Peter Robbins

31st March 1953 - 15th April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PETER ROBBINS

Peter Robbins, my friend and “Sister” for thirty years died suddenly at the age of Fifty-Six in 2009.

Peter & I first played “Ugly Sisters” for my brother Vivyan at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford in 1981. We both enjoyed the experience and seemed to “gel”, so decided to try for a second year at Porthcawl Grand Pavilion. A year later we were in Paul Elliott’s office, and remained with the E&B and Qdos family for the next twenty-six years, appearing in (strangely) twenty eight pantomimes.

Those pantomimes have taken us from Aberdeen to Plymouth, to Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff, Southampton, all over the UK, and with each panto we’ve met up with folk who have remained firm friends. We were lucky enough to spend several years with Rolf Harris, Windsor Davies, with Gary Wilmot and, recently Brian Conley.

Peter began his career at the Westminster Children’s Theatre, in rep at Butlins for the Denville Players, and tours that included “No Sex Please” and “The Monkey Walk”. He also toured in the Rock Musical “Hair”.

Peter’s first dame was at Camberley. He was, in his words “far too young”, and professed it was a “disaster”. Whilst touring last Autumn I obtained the revue, and would produce it much to his chagrin at odd moments. He was mortified that it simply said “Peter Robbins was as tall as the Beanstalk!”

Peter was an accomplished Puppeteer, a skill he honed by working with his friend Sue Dacre. Peter used these skills in the Warner Brothers Film “Little Shop of Horrors” and in two Henson movies, “Muppet Christmas Carol” and “Muppet Treasure Island”. Like everywhere he went, Peter acquired many friends during these times.

Peter and I toured in productions of “Christmas Carol”- was Scrooge, I was Young Scrooge (that was a source of fun over the years), and in children’s tours such as “Wind In The Willows”, “The Wizard Of Oz”, “Pinocchio” and “Hansel and Gretel”.

In recent years Peter spent his summers touring with the Illyria theatre company, and was very proud to be an “Illyrian”. He appeared as Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest” both on tour and at the Edinburgh Festival, and as Sherlock Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” as Holmes. He was at the Edinburgh Festival in that role in 2008.

Peter and I were featured in a Channel 4 documentary “Pantoland”, which followed us around the country with our touring “Pantomime Roadshow”, which we started fourteen years ago, taking the “magic” of pantomime to primary schools twice a year. An accomplished cook, Peter’s pride and joy was when we appeared on “Ready Steady Cook” as the Sisters, and he won with his “Sharon’s Surprise Pudding”! He was also very proud of appearing in Jennifer Saunder’s “Mirrorball” for the BBC. Anther great source of pride was appearing as “cover girls” for the panto book “It’s Behind You” by Peter Lathan.

For nearly thirty years we have shared dressing rooms, quick change rooms and usually digs. Our working relationship was at times like a marriage, and to countless pantomime cast members Peter was the provider of teas, coffees and mince pies at every interval. I am so pleased and so privileged to have spent thirty years in Peter’s company.

My thoughts go out to Peter’s partner, Phillip Buckley, To Peter’s Brother, Bob and Ann Robbins and their children Leslie-Ann, Roxanne and Justin.

Nigel Ellacott

 

PAUL ELLIOTT at Peter Robbins’s Funeral 6th May 2009

There is nothing more I can say today that all of you here have not thought or said about Peter.

This “Sold Out” matinee is a tribute in itself.

27 years ago at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage I first met Nigel and Peter. They were highly recommended but I had never seen them work…so I took a chance…well, it was only Stevenage!!!

It was a chance that paid off and we worked together for the next twenty-seven years… they became “Family”.

In the early days they were “raw”..but talented. They respected the principles of pantomime… but a little on the common side! Peter’s “Ere!” had an edge that could curdle milk! As the years went by Peter’s “Ere!” became more “Lady Bracknell” than “Peggy Mitchell!”

Peter was the perfect foil to Nigel… both as a performer and offstage… they were a great team. He was never overtly, nastily evil as a “Sister”, his genuine kindness shone through his characterisation so audiences could laugh..as well as boo.

Peter was a consummate pro..his performance always looked fresh, even after twenty-seven years! He had that great ability to make an audience think it was the first time he had said that joke..or ad lib.. the first time he had seen Nigel fall off the chair and the wig fall off in the “Slipper Scene”.  I calculated he had seen it 1,944 times!!

He never got bored or “phoned in” his performance and always, even in rehearsals gave 100 percent. He, with Nigel were role models to the younger members of the cast. They showed that Pantomime is a serious art form and has to be worked at and maintained to attain the quality they stood for.

Peter had a “bounce” about him…he gave you the confidence that his and your cup was more than half full, as MY cup of tea and MY mince pie was waiting just for ME- as it was for everyone who came into their room.

Their dressing room was the centre of the company… and Peter in high heels and dispensing tea and biscuits is a sight we will sorely miss.

During the last twenty-seven years Nigel and Peter played every major theatre in England.. and under protest Edinburgh! (Which turned out far better than Peter thought it would!) They “Wowed” them everywhere. The “X Factor” was surely theirs!

I have never heard one person have a bad word about Peter or Nigel.. they were always welcome wherever they went..including some of the extraordinary venues they played in their “Pantomime Roadshow”.

Peter was one of the good guys…he helped make Pantomime something to be admired..

He was too young to leave the stage.. but maybe in that great theatre in the sky they needed a good actor..an excellent puppeteer, and a superb Ugly Sister.

To paraphrase the “Cinderella” script- “You shouldn’t have gone you Fat Old Bag!”….

And a voice up there will reverberate in the clouds..

“What do you mean…OLD?”

Thank you Peter for all the joy you have given us.

OLIVER GRAY writes

I first met Peter when he auditioned for Illyria back in 2000 when I was casting The Importance of Being Earnest. I distinctly remember him walking rather formally into the audition room, working really hard to maintain a dignified composure; needless to say all that went out of the window the moment he started giggling and confessed he hadn't brought his glasses to read the extract from the play. "I don't normally do auditions," he boomed - and in that moment I knew I had my Lady Bracknell.

Peter toured for 2 consecutive summers in “Earnest”. Then, after a break of 6 years, he came back and toured for another 2 summers as Sherlock Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. I shall always think of Illyria, both as a company and as group of hard-working actors, ridiculously lucky, and immeasurably richer, that he agreed to do them.

Generosity was Peter’s trademark. When the Hound team played the Edinburgh fringe festival he took great pleasure – and considerable pride – in producing freshly laundered and ironed costume-shirts for each cast-member for each show. When jobsworth ferry staff were threatening not to allow the Earnest van onto the only sailing for Guernsey, he vanished briefly once the team had eventually embarked only to return with 2 of the duty free’s finest bottles of champagne which he insisted they all drank at 7.30 in the morning.

Touring with Peter was a constant joy because he had a literally inexhaustible supply of stories about his days in Rep or the great stars he’d worked with in panto, to wile away the long hours on the road. How could you not be entertained listening to how, in a tour of Ivor the Engine, he played both an elephant keeper AND the back end of the elephant, sometimes in the same scene?

On a particularly grueling Illyria get out in North Wales, which involved lugging slabs of steeldeck for several hundred yards in torrential rain, it was Peter who kept up morale by cracking jokes throughout – although afterwards, glugging some vintage cava, he firmly announced “There are 2 things I shall never forgive Oliver Gray for: Conwy Castle – and Scene 15.” 

Scene 15 – for the uninitiated, was the final scene in The Hound of the Baskervilles where Holmes, uninterrupted, takes 4 sides of single-spaced A4 pages to recap and explain the entire plot of the play.

Peter worked with many Illyrians in the 2 shows he toured with: Clare, Abbi, Laura, Pip, Mike, Adam, another Clare, Al, Miriam, Leela, William and myself. But there is one more, who must surely feature centrally in the minds of all Illyrians when they think of Peter – and that, of course, is Dolly the Tea-trolley. Dolly – or Miss Trolley in the theatre – was just a knackered old tea-trolley I’d found in a junk shop in Wakefield. All she did was squeak when pushed, but in Peter’s hands she became a work of comic genius. The day I first brought her into rehearsals I gave her to Peter and apologized for the dreadful squeak; “But don’t worry,” I said, “I’ll buy some WD40 and we’ll get rid of that for you.” “YOU SHALL DO NO SUCH THING!” commanded Peter, “I HAVE GREAT PLANS FOR THAT.” Indeed he had, for the tea-scene in Earnest was almost eclipsed by Dolly’s simple progress from U/S to Centre Stage, although with Peter, resplendent in a candy pink Merriman costume, the route was not a simple straight line but one which could only be described as circuitous.

Dolly’s brief appearance actually won her an award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001, for Best Performance at the Fringe, no less. She appeared again in The Hound of the Baskervilles, but 6 years in storage – and, to be fair, the amount of leaning-on by Mr Robbins to extract every last decibel of squeak - had taken its toll on her, and while her squeak was as shrill as ever she had developed a wobble. Needless to say Peter mined this new ailment for all the comic potential it was worth. Once again, a simple wordless scene involving a servant serving a meal – this time wearing a false beard and gurning in such a way as to suggest the soup was poisoned - reduced an audience to tears.

We have been overwhelmed by so many messages about Peter from friends, colleagues and members of the public - he would have been truly astonished.

We reproduce some of them here as a tribute to Peter. If you still wish to add your thoughts below, please email us.

Click on Image

1981 - 2008 - A look back at 27 Years of Sisterdom!!

Click on Image

 

I first met Peter long before I began working with Qdos. Even when I was but a pantomime "anorak" Nigel and Peter were warm and encouraging about my passion for this great theatrical tradition we all love. It was a great pleasure that my association with Newcastle Theatre Royal began with a wonderful production of CINDERELLA starring Jill Halfpenny, Clive Webb and Danny Adams and of course the legendary Nigel and Peter making their Newcastle debut and making a dream of mine come true seeing two great stars of the pantomime world on stage in my home town. I was desperate for my home audience to experience their magic - and how they shone!

Peter was a complete gentlemen. A true "pro" if ever there was one.

Not only a very talented character actor but a wonderful man offstage. I remember he fell on the last night of that production on stage in front of a packed house. He loved this as theatrical superstition says that means you will one day return to that venue. I am deeply saddened that this will not be the case and we will miss the many more years of panto fun planned. Peter spent 27 years with Nigel working for E&B/Qdos. The loss to the pantomime world is immense.

From Kathryn, myself and everyone at Qdos we send our heartfelt best wishes to Peter's family, everyone at ITS-BEHIND-YOU.COM and of course our much loved Nigel.

I'm sure Peter will be looking down on us all - and probably teaching the angels how to do the ticket tearing scene!

With love

Michael Harrison, Kathryn Rooney and the entire Qdos Family.

Michael Harrison, Peter, Jonathan Kiley, Nick Thomas, Nigel, Paul Elliott, Jon Conway The Qdos collection!

We were terribly sorry to hear of the sad loss of Peter.  When you both worked with us in Newcastle, you both became dear friends and wonderful workmates.  Show business has lost a marvellous performer who will be remembered for many years.

All our thoughts and condolences go out to you and his family.

Lots of love in these sad times,

Clive and Danny

I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Peter passing away.  After working with him for several years we became like a family with the rest of the panto cast.  We would all be there for each other, whether it would be to talk or listen, and Peter was one of the most sympathetic and generous men I have ever known.  His professionalism on stage was second to none and his performance was consistent throughout a sometimes gruelling 8 week run.  My thoughts are with his family and of course Nigel, who has not only lost a partner, but also a great friend.  I will miss him dearly and the panto world has lost a great ‘Sister’ and actor.

Sean Needham (Prince with Peter – 2002-2007)

I am so sorry to hear your terrible news, it has come as such a shock to us all and hasn't sunk in yet.

Vicki Michelle

I cannot believe it. I heard the sad news over the weekend. Please accept my love and condolence at this very difficult time. I will always have happy memories of directing the panto at Darlington.
 
We have lost a great guy and a great artist.
 
Love  Keith Simmons 

At only 56 you don't expect this sort of thing to happen. You must be devastated, and it will take time to take it all in.

Try and remember all the great times you had together, and the many laughs shared. I'm sure this is what he would want. I personally feel very lucky to have known Peter and I'll never forget the tours we all did, and we'll have Peter's films to remind us.

You take care, I know you are surrounded by really close and dear friends, and they will help you through this.

Lots of love

Pete & Derrick

I was so very sorry to hear of Peter’s passing and I send me deepest sympathy to you and his family. It was lovely to see him in Nottingham and also to be able to introduce him to some of our friends at the taping of Ian’s “Swan Song”. He was in such good form and seemed so happy with Phillip.

I can only begin to imagine how you are feeling, losing a colleague and friend of such long standing. You really were “sisters” and companions during those grueling runs and the road shows.

Please let me know if there is any way I can make myself useful during this difficult time and please be assured of our condolences. I will be in London at the weekend and will light a candle in St Paul’s, Covent Garden.

Jack

Peter and Dawson Chance

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news that Peter passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you, his family and friends.

I passed near by his house today on the bus and actually thought to myself that i would call him and go around for tea and cake, then i got the news.

It was such a pleasure to work with him.

Lots of love and healing wishes.
 
Denise x

I was saddened to learn the terrible news about Peter’s death last week. My thoughts are with you and his family at this difficult time.

It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with Peter during the last three years of pantomime roadshows here in Wolverhampton. He had a wonderful presence in front of our young audiences and was such a natural at what he did, he will be sadly missed.

I hope you are as well as can be expected and hope to see you later in the year.

Very best wishes,

Louise xx

Louise Bent

I am absolutely devastated at the news of the death of Peter, and my deepest sympathies go to you at what must be a dreadful time for you. I’ve only met Peter on a couple of occasions but was always struck by his friendliness and happy personality. 

Words always seem so useless at a time like this but I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you at this difficult time.

Much Love

Dougie   

Douglas Mounce

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Peter. We send our condolences to you all, and our thoughts are with you

With love

Sarah, Steve, Iain, Louise and all the team at Imagine Theatre xxx

Just had to write and say how sorry I was to hear the sad, sad, news about Peter. Oliver Gray rang and told me.

I had the great pleasure of working with Peter on Illyria's Importance of Being Earnest. His Lady Bracknell was a delight to behold.  I found Peter to be the consummate professional, always knowing when to work and when to play. He made it the Champagne tour and I know the whole team have fabulous memories of the two summers we spent together.

A lovely man, and a great loss to the entertainment industry.

My thoughts are with those who were close to him and who will miss him dreadfully.

with love

Clare
(aka Jack Worthing)

All here at The Mayflower Theatre were very sorry to hear about the death of Peter Robbins. He last worked with us in 2002 for a wonderful pantomime season. It is a great loss to the industry of one of the best. All our thoughts and condolences are with you and his family at this sad time.

Kind Regards

Robin

The Cast and Crew of Cinderella - Nottingham 2008/9

I felt compelled to drop you a line as I only learned last night of Peters very sudden passing. I cannot express how shocked and sad I am and my heartfelt condolences go out to you, and all of Peters family.

I shall remember so fondly the wonderfully welcoming "open house" dressing room at High Wycombe a year and a half ago, and how you both were very much my salvation from the depths of the under stage orchestra area. Not forgetting of course how good the interval cup of coffee was along with all the good showbiz gossip and anecdotes!

Very much thinking of you at what I can only imagine as being a very difficult time.

My Very Best Wishes

Barry Robinson (MD)

I had the great pleasure of being Watson to Peter's Holmes and spent many happy times touring with him. His stories were a joy, he lived life to the full. He was as generous offstage and as he was on. He was the greatest of men. The greatest of friends. I shall miss him terribly. Love you Peter XXX
Alastair Chisholm

We can't believe the news we have heard today. We have both fond and funny memories of a good friend and true professional. Peter always treated everyone he met exactly the same, whether cast or crew, he always had time to stop for a chat and show an interest. He will be sadly missed and the world of pantomime has truly lost an amazing sister, and a champion of keeping the magical world of panto alive today.

Thinking of all those closest to Peter, family and friends and of course Nigel. We send all our love and prayers to you all.

Dawn, Michelle, Michael, Daisy & Luke xx
( Theatre Royal, Nottingham )
I don't really know what to say at this tragic time, but I felt compelled to send you an email.
 
I've followed your site for a long time and have had the pleasure of seeing Peter and Nigel in pantomime a couple of times. It was always a great pleasure and it's a great shame that such magic will never be brought to the stage again.
 
My thoughts and prayers are with you, his friends and his family.
 
Naomi

PETER   a warm, generous, engaging, and utterly UTTERLY hilarious person both on and off stage.

I can still recount so many of your telling stories borne of years of experience like….

the well known singer (nameless) who would, in order to cope with the highest notes, shape them as; “Would You Like To Fly In My Beautiful, My Beautiful,   …… BALLAWWWWWWWWW!!!

That and so much more delivered with an Ethel Merman of a voice to keep us in stitches during the filming of THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Pinewood.

So much life and energy.

Ride that ballaw to the stars!

I’ll miss you.  Lots of love

Don x

I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Peter.   I’d seen him on many occasions and always thought he was an excellent performer.  The sister role is a tricky one to get right but Peter (along with your good self) was always pitch-perfect, combining just the right balance of comedy and wickedness. The world of pantomime has lost one of its great ambassadors.  Our thoughts are with you and Peter’s family.

Best wishes,

Paul Hendy

I just wanted to pass on my deepest sympathies again to you. I have been in bits all day, total shock, then floods of tears. Goodness knows how you must be feeling. You shared so much of your life with Peter. So many happy times , but more importantly you were there for him in his darkest times too. I know how much this meant to him. You are the best friend that anybody could wish for and Peter loved you so very much XXX In all the sadness I have been reflecting on how lucky I was to have known Peter and to have worked with him too. I also have have such lovely memories of Hull, it was a privilege to work with you both, you had such a lovely energy together, it is something I shall never forget XXX
 
Big hugs and love    Alastair XXX
Just a brief message to say that you are in our thoughts wishing you all the best in these difficult times. It is a great loss to the pantomime genre and the theatre industry as a whole he will be sadly missed as a great performer and friend. 
 
With our Love and thoughts 
 
Bob and all the technical and stage staff at the Theatre Royal Nottingham.

It is with such a heavy heart that we write to you following tragic news of Peter's cruelly early demise. What a shock this was to learn and our hearts go out to you and to Philip. You were such an integral part of each other's lives. 
 
We cannot imagine the grief you must be feeling. Yes, it was so wonderful to remember the last visit with Peter - his warm embrace, his twinkle in his eye, and the broadest, loveliest smile. 
 
He gave me a camp, wee ballerina doll from the ROH that I have hanging from my bedside lamp. It brings me such a warm feeling to look at it knowing the kindest of spirits with which it was given. 
 
With much love to you, dear heart, 
 
Your friends, 
 
Ian and Jack 
I was so, so saddened by the loss of Peter. He was such a kind, funny character who I know will be missed by so many. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I knew such a wonderful man, albeit for a very short amount of time.
 
Sending my deepest condolences to his friends and family.
 
Sally
Birmingham Hippodrome

The sudden death of Peter is a sad loss to the world of pantomime. For twenty years he was one half of the foremost Ugly Sister duo's in the UK and we, along with countless others enjoyed his work immensely.

Peter was also an actor, puppeteer and a very nice man who will be greatly missed.

Roger & Stephen

Darrock & Howe
Ugly Sisters

Just seen the very sad news about Peter. I just wanted to add my condolences to the many that I am sure that you will receive. My thoughts are with Nigel and all Peter's family. I only worked with Peter once as a member of the backstage crew at The Mayflower, Southampton and he was without doubt one of the nicest people in the business. Both he and Nigel made us all feel important. Their dressing room was always open to all.

God bless you Peter. We will all miss you in Pantoland.

Mark Raggett

I AM SO SORRY TO HERE ABOUT THE SUDDEN DEATH OF PETER, PANTO LAND WILL NOT BE THE SAME THINKING OF YOU AT THIS TIME  JOHN OSBORNE, BRIGHTON
I can't begin to describe the shock and sadness I feel at the news of Peter's death. He was one big talent and an amazing character and the world is the poorer at his passing. I know you must be devastated.

Yours   Simon    (Barry)

My deepest sympathy goes to his family and all at its behind you. I met the sisters a few years ago when they were in manchester and I was performing in bolton. Absolutely smashing couple of chaps and it seems very sad that it always seems to be the nice people that die young. A lovely man and one half of the best set of uglies in the business.
Much Love.
Michael James Batchelor. 
I am so sorry to hear the news about Peter. My heart goes out to you. None of us know what is around the corner. God bless him.  Paul Tate.xx

Sincere Condolences, Nigel, family and friends. Hoping the knowledge that Peter was held in such high regard, affection and joy by so many thousands will be of some comfort to you. Not just a light that has gone out but that famous twinkle in the eye you could see from the gods. God Bless,

Russell Labey.
I just wanted to express how sorry I am to hear about Peter. It is very sad news and my thoughts are with you.

Simon Fielding. X

Although our paths never crossed we have many mutual friends and All spoke with great love and affection for Peter. He will be missed. With our deepest sympathy
 
Darren Johnson
We just wanted to say how dreadfully sad we were to hear about the loss of Peter. It was a real privilege to have seen him perform in a number of shows over the years. He was always professional and from our side of the footlights he always gave a great deal to his performances and his on stage partnership with Nigel was a joy to experience.
 
We shall miss him and I am sure if there is anything like pantomime on 'the other side' he will be there giving it his all.
 
Much love to you both at this sad time.
 
David & Steven

I am saddened and shock at the news of Peter’s death. I worked, although briefly, with Peter and Nigel at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield. I had the pleasure of working with Peter during casting for a London run. This has come so out of the blue. Peter was a loving and caring character, and I shall miss him terribly. I know that the whole pantomime community will be in shock for months to come. Nigel, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Much Love,

James Issitt

I don't know where to begin. So shocked to hear about Peter. Very sad obviously. You must be devastated, I know how close you were.  
 
I have such fond memories. Always a smile, even when things were difficult for him.
 
Thinking of you. Jason x

What an unexpected loss a fine artist whom I saw many times in Panto and was looking forward to seeing again this Christmas. My Heartfelt sympathy to all his family and friends...the panto scene will miss his wonderful performances.
 
Roger Frost
Worcestershire
my deepest sympathy
 
I have been very saddened by the news of the sudden loss Peter, Both Nigel and Peter have been an jewel in the crown of pantomime for a very long time,
 
thankfully I got the chance to go nip over before our show in St Albans in 2008 to High Wycombe for a matinee to see the legends work their magic, however I regret deeply not having a chance to say hi as had to dash back for an evening show. You always think they're be another chance.
 
However Peter Robbins has left a huge legacy and been a massive inspiration to alot of people
 
best wishes
 
Martin Ramsdin
Just read this very sad news. I had the joy of working with Peter on Cinderella at Wimbledon in the late 1990's. He was not only a wonderful ugly sister he was also a wonderful man.
Best wishes to all his loved ones.
 
Andrew Wright

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Peter. Having been a pantomime enthusiast for many years and following the stories of Nigel and Peter I am very sorry to hear. This year marks my first professional pantomime at chistmas as a performer and my thoughts will be with this dear, dear man throughout the Christmas season. Having seen 'the sisters' in Newcastle I knew I was in the presence of masters of their craft and watched with amazement. Peter will be forever missed, but never forgotten.
 
My thoughts are with Peter's family and friends. Today marks a day in theatrical history when we lost one of our best and more passionate pantomime performers.
 
Reece Sibbald x

I am deeply shocked at the news of Peter's passing, I know what you are going through and are in my prayers and thoughts. Keep your chin up mate, it's a difficult time but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My fondest wishes to you at this sad time.
Roger. aka. Charles Burden.

Words cannot express the shock and upset at hearing the news of Peter's sudden death.
 
This is without doubt a massive loss to so many people - family, Nigel, Simon, friends, colleagues and of course fans.
 
My thoughts go to all who were close to Peter. He was a wonderfully talented man, friendly and I cannot imagine the pain that so many people are going through.
 
David McNeill. StagedRight Productions, Carlisle 
What a terrible shock - I haven't seen Peter (or Nigel) in person for nearly ten years - but my memory of Peter was a man full of energy and fun - a pleasure to work with.
 
I keep remembering funny stories from the sisters' first year at the Nottingham Theatre Royal and from my brief time at Qdos/E&B in 1999 - great memories.
 
A tragic loss to the industry.  Mine and Lisa's thoughts are with Peter's family and friends (and especially Nigel).
 
With love
 
Nick Parr

My name is Chris and i am 13 years old. I saw Peter in Plymouth, Nottingham, And the first Panto i saw was in Aberdeen with Nigel and Peter!  I didn't know him that well but it was him that got me into the pantomime and theatre And i am actually quite sad to hear we have lost one  of the greatest sisters in history !!
 
Chris.s xxx   I am gonna miss you in pantomime !xxx
We were so, so very sad to hear of Peter's death.  Not only is pantoland robbed of a huge star but we have lost a wonderful, kind, funny man.
 
All our sympathies to Peter's friends and family, and especially to Nigel.
 
Roy Barraclough
Mark Llewellin
John Jardine

I had the privelage of seeing Nigel and Peter as "Sisters" in Birmingham 3 or so years back and I was hoping to see them (if the rumours were true) in Wolverhampton this Christmas. They were the best Sisters I have seen, they really worked well together and had the audience in stitches. Pantoland has lost a true legend.
 
I'm very sorry to hear of this news.
 
Marcus.
A FINAL CURTAIN CALL
 
Such a cloud was spread when Ian Sandy phoned, to tell us the sad news about Peter.. .
 
Show business will miss a wonderful performer, and having only once played ugly Sister myself and  just scratching at the craft, I know how much work and skill it takes, and how important it is to have the perfect partner to work with. It goes with out saying  the partnership  between Peter and Nigel was perfection, how sad we will never have the pleasure of seeing that duel performance again
 
Nigel our thoughts are with you and  Peter's family.    
 
Maurice Thorogood and Pat Hayley
I am shocked and saddened to learn today of the sad loss of Peter. My thoughts go to Nigel and Peter's family and friends. Peter together with Nigel were the best uglies in the business and brought much enjoyment to many children and adults alike.
Pantoworld will be a much sadder place without Peter. 
Kind Regards
Michael Butcher
a pantomime lover

I write to offer my sincerest condolences regarding the sudden death of dear Peter. I had the pleasure of seeing him in panto several times and was always thoroughly entertained. It is a sad loss to the business, my heartfelt best wishes to his family and close friends. R.I.P. dear Peter, may light perpetual shine upon you..........
 
 
Andy Le Marr.
Very sorry to hear such sad news.
 
best wishes
 
Steve Allan Jones (MD)

I just wanted to drop you a line to say how sad I was to hear of Peter's sudden death. He was and will continue to be an inspiration to many people in the business and will be a massive loss to the world of entertainment. My thoughts are will Peter's family and friends at this very difficult time.

Martin Ballard 

I would like to say how sad I am about Peter Robbins dying. I have seen him in pantomines and I found him very funny. I am twelve years old and I would like to say  that I hope that all his  friends have lots of happy memories of him.

from
Travis Caven

We are incredibly sorry to hear this very shocking news and we want to pass on our condolences to Mr Robbins family, to Nigel and friends.

With deepest sympathy

Adrian Barry

Director

The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America

My thoughts are with you at this very sad news about Peter, such a talented man who shall be greatly missed.
 
In the great tradition of panto I'm  sure he would say that he's 'always behind us!', in more ways than one.

Please pass on my condolences to all that were close to him.

 
Keith De'Winter

I have felt literally overwhelmed by sadness since hearing the news of Peter's death. What a truly wonderful man. I can't believe he has gone.
 
Peter first auditioned for Illyria back in 2000 when I was casting The Importance of Being Earnest. I distinctly remember him walking rather formally into the audition room, working really hard to maintain a dignified composure; needless to say all that went out of the window the moment he giggled and confessed he hadn't brought his glasses to read the extract from the play. "I don't normally do auditions," he boomed - and I knew I had my Lady Bracknell.
 
I don't know what I could possibly say about Peter that hasn't been said: but I shall always think of him as the kindest, most generous and funniest man I have ever known. Working with him was a privilege I wish I felt I'd deserved. Thank you Peter for contributing so much to the Illyria tours you took part in. Thank you for making us laugh until we were in pain. Thank you for those few little moments of quiet wisdom you'd utter when you felt comfortable enough not to perform. I'm so happy that in the last year you began to find the love and the peace and the happiness that you so richly deserved.
 
Peter Robbins, haughty Lady B, formidable Sherlock Holmes, you were nothing less than a prince among men. We Illyrians all miss you terribly.

Oliver Gray

www.illyria.uk.com There is a short tribute from Illyria on their homepage as well

I'm so very, very sorry to read this. We saw the incredible duo in 1996 and 1997, 2007, 2008 & 2009 and they really were both incredible entertainers.

As we always sit right in the middle of the front row (and my husband is bald) EVERY year either of the Ugly Sisters / Trinny / Susannah have picked on my husband as either having spent all day doing his hair - then leaving home without it - or they'd chose him as their 'boyfriend' of that show.

For all the pleasure that both Nigel and Peter gave, we thank them and send our very deepest condolences to Peter's family and friends - but most of all to Nigel.

Love Yvette Price-Mear and her family xxx
I am desperately sorry to hear that our good friend Peter has passed away. As you know, Peter has been in my life for almost the whole of my theatrical and non-theatrical career since around 1982 I think. He was a great great man and it seems strange that only a few months ago we were having drinks together in Nottingham during, what has turned out to be, his last Pantomime, which I am so privileged to have seen.

I have many lovely memories of the times I have spent with you Nigel and Peter and I know he will be truly missed.

He was an amazing, professional, kind, loving, and very funny man, and I loved him dearly. 
 
My heart goes out to his partner and family and of course you Nigel. I am not sure as yet if I can come to the funeral but if I can I will.
 
Much Love
Peter Saxon 

I was so lucky to work with Peter and Nigel in Pinocchio for Barrie Stacey and we were always laughing - Peter was the Fox and Nigel the Cat -so professional and so funny - It was in Swansea that the word 'lurking' crept into the script after an article in the local paper! Peter also announced the local dance school spot as 'Doris Topping's Tasty Tappers'. We all love you and we'll all miss you Peter.

Michael

We were extremely shocked to hear of Peter's passing. Our thoughts are with Nigel, Simon, Philip and Peter's Family and friends, all of whom must be devastated at this great loss.

Pantoland has lost another great performer. Who will be sadly missed.

However we are certain that with so many wonderful memories...this Star will never fade!

Rest in Peace.

Love

Antony Stuart-Hicks & David Phipps-Davis

I was very saddened to hear of the sudden death of Peter Robbins, i worked with Nigel & Peter in Southampton in 2002 and had  the privilege of working with the greatest 'Uglies' that pantoland has ever seen. Nigel & Peter introduced me to the wonderful world of pantomime and have had the pleasure of working in Pantomime every year since. You will be missed and thanks for being so friendly and fun and thanks for all the wonderful nights out and fun times we spent in Southampton. 

Robert Clayton

Southampton Mayflower Theatre
It was with great sadness that we heard of the sudden death of Peter. I had seen him perform as ugly with Nigel at the Birmingham Hippodrome which made me even more want to do the same.Paul worked with Peter many years ago and has fond memories of that. Lets hope he gets a starring role in the big panto in the sky.

With feeling,

Michael Fordred and Paul Critchlow ( Ugly Sisters )

I am still reeling from the sad news that Peter is no longer with us. I am not only saddened because I considered him a friend, but also because another great panto artist has left our world, and what a shame that his fantastic performance will never be seen again. My deepest sympathies go to his friends, family and of course Nigel.

He will be truly missed.

Laura Taylor xx

Peter, Nigel, Val Nalton, Teresa, Andrew Ryan, Laura Taylor

We were all shocked and very sad to receive the news about Peter. A wonderful professional and gifted performer was Peter.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and yourself. I am certain the love and the laughter will always be remembered.

Paul Holman

So sorry to hear the sad news of the passing of Peter Robbins. Our thoughts and prayers are with Simon and Nigel. He was a funny man with a wicked wit and will be terribly missed.

Lots of Love, Chris Marlowe & Colin Luke

A very sad time is upon us. My thoughts are with Peter's close friends and family. A wonderful guy with a smile to make anyone giggle - a glam sister and a true pro. He will never be replaced. Long live the memory of his talent.

Craig Glover

I'm so sorry to hear the news. Peter was a great Ugly Sister and a really nice guy. He will be greatly missed.

Peter Lathan

I was so very sorry to hear the sad news of Peter's death this morning. I had the good fortune to meet him on a couple of occasions and see him perform on many. A true performer and gentleman of the Theatre. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Steve Arnott

I’m sorry to hear of the sad loss in Pantoland…my thoughts are with Peter’s family and friends, and sending my love to Nigel at this sad time….

David Robbins x

Very, very sad news. My thoughts are with Peter's family and his extended pantomime families. With fond memories of Birmingham, Manchester and High Wycombe. Rest in peace Peter. x

James Arnott

A very sad loss!!! A truly talented all round entertainer!!! rest in peace xxxxx 

Leon Craig

I always considered myself blessed to have worked with the pair, what a truly sad loss.

Michelle Dixon  x

A sad loss and another star joins the heavens-my condolences to all those who knew and have worked with him especially his family at this time-

Mark Siney x

It has come as a complete shock to me to hear about Peter. It's a terrible loss, and my thoughts are with his friends, family and all who knew him.

Lee Redwood  xxxx

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Peter's death - i have wonderful memories of the shows i did with you two. i can hardly believe it was about 20 years ago when we did cardiff and hull and then transferred to leeds for 2 weeks too where we all shared digs together. They were my first couple of pantos playing a part and i remember being in awe of you both and learning so much from you. I loved watching you from the wings - absolute professionals with a wicked sense of humour - my kind of people! hilarious both on and off stage - it was a pleasure to have shared those times with you - every single show was such great fun, i can remember i couldn't wait to find the slipper on the stairs, because while the prince was singing her ballad i was in your dressing room with tea, cakes and laughter! and the cherry on those cakes was knowing i had the whole trying on of the slipper scene to do with you in the second half - i loved it! i also loved all your showbiz stories, you'd already been performing together for 10years then and i loved to hear all about it - i hadn't seen much of peter over the years since - a few times at the Kenneth More Theatre, but it felt like more because of spending so many times with you Nigel - i can't imagine how you must be feeling - my thoughts are with Peter's partner and family - and to you Nigel, i'm sending all my love  and will see you soon - and as for you Peter - i've got a fantastic image of you doing Bette Davis impressions in your dressing gown and singing 'i've written a letter to daddy'! priceless......god bless. Natalie Cleverley. xxxxx

Dear Nigel,

We have only just heard the terrible news about Peter, and wanted to pass on our sincerest condolences to you and his family. Peter may be gone but the laughter and joy that he brought to thousands will live on.

Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time.

Martin, Peter and all at UK Productions Ltd

The Sisters - Nigel and Peter

So sorry to hear about the loss of Peter,

He was one of the biggest, nicest, warmest and most kind character's that walked through our door's and performed on our Stage!
 
Rest in Peace Peter. We will always remember you!
 
Gaz, and all the boy's and girls who worked with you, from the Opera House In Manchester!

I had the pleasure to not only work with Peter on my first ever professional job but also to drive him and Nigel around the country in “Trannie” our transit van on the first year of the Pantomime info tour. Peter (and Nigel) looked after me on the panto (as I was a bit nervous and naïve) and I have such fond and happy memories of a wonderful time.  Spending several weeks driving a van around the country was such a fun experience too, especially if I had to break suddenly and all I heard was “ahh whiplash” coming from the both of them!  

I’m very sad to hear of Peter’s passing and send my condolences to Nigel and Peter’s partner and family. A genuinely funny, warm and lovely person, he will be sorely missed.

Lots of love, thoughts and sympathy

Daniel Jones

Requires Quicktime (MP4 Format)

Documentary following Nigel and Peter as they prepare for the season at Woking

with Rolf Harris, Gary Wilmot, Robin Cousins, Jodie Jackson, Judy Cornwall

1997 Iambic Productions Limited Documentary for Channel 4

FILE ONE (4.63MB - 5 Min)  FILE TWO (4.62MB - 5 Min)  FILE THREE (1.06MB - 2 Min) 

FILE FOUR (4.62MB - 5 Min)  FILE FIVE (4.62 MB - 5 Min)  FILE SIX (3.53MB - 3 Min)

I was so pleased to have seen and met Peter at Birmingham and High Wycombe.   He had a warm, friendly personality and will always be remembered for those wonderful frocks!   A true professional and a star of his profession.
Terry Powell
SO sorry to hear about Peter - a huge shock to us and devastation to you guys.
 
Thinking of you all at this time
 
David McNeill

Dear Nigel,

I am so sorry for the loss of Peter, I met you both as a young lad while you were both at Nottingham in Cinderella, Bobbie Kent introduced us and then the year after I started Playing Ugly with Bobbie. Since that time of meeting Peter and yourself and seeing you work you have both been an inspiration. Peter will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with you, Peters family and friends.

With Love
Jamie Morris

Dear Nigel,
It goes without saying what a great loss we all feel at the sudden passing of dear Peter. I first met Peter on a tour of Snow White many, many moons ago. He was so very kind and friendly, with a wicked laugh and stories to make you roar with laughter. I count myself very fortunate to have known him and to have worked with him. The times we all spent at the KMT chatting away where always very happy days for me, and I will NEVER forget the day we spent recording the dwarf dialogue for the KMT panto - how we cried with laughter as dwarfs fluffed lined, swearing and cursing and singing Hi Ho!
My thoughts are with you, and Peter's family.
Much love Rob Mitchell-Gears

I just wanted to say how sorry i was to hear about Peter. I dressed Peter in panto in 1996 at the Birmingham Hippodrome. It was such great fun working with Nigel and Peter. I laughed out loud every day with them.
Thinking of you and sending you our love
Jane and Matthew Winterbourne.
Dear Nigel
 
I am truly shocked and saddened to hear the news of Peter's passing, so suddenly and so young. The consequence is, unarguably, a huge loss to the great tradition of pantomime. Please accept my condolences and I would be most grateful if you will pass them also to Phillip Buckley and Peter's family.
 
You might recall that I worked with you both just the once [His Majesty's, Aberdeen 2001/2] playing the Lord Chamberlain and as CSM. In the latter capacity, I was deeply impressed that when the snow arrived after Christmas and Peter was among the three company members to fall foul of the combination of black ice, granite and gravity in Donald's Alley alongside the theatre. He was very badly bruised and yet carried on without missing a performance, coping stoically with the many costume changes - over twenty, if I remember correctly. A real demonstration of Peter's professionalism in the face of genuine difficulty. And I bet not a single audience member realised that he had a problem. More than that, I was left with the lasting impression of a charming and gentle man; I am not surprised to see the plethora of comments about his kindness and generosity as well as his talent.
 
Ironically, I passed quite close to Peter's home on the day he died, travelling up from Sussex to central London for a heart op myself. Though all is progressing well, I think it is unlikely that I shall be able to join you on May 6. I am sorry to miss it but my thoughts will, of course, be with you all.
 
My very best wishes for the future,
 
Peter Gooday

Having seen the Sisters in panto for the past few years I can say Peter will be most sorely missed. Even seeing Cinderella 5 times in Nottingham this last season he and Nigel still made it fresh every time. My thoughts have been with his partner, friends and family and Nigel in particular since I heard - give him a good send off!

Pat Stearman

I would like to express my deep sorrow at the passing of Peter, It was my privilege to meet him in Edinburgh's kings theatre during a run of Cinderella when Allan Stewart stepped away from the frock to play buttons allowing us in Edinburgh to enjoy both Nigel and Peters incredible performances. As a front of house member we don't get to interact with many of the performers during panto season but strangely we did with both Peter and Nigel. Peter was a man with such warmth and generosity of spirit, no matter how cold outside it was peter could warm us with a nice word and a smile, a cup of tea and a mince pie. A true gentleman. I do hope Nigel can find it in himself to carry on in someway in panto although that will be far from his mind at the moment. 

One of the brightest panto stars as moved from the bright lights of our theatre stages to the brighter lights of the stars above, I will miss him, and will always hold the memories close of our special little chat in the kings foyer,

Brett Herriot xx

The loss of Peter Robbins to the world of Pantomime is almost beyond words.

Having had the privilege of working with Nigel and Peter, on two sensationally successful seasons at the Birmingham Hippodrome, I am filled with many happy memories. Scanning through the pictorial and written  tributes says it all. What a great man to work with, especially during those insane weeks we call rehearsals!

If I had to select one memory to share? Peter had the amazing ability to hoover up a buffet faster than anyone in show business. Well, possibly with the exception of Dawson Chance.

Christmas will just never be the same.

RODNEY WORTH. 

I just wanted to add my deepest sympathy to Peters family and his close friends, especially Nigel.

Kevin and myself have been involved with this mad pair since their early days as Ugly Sisters. We will miss Peter loads, and their mad and clever banter. The perfect sisterhood.

Much love and big hugs Gerry Westley

Nigel.... this is for you particularly..but to Peter's family & friends too.

A unique & Outstanding partnership is over..I cannot imagine the feeling of Loss and sadness that you are going through. My best love to you at this time....x

I wish there was a school to go to..or even a degree you could get...to qualify people to Nail the art of playing Uglies..because Peter would have been qualified as Head Master..& you Nigel as Head Mistress!

Peter has left a huge impression on the Industry...something we all aim to do..but he really did & has left far too soon. I'm very sad...that audiences will miss out on his sensational performances.

Bring in the STAR cloth...house lights out.......Hilary O'Neil xxxxxxx

Dear Nigel,

I was deeply shocked to hear the news of Peter's death.

You've been involved in what is a fantastic achievement; to be together as a working team for such a long period of time.

Bryonie and myself offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to you now in this difficult time both personally and professionally.

love from Graeme Du Fresne and Bryonie Pritchard

The Stage Obituary

Dear Nigel,

I was so very sorry to hear the sad news about Peter. He was a true pro and I am so pleased that I had the privilege to work with you both all those years ago in Bournemouth.

I learnt a lot from you both and I will never forget the laughs we had.

The world of Pantomime has lost a star - his current gig has gained a right old laugh!!!!!!

My heart and love goes out to you Nigel and all his family and friends.

Love Susie McKenna

When I think of Peter it is impossible to suppress a giggle or contain a laugh. He was such a skilled and highly talented performer. I would like to thank him for the wonderful entertainment he brought alongside you, to hundreds of thousands of people.

There are so many memories. Watching him getting changed in a primary school loo or a head teachers office-at some ungodly hour- and then being robbed (in Sherwood!).

His immaculate comic timing-fee fi fo fum!. But the ultimate must be the " cough " behind the bush!- 100 wettio of the pantios in one instant. A true class act and a true gentle - man.

Once again- sincere condolences to your dearly loved sister.

A unique talent.

Lewis x

Our thoughts are with you Nigel and Peter's family. Having now done fourteen panto's with last christmas being my first time ever as dame and this year will be my second, if I can be half as good as you I'll be doing a very good job.

God bless and much love

Robbie Dee & Karen Neale

I was so sad to hear of the loss of one of the country's greatest Pantomime Dames. I have seen him appear in Cinderella in Plymouth on several occasions and am indebted to Peter and Nigel for their help with my study on the history of Pantomime which I did for my degree and is now published on this site. He will be greatly missed by all lovers of Pantomime.

My thoughts and prayers are with Nigel, Peter's family and friends.

Alastair Walkinshaw

I first met Peter and Nigel in September 1983 we were rehearsing wind in the willows for a tour and John Farrow had asked them to appear, Nigel as otter and Peter as badger and as cast which included various other parts Edward the horse to name but a few and they both had to remove their make up [which was extensive] and put it on again during the show. Peter was a darling turning up each morning with something new he had run up the night before, a little prop or hat and we toured the show for a couple of years along with Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and Christmas Carol showing his versatility in many parts! He was great fun to be with and a very talented performer.

I'm so pleased that I managed to get to Nottingham last Christmas to see him and Nigel in their panto - they were just great the best uglies in the country what a sad and great loss to the panto season and the theatre.

Peter made a little film 'Willows on Parade' in which the cast did silly things and I'm so pleased to have it on video as a memory of the great man!! I'm so sorry that I'm not able to attend his funeral but I'm away in Cornwall but shall be thinking of him. It was lovely to see him last February at my darling Phillips memorial service at St Pauls in Covent Garden. Goodbye Peter and god bless you.

Jennifer Haley

Sorry to hear this bad news.
Peter will be greatly missed in pantoland.
I'm sure he`s entertaining everyone in the big theatre in the sky.

Love

Casey Lee Jolleys x
I was lucky to work with Peter and Nigel as a dancer in Cinderella on two occasions - At The Theatre Royal in Nottingham in 1997 and The Kings Edinburgh in 1999. I always remember the laughs, the banter, the showbiz gossip, the cakes in the dressing room, the after show parties and the outrageous stories. Peter always helped me to feel part of the Cinderella family and I send him all love and blessings as I imagine him making a grand finale on the big walkdown stairs in the sky

Sam Cotton

I spoke to Viv the other day and just wanted to say how terribly sorry I am to hear about Peter. It must be an enormous loss to you personally and professionally Nigel and I wish you lots of love for the future. He was a wonderful man and a terrific performer, thinking of you.

Lots of love thoughts and prayers

Peter Dayson

I had the pleasure of working with Peter and Nigel as choreographer at the Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2005, he was a wonderful man and a great sister!

Much love, Jon Bowles

As well as leaflets and life-size cut outs in all post offices, Nigel and Peter also took part in a Radio Advert for the Post Office Christmas Campaign in 2003.

 

CLIP

We were so very sorry to hear the sad news that Peter had passed away.

May we express our sincere and deepest sympathy to his family and your good self. It was a great partnership and you should be proud of all you achieved over the years.

May he rest in peace

With love

Gordon and Bunny Jay

I first got to meet Peter like most Illyrians through Oliver Gray. Later I had the pleasure to cast him in a short film and he was wonderful both on and off camera - a great team player despite his enormous talents. At the screening a complete stranger came up to me and said "the film was great but whatever we intended to write next, we should write for the guy who played Roger (Peter of course) as he was incredibly funny". When I told Peter this he said "Oh yes that's a tenner I owe my cousin!!!".

Sadly I only got to see him and Nigel once at their devilishly best in Birmingham a few years ago. I did however enjoy his 'Sherlock Holmes' on many more occasions. Another Illyrian and I am proud to say friend of the great Mr Robbins.

Leon Hamilton

Hello Nigel

I was so sorry to hear the news about your partner i'm sure I can't imagine how it has made you feel but please accept my kind thoughts Stuart Morrison x

Peter was so kind to me when I was at my greenest..... on Muppet Treasure Island I remember he taught me to try and be more patient, more generous of spirit and always get the money before you leave. The one thing that truly burns through like a super nova in my mind was the laughter......Peter's wit was rapier, but in my experience, never cruel and I remember feeling lighter, happier and generally nursing sore ribs when leaving the porta-cabin....where we spent most of our time. People like Peter are rare in this world and things like this always leave me sad, bemused and a little cross with the fates that guide things.

Steve Kynman

Having toured with Nigel and Peter on a number of occasions for Charles Haley Productions I am privileged to have known and worked with Peter. It was always a joy to be in his company - funny, warm, kind and a true pro. On stage, as a fellow actor, he was generous and giving and always had a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Off-stage the twinkle persisted and would usually be accompanied by a delicious one-line quip that would inevitably be the source of one of the best giggles of the day.

Peter Wiggins

It was with great sadness and disbelief that I learnt of Peter's passing; I first had the joy of working with him on the film "Little Shop of Horrors" where his endless energy, generosity, razor sharp wit and sheer professionalism were an inspiration. We made two more films together (of the Muppet variety) but, alas, I never had the pleasure of appearing on stage with him, although I never missed an opportunity to catch him in panto and I had the honour of designing a few frocks along the way. Unfortunately I am in Australia and won't be able to attend the funeral but my thoughts and love are with his partner, family and many friends (is there a church large enough for such a crowd?!) and especially to Nigel, his "Sister" of so many years.

I have lost a dear friend and the world is a much poorer place without him but you can bet his star will burn the brightest in Heaven.

With Love

Mike Bayliss

We were so shocked & saddened to hear of the loss of Peter. Although we had never had the privilege of working with you both, we last met in your dressing room after your final matinee performance this year, when along with some fellow members of the Panto cast from the Nottingham Playhouse we enthused over each others Pantos, your false eyelashes & Adam's new coat!

Peter - A truly wonderful Ugly Sister, you two together were quite simply the best in the business & the Panto world will miss your Sisters.

Our thoughts go out to you & Peter's family at this time. God Bless.

Rebecca Little & Adam McCready X X

I am in New York and have only just heard the sad news of Peter's passing. It is such a loss to our profession and he will be much missed...they don't make them like that anymore, sadly. A great pro and a lovely man. My very best wishes to all those loved ones that he has left without his wonderful presence.

Bonnie (Langford)

We were very sad in Aberdeen to hear about Peter's departure from the stage to the grand curtain call in the sky. We have, however, laughed a lot remembering the way you decorated your dressing room at His Majesty's Theatre, the picnic hamper flown in the wings and the three tier cake stand, mince pies and champagne on offer in dressing room 8! 

As an ASM on my second panto for Qdos I couldn't have asked for a better cast to work with. I was also understudy for the 'Sisters' and crapped myself when Pete hurt his shoulder when he slipped on ice by stage door. Fortunately for me he carried on regardless, despite being in pain, and gave me an excuse to spend most of my time onstage in the wings watching the 'uglies' in action.

' Did you find the gypsies camp?....... No. I thought they were quite butch!!'

Christmas day that year was also very special. My niece Charlotte was born. She is now 7 years old. Aberdeen had a massive snow storm Christmas eve that year, but we all managed to have a meal at the Thistle Hotel on Christmas Day where Stu Francis and his family were staying. The high light of the day was when you and Pete took over the function room at the hotel playing the piano and getting us to sing songs and play games.

Pete will be missed. Never forgotten.

Paul (Hudson) ASM

I can't remember how many Pantos we did together but I will miss my pal and I will miss the many years we stood at the stage door and had a ciggy, putting the world to rights, Peter usually in full slap as the punters passed by. I can still hear Peter saying "Morning!" whatever time of day it was, and now sadly we're mourning, the loss of  a great pro. I don't think I ever walked in the dressing room without Peter saying "Cup of tea?, cake?, mincepie?". We've lost a truly kind and gentle man, Cinderella will never be the same.

Love Brian, Anne-Marie, Amy, Lucy & Maisy Conley

Messages of Sympathy received from:

Jill Fletcher & David Harper

Tinah & Jeannie Fletcher

John & Michael Deemer

Lesley Brown, Family & The Wardrobe Dept, Nottingham.

Keith Salberg

Graham Richards & Richard Frost

Brian & Jimmy Patton

Johnny Dallas

Margaret Brice

Patricia Michael & Josh Siegel

Jeff Ripton & Brian

James Horne

Jane Stevens

Councillor Mrs Joyce Ryan

Isabel Jimenez & Colin

Steven Metcalf (Stevie Marc)

Britt Ekland

Bella Emberg

David Ian

Linda Hayden

Paul Elliott & Family

Jean Halsey

Richard Dodsworth

Freddie Lees

Anthony Lyn

Jody Crosier

Bobby Crush

Nick Wilton & Lynette McMorrough

Michael Laidlaw

Lee Bright

Bob & Tigger at Nottingham Theatre Royal

Loraine Porter & Family

Vivienne McMaster

Phil Compton & Elaine Gibbs

Barrie Stacey & Keith Hopkins

Brian Herring

Sue Dacre

Vincent Hayes

Rachel & Digby

Stephen & Tane

Jan Hunt & Damian

Dawn, Michelle & all at the Theatre Royal

Ralph Dartford & Jackie

Martin Hinkins

Maddy Baylis

Stefan Dennis

Ray Meagher

Lesley Joseph

Colin Baker

Sylvia and John Blacker

Judy Graham

Judy Cornwall

Joy Graham

It was with sadness and shock That I read of the sudden death of Peter Robbins. He had great talent and what a loss he will be to his ugly sister Nigel and also to the world of pantomime. My thoughts go out to his family and friends and to his dear " sister" Nigel. May he find peace and happiness in the big Theatre in the sky. God bless him and keep him safe.

With feeling from Michael also Paul and Eileen

Peter and Nigel gave us something to treasure. Through this terrible, untimely sadness, something beautiful will always shine. We'll always have Peter in our memories and those memories will be filled with joy and laughter. I didn't get to work with Peter, just loved and admired him from 'out there in the dark'. It takes astounding beauty to create such exquisite ugliness.

love

Joe Standerline

Remember me the Senior Stagedoor Keeper at Wycombe Swan? I have just read with great sadness of the passing to the green fields of Peter, truly one of the GREATS.

He will be sadly missed by all his adoring fans, I have fond memories of you both from your time with us at High Wycombe so please accept our thoughts and prayers and our hearts go out to his family and partner.

Fond memories

Bob Eastland

We have lost a 'master' - and we have lost a wonderful human being. I am very proud to say that I appeared with Peter (and Nigel) in their very first outing as Uglies. This was at the Gordon Craig in Stevenage - and I will never forget the happiness and kindness that emanated from Peter.

Goodbye for now old mate - I will sadly miss you.

Spencer K Gibbins

Dearest Nigel,

I sincerely hope that this gets to you, and I can't actually believe that it's only just occurred to me to contact you via the website. I cannot tell you how shocked and saddened I was to hear about Peter. Ian was kind enough to let me know and once again, I felt part of 'the family' and that huge warmth that the two of you always generated. It's devastating for everyone but so much more so for you, and I hope that you are coming to terms with everything. We always had such a blast, and I cherish the memories of the two of you so much more than you will ever realise. No one can think of Peter without smiling, and that  will always be the most fitting way of remembering him. The great joy that the two of you brought to so many people, and the warmth and love that you both have always generated hopefully will help at this appalling time. With all my love, please if there is anything that I can do just shout.

Thinking of you sweetie,

Lara

After getting over the initial shock on hearing the sad news about Peter I can only remember what a pleasure it was working with him during our panto seasons.  I never saw him in a bad mood, he was always full of cheer.   A very kind man.  Very generous.  I remember once in Nigel and Peters dressing room I went in ,on the scrounge for a mince tart and I happened to mention that I liked Peters new kettle and that I was on the look out for a similar one.  The very next day Peter presented me with a brand new kettle that he had gone out and bought just for me!  He was always thinking of others. You will be sadly missed Peter.   Lots of love.  Baron Hardup. Dawson Chance.

Synnove and Peter in Plymouth

I have lots of great memories of Peter and especially when we did our charity collection  for the Asian Tsunami at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. We were both in costume and we had a great giggle while on all fours on the dressing room floor counting all the change. It was always a laugh around Peter.

Love Synnove

Dear Nigel,
 
Just been doing one of my regular trawls of It's Behind You and shocked and extremely saddened to learn of Peter's untimely passing.
 
What a tragic loss.  I have nothing but fond memories Peter, none more so than when you came to dinner with Joanna and I here in Sawley whilst we were all involved with QDOS, Cadbury's Bring you the Magic of Pantomime launches and of course the Roadshow.  Peter was a star both on and off stage.
 
My picture (shown above) shows you both bringing the some Cadbury Magic at the Wimbledon launch during the summer of 1998.
 
I am so pleased that we met up after 10 years at Nottingham this year and that I was able to enjoy some time with you both and witness one of your last performances together.  It was a night to remember!
 
Joanna and I send our love and sincerest condolences to you and Peter's family.
 
Graham and Joanna x
Dear Nigel & all at Its-behind-you.com,

I was shocked to hear the awful news of Peter Robbins' sudden death on Thursday.

I have been fortunate enough to see Peter & Nigel's fabulous Ugly Sister act in pantomime several times, the latest being in Cinderella at Nottingham in December and January.

As a team, they were consummate performers and my friends and I will miss their superb double act, even if we did get picked on!

My heart and deepest sympathy go out to Nigel and to Peter's family and friends.

Best wishes

Linda Wallis, Ealing, London, W5

Dear 'It's Behind You Team' and Mr. Ellacott,

Reading your 'Pantomime Diary' has become, in recent years, part of my annual 'its-getting-near-to-Christmas' treat. I like to wait until October to read the next version and as such it can be quite a few months between visits to your site. Therefore, it has been quite a while since I last 'logged in'.

Today I thought I'd have my first seasonal peek and I was shocked and saddened to learn that Peter had passed away earlier this year.

I've just spent a few minutes reading about Peter and looking at some of the tributes and I am so moved.

I was lucky enough to see Peter three times; twice as an Ugly Sister and once as Lady Bracknell (in the pouring rain in a marquee in Chichester) - replete with 'Miss Trolley'. Every time was a comic treat.

It was not until I read of Peters' death that I realised what a strong interest I'd taken in the Sisters and inparticular in your website.

Thinking back I recall seeing the Sisters on 'Blue Peter' as a teenager, then on various local news programmes and finally 'in the flesh' with Brian Conley in Manchester a few years ago. They appear to have been with me a long time and my interest has been sustained by the comic life and stagecraft that Peter and Nigel gave them.

I can't imagine the loss and pain that is bought by the sudden seperation of such a partnership and reading the tributes only gives me an inlking of the loss the extended theatrical family must have felt this Spring.

Although it is somewhat late, I want to add my heartlfet sympathies to Nigel and to Peters' family and friends. Your work, your website and your mutual enjoyment of theatre, education and particularly of pantomime have enriched my life - and I wish you to know that.

Please keep up this fantastic website and Nigel - if you will accept a very personal overture from a complete stranger - I'm guessing this coming panto season will be very strange for you, but please remember that you have thousands of fans 'out here' supporting you and wishing you every success.

Kind Regards,

Martin Warren

Nigel

At this time of year, I look forward to reading your 'diary' so I  logged onto your site today. It is with a very heavy heart that I read of Peters passing. I know it is a while ago now, but I really felt I had to say something, so I hope you don't mind.

Being a Brian Conley fan I have enjoyed seeing you all in Panto for the past few years. You were an formidable team, and never ceased to amaze with your comedy prowess and attention to detail with your comments, even making the 'scripted' gags look as though they were meant to happen. The messages of condolence on the site must give you an idea of how much he was loved and how much you are both thought of.

The Panto world has truly lost a wonderful star and Nigel, we can only imagine how it must be for you at this time of year.

Sending you all our love and best wishes Kirsty, Ian and Kieran from Swindon xxxxx

This page was last updated 31st March 2017

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