The 'Home of London Panto', New Wimbledon Theatre, has pulled off a coup this year with Jo Brand making her panto debut as the Genie of the Ring in Aladdin. Glasgow favourite Karen Dunbar is also making wishes come true as she returns to the King's Theatre panto for the sixth year running. Bristol regular Andy Ford is back as Buttons in the Hippodrome's production of Cinderella, while Hal Cruttenden, as seen on Live at the Apollo, is rocking Woking's take on Cinderella as Dandini at the New Victoria Theatre.
It's Happy Days in Richmond as The Fonz himself (Henry Winkler) sails into town as everyone's favourite crocodyliphobic pirate, Captain Hook. Meanwhile in Milton Keynes, actual ewok Warwick Davis shares a stage with Brookside's Jennifer Ellison as the evil queen getting all up in Snow White's business. There's another Brookside graduate in Liverpool as Louis Emerick swashes some buckles as Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and local boy Jonathan Wilkes makes a triumphant return to Stoke's Regent Theatre as Muddles in Snow White. Aylesbury Waterside welcomes Anita Dobson, formerly Angie Watts of Eastenders fame, who's hoping for a better Christmas than that time Dirty Den served her divorce papers on Christmas Day. Although her role in Sleeping Beauty is Carabosse the Wicked Fairy, so don't hold your breath for a happy ending, Ange.
West End leading man Oliver Thornton, previously seen in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Rocky Horror Show, is on a magic carpet ride to Wimbledon to play the loveable street rat Aladdin. I'd Do Anything champion Jodie Prenger is spreading some magic in Manchester as Fairy Bowbells in Dick Whittington, while X Factor upstart and former T-Bird Ray Quinn is donning the green tights to play The Boy Who Never Grew Up in his hometown of Liverpool, and Suzanne Shaw is leads the cast of Cinderella in Bristol.
Dubbed a 'one-man chorus line' after previous panto appearances, Louie Spence is gracing the Bristol Hippodrome stage with his unique take on Danini in Cinderella. Over in Woking, Mr Tumble (otherwise known as Justin Fletcher) is playing Buttons to Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon's Cinderella, and former face of SM:TV Live, Des Clarke, takes a turn as Wishee Washee in the Glasgow production of Cinderella. Local boy Andy Collins, of Garden SOS fame, is Aylesbury's Chester the Jester in their Sleeping Beauty, while Britain's Got Talent top dogs Ashleigh and Pudsey are seeking fame and fortune in Dick Whittington at the Manchester Opera House.