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ITV's This Morning to air all star panto featuring Sheridan Smith and Joanna Lumley

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield this morning 2

ITV's This Morning is to air a special pantomime this week.

An all star cast will feature in the television special on Friday, led by Sheridan Smith as Peter Pan and Joanna Lumley as a wicked stepmother.

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The 'panto mash up' will feature characters from classic panto stories including Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Snow White.

This Morning's regular hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield will play Cinderella and Buttons.

Christopher Biggins will play Dame Sarah the Cook, Dr Ranj is the Genie of the Lamp, Gyles Brandreth is Widow Twankey, Lisa Snowdon plays Tinkerbell, Alison Hammond plays Fairy Godmother with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes as Santa and Mrs Claus.

Matthew Wright will play Captain Hook while Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay will both also appear.

Holly said: “2020 hasn’t been the year we all hoped it would be. Amongst the many things that have been cancelled it looks like there won’t be many pantomimes this Christmas.”

Phillip continued: “Well, we couldn’t let that happen so today we can reveal, can I have a drum roll, please? That this Christmas we are throwing a This Morning pantomime.”

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Meanwhile, Sheridan Smith told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “The whole theatre and creative industries have been devastated by the virus and lockdown.

“Hopefully doing this panto with This Morning will provide some of these people much-needed work and give everyone... hope and laughter.”

Added Joanna Lumley: “All of us who appear in front of the audience are painfully aware of the desperate situation of everyone who makes shows and plays happen - the chorus, dancers, and then backstage, choreographers and chorus masters, props and costumes and dressers, and writers… the list goes on.

“To be able to help them in any small way is a privilege. They don’t get any of the financial help that is being dished out.”

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This Morning airs on ITV weekdays from 10AM.

The panto will air on Friday, 11 December.

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