1981 - 2008

Celebrating Twenty-Eight years of “sisterdom” with Peter Robbins, I got to thinking about the many people we’ve been lucky to work with over the past years, and realised I hadn’t ever got around to listing them! Many we still keep in contact with, and I thought it was about time they got a mention here on “its-behind-you.com”.

Looking at the statistics, I was amazed to discover we’ve  worked with so many directors and actors. To date we’ve appeared with 17 different Cinderellas, 20 Buttons, the same number of Princes (both male and female) and Dandini’s, let alone thinking of the 19 fairies (Godmothers that is) who have waved their wands over all those pumpkins!

Michelle Potter, Jody Crosier and Sean Needham - Birmingham 2006/7

Over these years we’ve encountered  18 directors, many choreographers (who shake their heads and eventually opt for people dancing around us while we stay centre!) 8 Broker’s men with various dogs called “Spit” or “Roger”, turtles (or tortoises, depending on the angle), crows, pigs and even an animated race horse..and that’s not counting the real stars of the show- the ponies..if I had a pound for every carrot I’ve dished out to those scene stealers over the years I’d be able to retire to Eastbourne!

I worked out that the Cinderella we’ve worked the most with is the lovely Cheryl Taylor (5 times), Dear Betty Benfield was Fairy Godmother for five consecutive years, we worked with Rolf Harris in five pantomimes altogether (and have the cartoons to prove it!), 7 years with Ward Allan and Roger The Dog, 5 years with Sean  Needham, 6 years with Jody Crosier, 5 years with Brian Conley and then the 3 year contenders  turned out to be Bill Owen, Windsor Davies (as our Daddy), Rachel Spry and Lynsey Britton- the same with  Jan Hunt and  Caroline Dennis  three panto’s to date, and Carole Todd has directed us more times than anybody – at least five different pantomimes. However, the overall winner is Dawson Chance and his Willy - Dawson has worked with us in seven pantos. “Oh yes he has!”

Cheryl Taylor, Betty Benfield and Ward Allan & Roger

Peter and I were always confused about how many pantomimes we’ve done together- apparent in interviews where the question is asked, and we’d both reply “21” and “26” at the same time, and then look blankly at each other. I’ve tried working it out and I’m STILL confused! By my calculations we have appeared together as the Ugly Sisters in 30 pantomimes, but over 27 years. You see my problem? One year we did two different pantomimes- we finished the panto in Aberdeen, and two days later took over in another pantomime for a further four weeks. In another instance we did a pantomime at Cardiff, then, after a week off, repeated the same show at the Grand Theatre Leeds- so I think we’re justified in being hazy!

Beauty and the Beasts!! With the Chippendales

I’m fairly certain that in 25 years for both E&B and later Qdos we have appeared in 28 pantomimes, and if all our old panto tights were stretched end to end they’d reach  from here to next week.

Keith Simmons once wrote us a nightmare of a song to sing at a very prestigious “do” to launch pantomimes at the Victoria Palace London. He assured us it would be fine, and then sent along the lyrics of “We’ve been everywhere man”. Thank you Keith. The lyrics mentioned all 34 of the pantomime venues being launched. It was like learning a telephone directory. I went on holiday the week before, and got told off on the Champs Elysee for endlessly droning “I’ve been to Liverpool, Birmingham, Rotherham and Mansfield” like a mantra!

Richmond 1986, with Sally Meen 1994 and Robin Cousins 1995

That got me thinking about where Peter and I have actually been err “man”, and it seems to encompass Ilford (twice) Porthcawl (just the once) Stevenage, Hayes, Bournemouth (twice), Richmond, Aberdeen (twice), Southampton (twice) Hull, Cardiff, Leeds, Croydon, Sheffield, Wimbledon (twice),  Birmingham (twice), Woking, Nottingham (twice), Edinburgh, Manchester, Plymouth, High Wycombe and Newcastle!

Woking 1996, Edinburgh Kings 1999 (Andy Grey, L.A.Johnson & Dorothy Paul), Richmond 1986 with HRH Princess Alexandra

The other amazing fact is, that in all this time Peter and I had only had the one costumier- the extremely talented Margaret Brice. Margaret and I have worked on pantomime costumes since the early ‘eighties, and as we speak she is turning my designs into something amazing in preparation for the next panto- how's that for a record?

Jody Crosier and Sean Needham

So- here’s our tribute to all those brave souls who sailed on the Sister Ship to pantoland since 1981- Long may they strut their stuff!

Croydon - 1991 - Photo Supplied by Jan Hunt

Back Row - Left to right Peter Robbins, June Brown, Ed Stewart, Jan Hunt, Cheryl Taylor, Windsor Davies and Nigel Ellacott

Front row: Andrew O'Connor and Amanda Bairstow.

Copyright - Croydon Cast Photo: D.C.Thompson & Co.Ltd (E.Huxtable).

See also - Nigel and Peter's home page

within this site and their pantomime diaries:-

The Darlington Diary 2000/1 / The Aberdeen Diary 2001/2 / The Southampton Diary 2002/3 / The Manchester Diary 2003/4 / The Plymouth Diary 2004/5 / The Newcastle Diary 2005/6 / The Birmingham Diary 2006/7  / The High Wycombe Diary 2007/8 / The Nottingham Diary 2008/9




Caroline Dennis



Sophie Aldred

Kerry-Jane Beddows

Jamie Benson

Lynsey Britton (3)

Maggie Carr

Caroline Dennis (2)

Annabel Etkind

Lauren Hall

Ria Jones

Jodie Jackson (2)

Lesley-Anne Johnson(2)

Fiona Kennedy (2)

Kelly Morris

Sally Meen

Michelle Potter (3)

Melanie Stace

Cheryl Taylor (5)

Fiona Kennedy

Brian Conley with Lynsey Britton



Danny Adams

Bobby Ball

Brian Conley (6)

Mark Curry

Stefan Dennis

Les Dennis

Stu Francis(2)

Spencer K. Gibbins

Rolf Harris (2)

Paul Henry

Andrew O’Connor

Chris Lloyd

Jonathan Morris

Paul Nicholas

Iain Rogerson

Allan Stewart

Dennis Waterman

Bradley Walsh (2)

Gary Wilmot (2)

Neil West

Gary Wilmot with Jodie Jackson

Ray Meagher



Peter Baldwin

Peter Byrne

Gary Bushell

Peter Carr

Tommy Cannon

Dawson Chance (6)

Windsor Davies (3)

Andy Grey

John Griffiths

Rolf Harris (3)

Ronnie Hilton

Ray Meagher

Bill Owen (3)

Peter Purves

Billy Riddoch

Roy Walker

Clive Webb

Bryn Williams

Dawson Chance and Willy

Isobel Hurll



Isobel Hurll




Kathy Staff

Betty Benfield

Kathy Staff

Judy Cornwall

Fairy Godmothers:


Betty Benfield (5)

June Brown (2)

Dame Hilda Bracket (Patrick Fyffe) (2)

Judy Buxton

Judy Cornwell (3)

Sheilagh Dennis

Mandy Demetriou

Britt Ekland

Joyce Falconer

Shobna Gulati

Jill Halfpenny

Jan Hunt

Isobel Hurll

Dorothy Paul

Polly Perkins

Denise Pitter

Vivienne Ross

Rachel Spry (3)

June Whitfield

Cheryl Wilkinson

Kerry Winter

Rachel Spry

Jan Hunt



Helen Bixley

Dean Chisnell

Jane Danielle

Caroline Dennis (3)

Janet Dibley

Felicity Goodson

Paul Gyngell

Linda Hayden

Jan Hunt (3)

Jonathan Kiley

Rula Lenska

Sean Needham (5)

Bruce Roberts

Maureen Scott

June Shand

Gareth Snook

Jansen Spencer

Sally Taylor

Craig Urbani

Kate Verner

Sally Taylor

Brian Conley



Kris Akabusi

Kathryn Apanowicz

Toni Arthur

Amanda Bairstow

Debbie Boyd

Duncan Breeze

Fern Britton

Claire Callaghan(2)

Natalie Cleverly (2)

Robin Cousins (2)

Jody Crosier (6)

Jane Danielle (2)

Caro Gurney

Eaton James

Jill James

Susie McKenna

Anneka Rice

Jo Sherwood

Robert Quarry

Daniel Whiston

Natalie Cleverly

Caro Gurney, Kerry Jane Beddows & June Shand

Brokers Men:


Ward Allan (7)

Robin Askwith

Ian Botham

Dave Bradford

Bob Carolgees (3)

Dawson Chance (2)

Ken Wood (2)

Robert Quarry



Michael Gordon

Hull 1989

Les Dennis, Ronnie Hilton, Natalie Cleverley, Sophie Aldred & Ward Allan

Major Domos & Chamberlains:

 Bill Anderson

George Barnes

Oliver Bradshaw

Jack Brady(2)

Ifor Gwynne-Davie

Peter Gooday

Peter Grant

Frank Hennessy

Tony Hudson

Stewart McLean

Paul Ratcliffe

Doug Ridley

Lewis Rowe(2)

Ian Sandy (2)

Jeremy Smith

David Stenning

Ed Stewart


Robert Arditti

Peter Byrne

Tony Craven

Vivyan Ellacott (2)

Paul Elliott (5)

Kim Gavin (1)

Roger Hannah (1)

Nick Haigh

Michael Harrison

Rachel Anne Jones

Brian Hewitt-Jones (2)

Lisa Kent

Jonathan Kiley (2)

Peter Purves (2)

Paul Robinson (2)

Keith Simmons (2)

Carole Todd (5)

Charles Vance



Robert Arditti

Jon Bowles

Georgina Cole

Shealagh Dennis

Heather Douglas

Mike Fields

Kim Gavin

Rachel Anne Gillies

Roger Hannah

Rachel Anne Jones

Lisa Kent

Jayne Longfield (2)

Debbie Lloyd (2)

Loraine Porter

Paul Robinson (5)

Sam Spencer-Lane (3)

Carole Todd

Susan Theodore



Rolf Harris - Woking 1996

Just after he announced from the stage that he would be retiring from Pantomime


Anneka Rice

Bill Owen

Rula Lenska

Caroline Dennis

Iain Rogerson

Jan Hunt - 1987

Jodie Jackson 1996

Ria Jones

Jane Danielle

Maggie Carr and Gareth Snook

Dennis Waterman and Peter Purves

Jill Halfpenny

June Brown, Cheryl Taylor, Dave Bradford

Bournemouth 1992/3

Stefan Dennis and Dave Bradford

Bournemouth 1992/3

Windsor Davies

Bournemouth 1992/3

Fiona Kennedy and Fern Britton

Southampton 1988/9

Adam Jones and Patrick Fyffe (Dame Hilda Bracket)

Southampton 1988/9



A flyer for a Brick Lane Music Hall Gala


This page was last updated 22nd April 2009

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