International Rugby Union referee Nigel Owens has swapped his Rugby tactics to tackle a different project ahead of this festive season.

He follows in the footsteps of the late Robin Williams to voice the Genie in Port Talbot’s local Pantomime production of Aladdin which will appear in The Princess Royal Theatre this December.

Nigel, who is a world record holder for being the current referee for the most test matches and referees all over the world as part of the Welsh Rugby Union spent some time recording his role this week in a Swansea studio.

Swapping his whistle for a microphone, this Welsh referee certainly settled in well in his new theatrical environment and even shared some of his famous catch phrases.

Nigel has become iconic for his sayings and catch phrases so there was no doubt that the leading

Rugby Referee was going to make the character his own and style the script out with a flurry of Rugby puns and jokes.

He is a fantastic sport and is no stranger to Pantomime or the limelight.

In 2016, he teamed up with Jermin Productions in a production of Dick Whittington and proudly took on the role of Britain’s Prime Minister announcing Swansea was infested by Pantomime Rats.

Nigel was fantastic on camera and his starring role went down a treat with audiences all across South Wales.

This year, he is back and will be appearing as a new mystical character alongside a full cast of professional stage performers.

In recent news, Owens has shown great support for Rugby Star Gareth Thomas over his recent homophobic attack and now appears to be following Gareth’s footsteps into the limelight on stage in Pantomime.

Taking a leaf out of the Welsh Rugby Stars’ book, Owens will be preparing for his stage debut on Friday, November 30 when the Pantomime opens at The Princess Royal Theatre in Pantomime.

Jermin Productions are delighted to have the support of Nigel Owens this Christmas.

“Nigel is so excellent at supporting local projects, in 2016 his role as Prime Minister went down so well with our audiences, we’ve been dying to get him to return to Pantomime!” said Director Mark Jermin.

“The Genie is such an iconic role and is a favourite character for many audience members, both young and not so young.

"We’ve taken inspiration from the Disney classic film in giving our Genie a well know and well-loved voice in the form of Ni-Genie.”

“We love using local actors and making our scripts suited to Welsh audiences, so Nigel was the perfect choice for the Genie especially as he was able to voice our welsh and english script” added Nia Jermin, who runs Jermin Productions.

Nigel will be following the footsteps of many other famous actors who have played the Genie including Ricky Gervais and not forgetting Will Smith who is stepping into the role in next year’s

Aladdin Disney adaptation.

You can catch Aladdin at The Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot from Friday, November 30 until Saturday, December 8.

Tickets are available by calling 01639 763214 or visiting princessroyaltheatre.com