Rejoice! ‘Tis the season for celebrities to embrace cross-dressing, thigh-high boots and fake tan. In theatres across the land, famous faces will be appearing in puffs of smoke to dish out sweets and well-worn gags. Wait a second, they’re behind you! Oh no, they’re not…
Torvill and Dean are Fairy Godparents in Manchester
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will be swapping their ice skates for rollerblades and making their pantomime debut at Manchester Opera House’s Cinderella. Apparently the Olympians have long wanted to try their feet at pantomime but were too busy with Dancing on Ice.
Craig Revel Horwood is Captain Hook in High Wycombe
No stranger to glitz and lycra, Strictly Come Dancing’s acid-tongued judge will once again put his nasty side to good use, playing Captain Hook in High Wycombe’s production of Peter Pan.
If it’s a disaaaaaster, darling, someone will have to walk the plank.
Priscilla Presley is the Genie in the Lamp in Milton Keynes
Priscilla Presley was introduced to the surreal world of pantomime three years ago and says it’s “one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life”.
This December will find her materialising out of a lamp in Aladdin in Milton Keynes alongside comedian Gary Wilmot, dance choreographer Wayne Sleep and former Big Brother contestant Ben Adams.
(Fascinating fact: Priscilla Presley married Elvis at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in 1967.)
The only celebrity who has to reign in the innuendos during the festive season, Julian Clary is Slave of the Ring at Birmingham Hippodrome, which promises 3D special effects and a flying carpet. Casualty’s Lee Mead plays his Aladdin.
Warwick Davis is Prof in Bristol
Warwick Davis won’t just be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens this December; he’ll also be starring in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Bristol Hippodrome.
“It’s a ‘tall order’ but I’m determined it won’t fall ‘short’ of audience expectations”, said Davis, who’s evidently already honing his wordplay.
But Davis isn’t the most famous face on the bill: Shaun the Sheep will also be baaa-forming, while CBeebies favourite Andy Day is sure to get a big cheer from younger audience members.
Robin Windsor will be the Man in the Mirror in Llandudno
The ex-Strictly pro will be playing the Man in the Mirror in the classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Venue Cymru.
No, we don’t remember the Man in the Mirror either, but expect fancy footwork, polished pecs and sparkle aplenty.
The Hoff couldn’t resist the lure of the Scotland Exhibition and Conference Centre’s Peter Pan after falling in love with the Scots during his Edinburgh Fringe debut – and the feeling was mutual.
“It was amazing at the Fringe,” he explained. “I never paid for one taxi ride because they all jumped out of the car wanting a picture with the Knight Rider guy.
“I keep saying I’m never going to do another one – this is my sixth panto – but we break all the attendance records.”
Hoff the Hook will be joined on stage by Scots legends The Krankies and Pop Idol champ Michelle McManus as a mermaid for some reason.
Katie Price is Malevolence in Woking
Katie Price will be sharing the role of Malevolence with ex-EastEnder Anita Dobson in Woking’s New Victoria Theatre (and will be slapping on her best pout by the look of it). “I’m not sure who’s more excited about my role in panto, me or the kids!” she said. “They’re going to enjoy it so much seeing me up on stage, although they might find it strange that I’m being so evil.”
CBeebies favourite Ben Faulks will be their green-fingered prince.
Roy Hudd will be a Dame in Whitechapel
The veteran comedian, best known as the voice of The News Huddlines, makes his debut as a dame at Wilton’s in the East End. Fittingly, Hudd, who will also be penning the gags, has chosen Dick Whittington and His Cat for this atmospheric Victorian music hall’s first ever pantomime.
Marcus Brigstocke is Captain Hook – and Verne Troyer is Lofty the Pirate in Wimbledon
Surely the most surreal pairing of the season will be in New Wimbledon Theatre’s Peter Pan: comedian Marcus Brigstocke and actor Verne Troyer – otherwise known as Mini-Me in Austin Powers – will both be making their panto debut.
Brigstocke is Captain Hook, while Troyer will play lesser known Lofty the Pirate and take the title of the shortest ever pantomime star. Britain’s Got Talent finalists Flawless are the all-dancing pirate crew.