Saturday 10 December 2016

Families go nutcrackers for CBeebies Christmas panto tickets

Published 22/10/2016 | 00:21

Fans applied for 257,211 tickets - equivalent to 128 applications for every ticket - in the Christmas panto ballot
Fans applied for 257,211 tickets - equivalent to 128 applications for every ticket - in the Christmas panto ballot

It's the hottest ticket in town for young families with a staggering 250,000 applications for seats at this year's CBeebies Christmas panto.

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Around 2,000 free tickets were available to see stars from the BBC children's channel perform The Nutcracker at The Crucible in Sheffield on November 4 and 5.

But fans applied for 257,211 tickets - equivalent to 128 applications for every ticket - in the ballot which took place between October 11 and 18.

The only BBC show to receive more ticket requests is Strictly Come Dancing and more than a quarter of a million people were left disappointed on Saturday morning after they failed to receive good news.

CBeebies presenter Andy Day said in a video message: "We have had a whopping quarter of a million of you apply for tickets. Now of course there's not a quarter of a million seats to give out unfortunately, but we do hope you and your little ones enjoy watching it on TV.

"And please do look out on social media because we will keep you updated with everything that's going on and you get to watch some really cool behind-the-scenes stuff as well."

Applications have rocketed since just 40,000 ticket requests were received when CBeebies staged a version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at The Crucible three years ago.

More than 180,000 ticket applications were made for last year's panto, Alice In Wonderland, at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff but requests soared a further 42% this year.

CBeebies controller Kay Benbow said: "It's lovely to see that the CBeebies Christmas Show has become a firm festive favourite with our young fans.

"For those who haven't been able to get a ticket this year, there will be plenty of opportunities to watch the show at home over the Christmas holidays."

The Nutcracker will be shown on CBeebies in December.

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