Excitement runs high for every youngster at this time, but Christmas is even more special for Connor Paton this year.
For the 10-year-old from Mossend is taking to the stage along with superstar Jason Donovan to star in the smash hit musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The show starts today (Wednesday) at Edinburgh’s Playhouse and runs over the festive season.
Talented Connor admitted this week he hadn’t heard of the Australian singer/actor, but the same can’t be said for his mum who was a huge Jason fan as a teenager!
Connor attends Glasgow’s G12 Studios for singing, dancing and drama, and landed the part of Benji in Priscilla after an audition two years ago.
Proud dad Billy said: “Connor’s always loved to sing. He was on the stage during a holiday at Butlin’s when he was four. He sang the Pink song So What much to the astonishment of the compere who probably expected him to perform Baa Baa Black Sheep.
“Benji is the only child part in Priscilla and Connor is alternating shows with another boy. He does a duet with Jason so it’s a great opportunity.”
Connor has enjoyed performing in G12’s own shows, but this is the first time he has been involved in such a high profile production.
However, he won’t let nerves get the better of him. He said: “I actually prefer to perform in front of a big crowd rather than a few people.
“I love being on the stage, especially singing, and it’s what I want to do when I grow up.”
Connor was meeting Jason Donovan for the first time yesterday (Tuesday) during a dress rehearsal.
Billy said family members are still pinching themselves at the idea of the Mossend Primary School pupil rubbing shoulders with such a big star.
He said: “My wife, Paula, and her twin sister, Laura, were Jason fans when he was starring with Kylie Minogue in Neighbours and regularly at the top of the charts.
“Paula said she could never have dreamt back then that her son would one day be performing on stage with Jason!”
Connor is doing 12 shows at the Playhouse and will be involved again when the show visits Glasgow’s King’s Theatre in March.
He also has the Dance World Cup in Jersey to look forward to in June. Scotland qualified for the competition for the first time and G12 Studios are our representatives.
Lynn Millar, principal teacher at G12, is delighted for Connor. She said: “He is focused and hard-working so being chosen for Priscilla is well-deserved. A first professional show is great for the confidence - you get a completely different child afterwards.”