It's that time of the year again, and it was lovely to meet Christopher Biggins, the star of this year's panto at the Hippodrome Theatre in Darlington - Peter Pan. As a child, I used to love the panto - the interaction between cast and audience, loud music and song, jokes and the tubs of ice cream at the interval. I turned my back on it as a teenager branding it too childish before learning to appreciate it once more as an adult - understanding the ruder and more suggestive jokes that make the pantomime what it is.
It wasn't the first time I'd met Christopher Biggins either, although I'd be amazed if he could remember the previous occasion. Back in the 1980s, my local panto took place at the Alhambra theatre in Bradford. Sat within the first few rows with friends of the same age, we would often spur one another on to shout and provoke those on the stage. A younger me heckled a younger Christopher Biggins who was throwing out sweets to the spectators. I don't recall what I shouted but it resulted in him asking my name. Hearing that we shared the same first name was greeted with instant approval by the stage stalwart and a plethora of candy came my way.