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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 19:48 GMT
Soap stars save Krankies panto
Jimmy Krankie
Janette Tough has been forced to pull out of the show
Three cast members from BBC soap River City have stepped in to save a Glasgow pantomime after an accident left actress Janette Tough in hospital.

Mrs Tough - better known as Wee Jimmy Krankie - was injured in a fall during the Jack and the Beanstalk show at the Pavillion Theatre on Wednesday.

She is recovering from a hairline skull fracture and a broken collarbone.

The panto will reopen on Monday night featuring soap stars John Murtagh, Stephen Purdon and Ryan Fletcher.

The accident during a matinee performance forced The Krankies to pull out of the show.

Ryan Fletcher
Ryan Fletcher will step in as a village idiot
Janette, 57, fell 10ft when a huge pantomime beanstalk collapsed.

Her husband Ian, the other half of the double-act, confirmed on Thursday the couple would not feature in the rest of the show's run.

"She's got a fractured collar bone. It'll be at least seven to eight weeks before that's healed," he said.

Scottish soap star Gary Hollywood, who was playing Jack, was also injured in the fall.

The duo's conditions were described as stable at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

She's in a lot of pain, but she's not in any desperate danger. It's a terrible shock
Ian Tough
Performer
Mr Hollywod's role will now be filled by Dougie Sannachan, who played one of the village idiots in the pantomime.

Mr Fletcher, who plays Vader in River City, will fill the gap for a village idiot.

Mr Murtagh, who plays George Henderson in River City, will take over Ian Tough's role as Dame Trot, while Mr Purdon - Shellsuit Bob in the soap - will replace Janette as Jimmy Trot.

Pavilion manager Iain Gordon said: "Obviously our thoughts are with Ian and Janette Tough at this time.

"Janette will not be back to full fitness for six or seven weeks, so sadly the panto season is over for them.

Stephen Purdon
Stephen Purdon plays Shellsuit Bob in River City
"We are delighted to have landed such three high-profile Scottish actors in John, Stephen and Ryan.

"The Pavilion panto is so much a part of Glasgow at this time of year, and I felt I owed it to the theatre-going public to try and keep the show alive."

Mr Murtagh said: "Obviously I would have preferred getting the role under very different circumstances and I wish Janette a speedy and full recovery.

"But I have played a dame before and I am looking forward to slipping into a dress again."

The accident took place as the first half of the pantomime drew to a close on Wednesday.

The special lift which holds up the beanstalk fell, sending Mrs Tough and her co-star crashing onto the stage.

Mr Tough was not on stage at the time of the accident but went to hospital with his wife.

John Murtagh
John Murtagh will take over Ian Tough's role
He said that a preview of the show had been cancelled because the mechanical prop, from the United States, was not ready in time for the performance.

He stressed his wife is expected to make a full recovery, and said: "We're just the actors. You're led to believe - obviously - it should be safe, but we'll have to see what the health and safety people say.

"She's in a lot of pain, but she's not in any desperate danger. It's a terrible shock."

The couple are now semi-retired but throughout the 1980s were a fixture on national television making their name on the Crackerjack children's TV programme.

They hosted their own show, The Krankies Club, on ITV before finally disappearing from the screens in 1991.

They have been starring in the Christmas production in Glasgow since it opened at the end of last month.



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