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Christopher Biggins has said the decision to close down pantomimes over coronavirus fears is “disgusting”.
The pantomime veteran has been appearing in the seasonal shows for 44 years, and spoke out about his frustration that this year they could not go ahead.
In an interview on Good Morning Britain he argued that theatres were “so safe” and called the cancellation of pantos “disgraceful”.
Watch: Performers warn of the death of panto
He said: “So many people have lost pantomimes recently, including the London Palladium, which was tragic that they lost theirs. They did six performances and then the government took them off.
“It was disgusting, just disgraceful. It was a wonderful, wonderful pantomime. I went to see the last performance.”
The London Palladium’s show starred Elaine Paige, Beverley Knight and Diversity.
Biggins went on: “But just six performances they did, after lots and lots of rehearsing and putting it on.
“It was so safe, the Palladium, it wasn’t true. All the theatres have been safe. It has been very tragic, the whole thing.”
He added that his own performance in a production of Jack And The Beanstalk was off, too: “So many pantomimes have been cancelled this year, including mine. I was going to Dartford.”
Biggins, a close friend of Barbara Windsor, also spoke about grieving for her after her death earlier this month.
He said: “I hope that, when we die, all of us, that we can see for the next 24 hours the reaction of everybody to our death.
“If she could have seen the reaction to her death she would have been so thrilled. The coverage was unbelievable.
“She was an extraordinary woman and I have to say Scott, her husband, is the most extraordinary man. He is a saint.”
He is due to give a speech at her funeral and added: “It will be very difficult for all of us, especially Scott.
“But, anyway, it is good to say goodbye properly and obviously, next year or sometime in the future, there will be a massive thousands of people invited to a memorial service for Barbara, which will be wonderful.”
Watch: Panto performers adapt to life during COVID-19