It’s Panto Time – 5 Minutes With Ben Cajee

Following on from Sunday’s interview with Michael Greco, today I bring you my interview with TV presenter Ben Cajee, who will be playing Aladdin in this year’s Wolverhampton Grand Panto. Ben is a veteran presenter in children’s TV, with a wide range of presenting jobs including Blue Peter, Match of the Day Kickabout and the CBeebies House, but this is his first trip to Wolverhampton.

I had a chat with Ben where we talked of Panto’s, Wolverhampton and all things football – not a brilliant topic for either of us this season!

Fashion-mommy: Welcome to Wolverhampton Ben, how are you finding it?

Ben Cajee: It’s great, really super friendly. I first came here around 6 weeks ago and I’m now really looking forward to spending some time here this Christmas.

FM: You play Aladdin in the panto, can you tell me a little bit about your character?

BC: Well, we haven’t seen the script yet, but I know how I want to play him. I want him to be cheeky and funny, with a great sense of humour, but also a sense of what is right and wrong, and a good sense of how he wants things to be. I also want him to be energetic and physical in terms of performance and comedy.

FM: You have a very diverse career with lots of roles, presenting, acting, even appearing on Mastermind – what is your preference?

BC: Well Mastermind was absolutely terrifying, but I do love how my career is diverse and that I have been able to do so many different things. I do like my presenting work and that it has many different focuses, like Match of the Day kickabout. I guess I just love interacting with people.

FM: What is your own personal favourite panto?

BC: Fave panto? That is a difficult question, I think it can often be the one you’re currently watching as you pick up on the energy of the show, and how the audience feel involved with the story and the characters.I’ve seen a lot of my mates doing panto in recent years, and it’s funny that you recognise things/traits etc that they put into their performance that is totally ‘them’, almost things that could only be them, and that can define the performance.

FM: What’s next for Ben Cajee?

BC: I really just like to take everything in my stride so I am open to all opportunities, but I must say I do enjoy my sports work. I’ve had chances to do presenting at Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics etc and I have totally enjoyed that, so I would love to have further opportunities for sports based presenting.

FM: We can’t mention sport without mentioning football. West Ham, what’s going wrong?

BC: Well we got a good result against Wolves last week, although I probably shouldn’t mention that. (He’s fine, I’m a Baggies fan, which led to a bit of a conversation about Steve Bruce.) I just think we (West Ham) have been a little bit unlucky in some of the results and games recently. We’ll be fine!

Ben Cajee is starring in this years Wolverhampton Grand panto, you can get your tickets here.

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