IT appears the decision to book dance icons Diversity to star in this year’s Southend Christmas panto was pure genie-us!

Despite Aladdin only being officially launched on Monday, a number of performances of the festive show have already sold out.

And if tickets sales continue like this, the production look’s set to be a record-breaker before it’s even begun.

Diversity and Ashley Banjo will be headlining what promises to be a dazzling showcase of music and dance, when it runs at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff from Friday December 14 to Saturday January 5.

Ashley and members of Diversity - the dance troupe he famously founded- will star as the Genies of the Ring, the nimble-footed group charged with changing the fortune of Aladdin and helping him to outwit the evil Abanazar.

Diversity have been a household name since 2009, when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Paul Driscoll, 55, marketing manager at the theatre, said it was one of the smoothest panto launches ever.

He said: "It went incredibly well, and the actor and stars did a great deal of interviews.

"This is my 26th pantomime here and I have never known tickets to sell so quick, we are well ahead for this year.

"If people leave booking until November they may miss out."

Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment, which is staging the pantomime, said: “Ashley and the boys have proved to be absolute naturals at pantomime with their stunning routines and stage presence.

"I can’t wait to have them back in pantomime and impressing Southend audiences with their routines and working with them to create some real magic live on stage.”

If your wish is to see Ashley and Diversity in action, then book your tickets via Prices range from £16.50-£38.50 depending on dates and times.