It seems this Christmas hasn’t worked out quite the way Denise Welch had planned, as she’s been forced to quit her planned Newcastle pantomime.

The former Loose Women star was set to play the role of Mother Nature in the production of Jack and the Beanstalk. But a wave of rumours and speculation have hit the set after it was revealed that she had dramatically pulled out of the panto.

Following a cryptic Instagram post about “crying all the time” – some fans were convinced that Denise’s no-show was perhaps down to a personal issue.

Some also guessed that there were problems with her health.

But thankfully, it seems as though nothing of the sort has been going on. However, reportedly the star was forced to quit the production after an onslaught of tech problems and pay issues – all leading to huge delays. In fact, the panto’s first two days of performances were cancelled.

READ MORE: Why Denise Welch will be spending this Christmas with her ex-husband

Denise has issued a statement addressing the news, admitting the “highly regrettable situtation” had left her “terribly upset”.

She said, “I am so terribly upset and hugely disappointed that I will no longer be appearing in the Times Square Pantomime in Newcastle.

“Those who know me and have supported me during my 40 year career will know how passionate I am about my job, Newcastle and it’s people.

She continued, “All I ever wanted was to star in a fabulous, spectacular pantomime that I have been proudly publicising since February. If there was anything I could do to change this highly regrettable situation I would.

“Legally, I can say no more but I write this with a heavy heart.”

According to The Sun, the production – which is still set to star Emmerdale actor Adam Thomas – was a “total shambles”, marking Denise que to jump ship.

Speculation on why Denise left the show…

A source reportedly told the publication, “It was a total shambles backstage. The panto wasn’t ready to open when it was due to this Monday, so the first two days of shows were cancelled.

“Sets weren’t finished, a technical rehearsal set for last Friday couldn’t go ahead because the production was running so behind.

The source continued to highlight the alleged pay issues around the production. “Another rehearsal was a total disaster, and then cast weren’t being paid on time or at all. At one point, an Equity rep had to be called in to mediate.

“A few days into panto rehearsals, Denise and other cast started getting concerned as it wasn’t very professional at all because no-one seemed to know what they were doing.”

Times Square Pantomime released a statement saying that they had “parted ways” with the star after “unforseen circumstances”.