Panto Factor gathers momentum as judging panel is announced

Some of last year's Panto Factor finalists
Some of last year's Panto Factor finalists

Things are hotting up on the festive front as this year’s Panto Factor Judges have been announced.

And guess what – I’m one of them!

I cut my teeth on the panel last year and it was the best fun I’ve had in years.

My fellow judges were 1990s pop star Lolly – aka Anna Kumble, big belter Jasette Amos and there-is-nothing-like-a-dame Leon Craig.

The line-up is pretty similar this year except actor Robert Pearce is replacing the lovely Leon.

Anna’s impressive list of credits includes a BRIT award nomination. She had a string of hits like Hey Mickey and Viva La Radio and enjoyed a long stint as a children’s television presenter for both CBBC and Nickolodeon.

She’s an established West End songbird and has had principal roles in numerous shows like Starlight Express and Elvis the Musical.

She’s performed in panto all over the country and this year is her fifth with Magic Beans Pantomimes.

I forecast she’ll be sensational as the Fairy of the Forest in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre.

Bubbly Jasette Amos has also had a busy year – Jools Holland invited her to be special guest singer at a Masked Ball at Clarence House and in addition she’s been involved in the launch of a new music venue in Spain.

The lady whose laugh is contagious played Fairy Bowbells in Dick Whittington at the Grove last year and has sung alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry including Madonna and Elton John.

Both she and Anna are adept at spotting potential stars and letting losers down gently.

Robert Pearce is the unknown quantity this year but he comes with a classy CV. He’s a regular panto performer and has toured the country in a range of roles.

> If you’d like to join the stars in this year’s panto as a dancer, shimmy on down to auditions at the Grove on Sunday, September 14. They’re open (in three age groups) to everyone aged six to 18 plus.

> For more information, times and details visit