Wednesday 28 September 2016

Christopher Biggins plans final panto bow as Widow Twankey

Published 20/04/2016 | 14:46

Christopher Biggins
Christopher Biggins

Christopher Biggins has revealed he would like to end his pantomime career playing Widow Twankey in a production of Aladdin.

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The theatre stalwart will retire for good at the end of the 2017/2018 season after taking a break from the stage this year.

The pantomime dame announced he would be hanging up his panto boots earlier this year but said he still has one more show left in him.

He said: "Last year I was absolutely exhausted, it's been a bad couple of years and you think to yourself, 'life is precious'."

Biggins, who admitted he has struggled since losing close friends Cilla Black, Lynda Bellingham and Jackie Collins, added: "For 40 years I've done pantomime and when you're the dame you're not only on stage all the time, you're in the wings changing into 13 costumes so it takes its toll and I'm not getting any younger.

"I don't want to get to the stage where I'm carried on by two male dancers and have a bucket in the wings to pee into. I want to quit while I'm ahead."

However, he is not quite ready for his final bow, adding: "The following year in 2017/18 I may come back and do my final one. I would love to go back to Plymouth which is a great theatre.

"I don't think I will miss it but I will end up going to a lot of pantomimes and I'm hoping to do a round up of pantomimes for one of the television companies. I will keep my hand in."

The former I'm A Celebrity winner played host to fellow TV stars Eamonn Holmes, Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson at a Barnardo's Big Brunch at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London to raise money for the charity in its 150th year.

Biggins and his friends regaled young people helped by the Barnardo's Indigo project in Ilford with showbiz tales as they tucked into pastries and muffins at the event.

Biggins said: "I'm an ambassador for Barnardo's so anything I can do to help is marvellous, and it's wonderful I can call on friends like Eamonn and Lesley and Linda Robson.

"We are in a very lucky position being actors, we have a wonderful life doing a job we really enjoy and we are able to help."

Holmes, who attended the event with a single crutch after undergoing a double hip replacement, added: "There are harder ways to raise money than having a brunch. It's very pleasant to sit down with friends, raise money and learn a bit more about Barnardo's.

"Christopher is a great host, I think not everybody will be lucky enough to have a host as fantastic as him. It was a bit of a dream breakfast."

For more information on the Big Brunch, visit Barnardo's.org.uk/brunch

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