It's The CBeebies Pantomime! (Oh no it isn't! etc etc...)

The call came through in October to ask if I would look after this year's CBeebies panto. Somebody try and stop me!

It's quite rare for the CBeebies stars to meet up together so there's much merriment. As I expected, my job was much like that of the rest of you Grown-ups; being the boring parent, reminding them to concentrate - we had a show to rehearse in between the showbiz gossip and chatter!

I knew Chris and Pui would make a great Emperor and Empress. They've got such a good double act going. Chris has a thousand voices to call on and Pui has got a really cheeky side to her. (I think she'd like to play the baddy one year.)

The laundry scene is probably my favourite bit. This is when Nana (Justin Fletcher) and Wishy Washy (Mister Maker) decide to wash the royal smalls. You can imagine what happens! Slapstick looks best when it's done really simply and I enjoyed working with the actors in the basement of TV Centre to get the rhythm of that right. Justin told me that the famous panto dame Jack Tripp taught him how to fall. Justin knows you have to work really hard to make something look effortless. It's a joy to watch him perform.

And as a northerner, the bits that really make me giggle are asides like Nana's line, "The bus fare will cost a fortune!" when Aladdin announces he will go and seek the princess. It's the kind of thing my Mum would say too and Justin's delivery is perfect. Not bad for a bloke from Reading!

If you haven't seen it yet, you can catch it on iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbeebies and you can also watch a special behind the scenes film of what went on the day we filmed it, exclusively on CBeebies Grown-ups: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/about/pantobehindthescenes.shtml

I'd love to know what you think of it so come back when you've checked it out and post your comments on the CBeebies Blog.

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Paul

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