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Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008
Panto stars dish the dirt

Is it that time of year again? Oh yes it is! Panto season has arrived and the stars of comedy, music and entertainment can't wait to get their tights on and hit the stage. Newsbeat caught up with just some of the celebrities who will be donning their costumes for the annual phenomenon to find out what it is about panto that gets them excited.

John Thompson and Joanna Page
John Thompson and Joanna Page are performing in their current home towns

Joanna Page is playing Cinderella in London

I just had my proper costume on today and it's gorgeous! I love my rags and I love my costume - I just want to wear it all the time. Actually, interview me again at the end of January and I'll be like: 'Get this thing off me!' I'll have dropped a stone from wearing a corset all the time.

I sang for the first time with Gareth [Gates] yesterday and I've got to remember to open my mouth and sing as well because I'm just standing there looking at him thinking: 'Wow, you are amazing'. His voice is amazing.

We had the read-through on Monday. Gareth was nervous because he hadn't acted before and I was like: 'Don't worry, you'll be fine, you'll be amazing'. And then we had to sing, and Gareth was really relaxed and I was saying: 'Oh my God, I'm absolutely mortified about having to sing with, and in front of, Gareth Gates!'

Louisa Lytton is playing Peter Pan in Milton Keynes

I'm playing a little boy, a street urchin. it's going to be good fun. It's an actual character I can get my teeth into.
Louisa Lytton
Louisa Lytton is looking forward to interacting with the audience

I'm on wires, I'm flying - which I've never done before. So that'll be good - a different experience - something else to put on my book of things to do. I've tried the harness on. I'm told it's really uncomfortable for the first few weeks and then your body magically gets used to it.

I can't wait. I can't wait to hear the audience for the first time - to know what that's like. Luckily kids love Peter Pan, so hopefully they'll be behind me.

John Thompson is Playing Captain Hook in Manchester

My first one [panto] is at home, so it's a joy. My daughter's six now, so she's got used to the idea of daddy going away to panto. She's seen the poster. She knows it's daddy. She took it to school, did a show and tell. She's very protective and I don't know how she's going to cope with people booing me.

Am I prepared [for the booing]? I am prepared. My mate Chris, who was in it last year, said it does start to have a psychological effect because you're not getting any cheers.

Henry Winkler is Captain Hook in Milton Keynes
Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler says he may take his costume back to LA

It's just an amazing experience because the energy in the theatre, if it wasn't made out of concrete and steel and glass, the roof would shoot off like a rocket. It is astounding to me. It's also sad that we have nothing like it in America.

That grandma comes with a three-year-old, that the entire family comes, that it's interative, that there are forty people on our stage that are unbelievably talented, the singing, the dancing, the swordfighting, it's one of the best theatrical experiences of my whole life.



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