This Morning: Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary dance on air
Eamonn Holmes will be taking on the role of Santa Claus while Ruth Langsford plays his wife Mrs Claus. Alison Hammond will appear on This Morning alongside the duo as the Fairy Godmother in the special daytime panto special. ITV have pulled out all of the stops for the show with Sheridan Smith and Joanna Lumley also making an appearance.
ITV bosses have called the Friday special of This Morning as a “panto mash-up” featuring moments from Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Snow White.
Holly Willoughby will be Cinderella for the panto while co-star Phillip Schofield will take on the role of her best pal Buttons.
Viewers will see the pair embark on an epic journey to attend the This Morning Ball.
Other members of the This Morning family will also be taking part with Lisa Snowdon, who regularly fronts the fashion segment, playing Tinkerbell.
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Christopher Biggins is playing Dame Sarah the Cook in Dick Whittington, while, in Aladdin, Dr Ranj Singh is the Genie of the Lamp and Widow Twankey is played by Gyles Brandreth.
Regular This Morning View contributor Matthew Wright will step in as Captain Hook for Peter Pan too.
Speaking about taking part, Sheridan, who will play Peter Pan, told the Daily Mirror: “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 some hope and laughter for better times to come.”
Joanna, who will play a wicked stepmother, added: “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 and crowd artists and dancers… and then backstage, choreographers and chorus masters, props and costumes and dressers, and writers… the list goes on and on.
“To be able to help them in any small way is a privilege and a pleasure; and I am thrilled that we shall be paying tribute to them in this sensational one-off pantomime.
“They don’t get any of the financial help that is being dished out across the country; so we must do our very best for them now when they need us most.“
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Biggins continued: “I’m thrilled to be part of the This Morning Panto.
“In these uncertain times, where productions are being cancelled all over, it’s good to be giving the country a pantomime that they can laugh at and find Christmas joy.”
Alison, Ruth and Eamonn will all appear on screen together since the latest changes to the hosting duties.
Alison and Dermot will host This Morning on Fridays from 8 January 2021, whilst Eamonn and Ruth will continue to host the show during key holidays.
Speaking about her new hosting duties, Alison said: “I never dreamt that when I first joined This Morning – initially for a few months – that I would still be there 19 years later.
“I genuinely care about the show and the viewers who watch, so it’s a huge privilege and honour to be hosting a show I adore so much. I’m just really excited to be doing even more of what I love alongside the lovely Dermot.”
Co-host Dermot said: “I’m deeply thrilled and honoured to be joining the This Morning team next year. We have huge shoes to fill and we are well aware what a privilege it is to be stepping into them.”
This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am.
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