, I could have done that better, I didn’t sing that well, or that routine could get better', but I’m more forgiving as well.”

Smith is excited to be in Beauty and the Beast because the story has brilliant themes for kids and the writers have added uniquely Glasgow touches as well.

She said: “The castle is just outside the wonderful city of Clydeside on the river, and one day a year Mrs Potty and her son Jack are allowed down into the village to do their big shop at Aldi.”

Smith is looking forward to performing for a Glasgow audience again.

She said: “There’s a desire to join in and be a part of something and I think that is quite an intrinsic west coast of Scotland thing.

“They’re not afraid to vocalise and be a part of it, and there’s nothing worse for a Glasgow audience than someone turning up to do their show and not saying ‘hello Glasgow’.

“You’ve got to acknowledge where you are. I think there’s a real warmth and determination to enjoy ourselves, given the weather.

“A sense of humour is in the DNA of Glaswegians. There has to be, to get us through.

“With all the problems in the world, to be able to come in and switch off for three hours is a joy.”

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow eatery announces temporary closure - here's what you need to know

She added: “For me it worked when I wasn’t actually in the panto.

“My mother was very ill with cancer, it was the worst time of my life.

“My daughter was only 10 and I was bringing her and her pals to the panto and it was the last place I wanted to be.

“All I could think about was cancer and death and it was awful.

“And then I realized within half an hour that I hadn’t thought about cancer for half an hour.

“And that made me realise why we do it.

“Because everybody here, there’s about 1750 people in the theatre and every single one of them has problems.

“You do it, one because you can, and two because if that’s all you can do in somebody’s life for half an hour that’s brilliant.”

In addition to the pantomime - from November 26 to December 31, Smith has just finished filming the comedy series Two Doors Down and a role alongside Martin Compston in Mayflies.