Read the real-life fairytale story of South Shields panto star Victoria Arbiter who went from Snow White to CNN Royal Correspondent
The Customs House has received a special birthday message from a well-known broadcaster as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
CNN’s top Royal correspondent, Victoria Arbiter - who played the first ever panto princess at the South Shields theatre - has sent good luck wishes to the cast of the upcoming anniversary production of Snow White.
Victoria starred as Snow White herself in the original production in 1994. It was the first panto to be performed at The Customs House when it opened, and has now been brought back for the 25th year.
The then 20-year-old starred alongside North East actor Billy Fane and the panto hit the headlines nationally when a scene had to be cut from the show after two of the dwarves, played by eight-old boys, were too shy to kiss the princess.
Victoria, who was born in Zimbabwe and raised in Windsor and London, handled the went on to launch a successful, globetrotting media career and followed in her father Dickie Arbiter’s footsteps to become a Royal commentator.
Now based in New York, she is a regular on CNN, CTV News, CBS News, Good Morning Britain, Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight and has interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz as well as the Royal family.
But Victoria still has fond memories of her time in The Customs House panto.
In a special message to the cast and crew, she said: “I wish you every success with this very special anniversary production of Snow White.
“I'm so proud to have been a member of The Customs House family and I know that audiences are going to love every second of your spectacular production.
“I can hardly believe it's been 25 years since I was there as Snow White, but I have such fond memories of our whole production and to this day I'm so grateful for the warm reception we received from the South Shields community.
“Wishing you all the most fabulous time - there's nothing like the joy and magic of a panto! Happy Christmas!”
Snow White runs from Wednesday, November 27, 2019- Sunday, January 5, 2020.