Globe columnist Peter Grant meets Shameless star Tina Malone who is playing a bad egg in Sleeping Beauty at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this Easter.

TINA Malone must have put a spell on herself.

She looks magical.

Our paths have crossed many times over the years from her role as Mo McGee in Brookside to her own drama school and the Channel Four hit Shameless.

And Toxteth-born Tina has even been hosting the smashing pub quizzes in Ma Egereton's in Liverpool.

I first came across the talented Tina when she started out in a cracking comedy troupe called Wisecrack.

Now she is a household name and is breaking new ground in her career and the way she looks.

She has lost 13 stone and is the same old Tina, but in a whole new body.

"This is where I have had my stitches", she tells me while giving me a double European kiss on my cheeks.

"We are all still Europeans", she winks.

Tina, celebrating 33 years in drama, is looking slim, trim, healthy, happy and keen to be back in her home town treading the boards.

Her face and new frame is now looking out from posters to promote the Epstein's Easter panto Sleeping Beauty.

It is a first for her in a diverse career.

She has made her name on stage and screen from Shakespeare to Celebrity Big Brother.

She takes all her work very seriously and is proud of her legacy.

Boyband star Lee Brennan will be starring in the panto with her, as will New Brighton-based panto dame Michael Chapman fresh from his success at the same theatre with his creation Superbooty.

Tina, 54, added with a wide, proud smile: "I have just arrived fresh from hospital to do the press call.

"Panto is important - it is part of our heritage".

She looks very svelte and tiny after her confidence boosting weight-loss transformation to a size six.

Famous for playing the frightening Mimi Maguire in Shameless, Tina looked suitably fierce for the cameras.

It was just an act from this affable star who also showed her comic talents in Victoria Wood's Dinnerladies.

Standing on a red carpet she certainly looked the part in her dramatic costume.

She continued: "I will be playing a serious baddie again - the evil fairy Carabosse.

"I'm so excited to be performing at the Epstein as it's the only stage in the city that I haven’t been on.

"This is a very special theatre and it is a part of the city's heritage. Producer Lee Kelly does phenomenal work here.

"I've never been in an Easter panto before and I'm egg-cited".

Tina, who is passionate about discovering and nurturung new talent added: "I am looking forward to starring alongside a young and talented cast, but I've warned them I'm very strict backstage.

"I have aleways been someone who believes in discipline. I encourage all parents to get their children off their iphones and bring them to the Epstein this Easter.

"Panto is a great way to introduce them to the theatre".

Oh yes it is ... don't argue with Ms Malone.

Sleeping Beauty is at the Epstein Theatre from April 7 to 23.

Tickets from the box office on 0844 888 4411