Paul Merton to star in live panto debut at New Wimbledon Theatre

Paul Merton hops aboard a magic carpet to star in Aladdin at New Wimbledon Theatre

Tickets are already on sale – don’t miss out! CLICK HERE to book now!

New Wimbledon Theatre is pleased to announce that writer, actor, comedian, radio and television presenter Paul Merton will be stepping out from behind the iconic Have I Got News For You desk and donning heels to make his live pantomime debut as Widow Twankey in this year’s must-see family pantomime, Aladdin, from 8 December – 6 January.

One of Britain’s best-loved and most popular comedians, Paul’s career began at the infamous Comedy Store and he regularly appears with the Comedy Store Players and tours the UK. He has appeared in hit television shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Room 101, as well as various travelogues and documentaries. He is also a regular on Radio 4 and is now the second longest serving panellist on Just a Minute.

The BAFTA and multi-British Comedy Award winner has been a mainstay of the popular BBC news quiz Have I Got News For You since it made its television debut nearly thirty years ago where his dry sense of humour and quick wit solidified his reputation as one of the UK’s finest funny men. He has had several books published, including his acclaimed autobiography Only When I Laugh.

Aladdin will be Paul’s live panto debut, having appeared in four pantomimes recorded specifically for television broadcast in the late nineties.

Aladdin will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, in the second year of partnership with New Wimbledon Theatre. Aladdin will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect pantomime Wimbledon theatregoers have come to expect in a production packed with a lamp full of laughter, stunning music and dancing, plenty of audience participation and jaw-dropping special effects.

Qdos Entertainment’s managing director Michael Harrison said: “I’m thrilled that we have secured Paul and persuaded him to give the heels a go in his first, full pantomime run. His Widow Twankey will give audiences a chance to see the man behind the panel as they’ve never seen him before with plenty of opportunities to laugh at his quick wit and funny take on the story.”

New Wimbledon Theatre, Theatre Director Nick Parr said: “I am delighted that Qdos have rubbed their magic lamp once again and summoned up the extraordinary talents of Paul Merton for this year’s spectacular New Wimbledon Theatre pantomime.  Once again, families from across South West London will have their festive wishes come true when they join Paul and the cast of Aladdin in Wimbledon in December.”

Featuring a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and the timeless tale of the Twankey family,  audiences should hop aboard a flying carpet and fly to the Box Office to secure their tickets for this year’s must-see, genie-us family pantomime.



Health Zone celebrates 20 years

Passionate about health and wellbeing, independent shop owner, Mishal Qadri has successfully served Wimbledon for 20 years

A popular staple on our local high street, this independent business has faced many challenges since opening on 12 December 1997 and continues to adapt to the ever changing needs of this industry and customers.

“I remember clearly the day we opened” says Mishal “I was so busy getting everything perfect that I hadn’t noticed the doors had opened and the customers almost sprung up on me! It was a dream come true and a day I will never forget.”

At the time, Health Zone was one of a kind in Wimbledon, an Independent Health Food Shop and Clinic, and initially people were a little confused as to what this shop was all about… a gift shop, an alternative chemist for lotions and potions or a health shop for hippies?

“When we opened, our shop floor had everything from food, body care products, vitamins and supplements to a library of health and nutrition books and leaflets. Upstairs, we had an organic café and the clinic was up and running, offering therapist appointments, a few weeks after we opened” says Mishal,

“We have never stopped learning, adapting and changing to the needs of our customers and the changing demands of a high street store.”

The shop has undergone many changes over the 20 years that it has been providing products, services and advice to customers, who have changed too.

Over time, “Our customers have become younger and increasingly knowledgeable and savvy about health and nutrition. It’s great as it keeps us on our toes staying one step ahead of them in how and what we offer” says Mishal.

Today Health Zone boasts a wide variety of supplements, specialist foods, sports nutrition, organic beauty and body care products, a variety of Complementary Therapy treatments, as well as going digital with a blog sharing advice and expertise and an online shop.

Staying true to their core principles and values of offering the best customer service, quality products from the most reputable sources, highly trained Therapists, Practitioners and staff Health Zone have worked to maintaining their strong reputation among customers and referral business within the industry.

“Business is good and what has set us apart over the years and remaining relevant on the high street is that we continually adapt, change and survive. I travel extensively to ensure Health Zone is in line with the latest products, suppliers and therapies. All our staff, many of them long serving, are specialist trained and passionate about health and healing and this coupled with our quality products created an atmosphere that keeps our customers coming back. We are so happy that they do and here’s to the next 20 years in Wimbledon.”