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Celebrities in panto this Christmas

Each Christmas local theatres make the most of panto season with the kids off school and adults wanting to take a break of work for a fun filled night out.

From Blue‘s Simon Webbe to Dallas queen Priscilla Presley, we cover which celebrities are donning pantomime frocks and where this Christmas across a number of cinemas.

“Oh no they didn’t,” we hear you shout? Oh yes they did! As panto season approaches and stars of soap, stage and screen gear up don their wigs and spread festive cheer, we count down some of the best, worst and most bizarre celebs gracing the panto stage this Christmas.

1. The Chuckle Brothers – Peter Pan at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Paul Chuckle, John Altman and Barry Chuckle
Paul Chuckle, John Altman and Barry Chuckle in Peter Pan

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Veteran comedy duo, the Chuckle Brothers are set to star in their 50th pantomime, playing the roles Starkey and Smee in Peter Pan. Expect extra onstage confusion as the pair’s catchphrases mix with the classic panto catcalls. EastEnders‘ ‘Nasty Nick’ John Altman, takes the role of Captain Hook.

Dates: 12 December to 24 January

2. Craig Revel Horwood – Peter Pan at the Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe

Craig Revel Horwood as Captain Hook
Craig Revel Horwood as Captain Hook

Known as being the ‘mean’ judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Craig Revel Horwood taps into his inner villain and reprises his role as the nasty Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Now’s your chance to boo him live instead of from the comfort of your sofa.

Dates: 11 December to 3 January

3. Katie Price – Sleeping Beauty at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Katie Price and Anita Dobson will share the role of the Wicked Fairy
Katie Price and Anita Dobson will share the role of the Wicked Fairy

Plastic surgery aficionado, model and TV star Katie Price brings some glamour to Woking’s production of Sleeping Beauty. Price will share the role of the Wicked Fairy with stage and screen veteran and one-time EastEnders actress Anita Dobson. Perhaps the floorboards won’t be the only wooden thing on stage…

Joining the stars will be BAFTA award-nominee and CBeebies star Ben Faulks and Spring Awakening and Viva Forever star Carla Nella.

Dates: 10 December to 10 January.

4. Ann Widdecombe – Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Windsor

Ann Widdecombe plays the Fairy Godmother
Ann Widdecombe will play the Fairy Godmother

Former politician? Check. Children’s TV puppet? Check. The Theatre Royal in Windsor are spoiling us this year as Strictly star Ann Widdecombe and Basil Brush combine in the most bizarre celebrity pairing in this year’s panto list. Widdecombe will take on the role of The Fairy Godmother in her first (and maybe last?) pantomime. She’ll be joined by former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon and children’s TV fox Basil Brush in Cinderella.

Also starring is Jai McDowell (Britain’s Got Talent winner 2011), Dreamboats and Miniskirts star Alex Beaumont, comic Kevin Cruise and Emmerdale star Shaun Prendergast.

Dates: 2 December to 10 January

5. Simon Webbe and Christopher Biggins – Aladdin at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Simon Webbe. Christopher Biggins and Ben Nickless

Panto legend Christopher Biggins clearly can’t get enough Christmas cheer. This year he returns to take on Dame Twankey. Blue singer Simon Webbe follows his, er, much heralded stage turn in The 3 Little Pigs earlier this year by starring as Aladdin.

Dates: 5 December to 10 January

6. Verne Troyer – Peter Pan at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London

Marcus Brigstocke and Verne Troyer star in Peter Pan
Verne Troyer and Marcus Brigstocke star in Peter Pan

Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films, makes his UK pantomime debut as Lofty the Pirate in Peter Pan. Troyer will be joined by comedian Marcus Brigstocke who will play Captain Hook and Britain’s Got Talent dance troupe Flawless who will play the Pirate Crew.

Dates: 5 December to 10 January

7. Marti Pellow, Julian Clary and Lee Mead –Aladdin at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Julian Clary and Lee Mead in Aladdin
Julian Clary and Lee Mead in Aladdin

A triple wammy of celebs hit Birmingham this Christmas. Comedian Julian Clary, Wet, Wet, Wet singer Marti Pellow and West End star Lee Mead will join forces in Aladdin. Billed as “a magic carpet ride you won’t want to miss”, the show features a 3D flying carpet and “special effects”. Pellow will play evil sorcerer Abanazar with Clary as The Spirit of the Ring and Mead as Aladdin.

Dates: 19 December to 31 January

8. Matthew Kelly – Cinderella at the Richmond Theatre, London

Matthew Rixon and Matthew Kelly as The Ugly Sisters

You’ll quite literally be seeing stars in your eyes as Matthew Kelly dons his frock once again to play one half of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella. Making up the other half will be Kelly’s son, Matthew Rixon. Completing the panto cast will be BAFTA award-winner Hayley Mills who makes her panto debut as the Fairy Godmother and CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis.

Dates: 4 December to 10 January

9. Gok Wan – Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Plymouth

Gok Wan as The Fairy Gokmother

Gok Wan as The Fairy Gokmother

After Gok Does Panto in 2014, a reality series charting his first time treading the panto boards, Gok is back and ready to take on the role of the Fairy Gokmother. He will be joined by America’s Got Talent winner and ventriloquist Paul Zerdin as Buttons.

Dates: 18 December to 16 January

10. David Hasselhoff – Peter Pan at the SECC, Glasgow

David Hassselhoff as Hook
David Hassselhoff as Hook

The Hoff plays Peter Pan villain Captain Hook in this year’s panto offering from the SECC. Donning his leather boots and black wig again, Hasselhoff said, “I love Scotland!”. We’re sure Scotland loves you too…

Joining him will be comedy duo The Krankies and Pop Idol ‘star’ Michelle McManus.

Dates: 12 December to 3 January

11. Priscilla Presley – Aladdin at the Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes

Priscilla Presley as the Genie in the Lamp
Priscilla Presley as the Genie of the Lamp

Dallas actress and ex-wife of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Priscilla Presley, will star in Milton Keyne’s production of Aladdin. Taking on the role of the Genie of the Lamp. Presley will be joined by comedian Gary Wilmot as Widow Twankey, American comedian Kev Orkian as Wishee Washee and former A1 member Ben Adams as Aladdin.

Dates: 4 December to 10 January

12. Torvill and Dean – Cinderella at the Manchester Opera House

Torvill and Dean as the Fairy Godparents in Cinderella

The ice skating duo Torvill and Dean make their pantomime debut as the Fairy Godparents in Cinderella. They will be joined by Wicked star Liam Doyle as Prince Charming and comedian/actor Andre Vincent as Buttons.

Dates: 5 December to 3 January

13.Warwick Davis – Snow White at the Bristol Hippodrome

Harry Potter and Star Wars actor Warwick Davis leads the cast of Snow White as head dwarf Prof. He will be joined by CBeebies star Andy Day as Muddles.

Dates: 5 December to 3 January

15. Ashleigh and Pudsey – Cinderella at the Civic Theatre, Darlington

Ashleigh and Pudsey and Brendan in Cinderella

Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey play Cinderella in this year’s panto offering from the Civic Theatre (yes, really). They will be joined by Brendan from Channel 4 show Coach Trip (yes, really) and X Factor finalist Niki Evans.

Dates: 5 December to 10 January 2016.

For more listings, click on the local theatre near you and support them.

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Dan Dunn
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Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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