John Bishop to star in ITV Christmas comedy drama Panto!

The stand-up comedian has co-written the show, which also stars Sheridan Smith, Samantha Spiro and Chesney Hawkes

Lovers of a traditional bit of Christmas panto have something extra to look forward to this year, with the news that Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop and playwright Jonathan Harvey have collaborated on a new comedy drama for ITV1 called – that’s right – Panto!


Bishop, who will star in the seasonal show alongside Sheridan Smith, Samantha Spiro, Mark Benton and the one and only Chesney Hawkes, told The Stage: “In 2006 I left my job – that Christmas I appeared in a local panto.

“It was there I fell in love with that world and came up with the idea of a comedy drama, which has now evolved into Panto!. To be making this six years later for ITV1 is really very exciting.

“The script I’ve written with Jonathan Harvey is something I’m immensely proud of, and the cast are all brilliant.”

ITV comedy commissioner Myfanwy Moore described Panto! as “a glittery and heart-warming treat of a show.”


The co-production between Baby Cow and Bishop’s Lola Entertainment will air on ITV1 in December.