by Emma Johnson, Liverpool Daily Post
AS BLONDE bombshells go, they don't come more pneumatic than Pamela Anderson - and last night the Baywatch babe and her famous weapons of mass distraction exploded onto the stage at the Liverpool Empire in a flurry of big hair and sequins.
It has been six months since the 43-year-old announced she would be reprising her role as the Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin - a part she first played in London last year - here in Liverpool, but it was worth the wait.
And wait we did. It was more than an hour from curtain up to our first peep at the former Playboy Playmate, and by the time it finally came tension in the theatre was palpable.
The presence of a Hollywood icon in our midst mattered not a jot to children in the audience, but you could almost hear their dads' pulses quicken when she glided into view suspended from the ceiling, purring her way through the song, Genie in a Bottle and clad in a sparkling red swimsuit...of course.
Pam's cameo may have totted up to little over 15 minutes, but she made every one count.
Seeing her wiggle and jiggle her way through a classic panto number involving a lot of pelvis thrusting was priceless and she tossed out the loaded one liners ("I'm the most downloaded genie the world's ever known,") like a seasoned pro. Meryl Streep may have little to fear from Pammy, but her unique mix of coy charm and overt sexiness made her perfect for panto.
That's not to say the Canadian star stole last night's show.
Les Dennis as Wishee Washee and Sean Kearns as Widow Twankey were its backbone, with panto veteran Les in almost every scene.
Kearns - surely the tallest ever pantomime dame - was nothing short of brilliant. He made a perfect partner for Les and their comedy ballet segment was a particular treat.
Mark Mulcahey made a spritely Aladdin and Dani Rayner a perfectly poised Princess Jasmine. Djalenga Scott, meanwhile, worked her midriff off as the scantily clad Slave of the Ring, and Mark Moraghan was a deliciously devilish Abanazar.
In the show's glittering finale, Pam said she loved "being a Liver Bird" and I think it's fair to say she would be a welcome addition to the flock.