Kemp’s Panto Payday

Welcome to A Slice of Soap!
Can anyone tell me how to get into panto? It seems to me that’s where the money is these days – forget the lottery. People seem to be up-in-arms about the kind of dosh pampered footballers are making (C-Ashley Cole anyone?) but the stars of panto ain’t too far behind them. If you don’t believe me, check out the following stories:
EastEnders star Ross Kemp has landed a deal worth £200,000 to play a panto villain. Kemp, 43, who played Grant Mitchell in the London-based soap, will be appearing in a version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, claims the Mirror.  The former soap star will line up alongside comedian Bobby Davro as the Queen’s henchman at a theatre in Wimbledon.  Talking about the role, Kemp said: "Having spent time dodging knives in Colombia, I’m sure I can handle a few Fruit Pastilles being hurled at me in Wimbledon."
Yeah I agree with you Ross. And you can throw as many Fruit Pastilles at me as you like for £200,000 mate. I certainly wouldn’t be complaining. But guys, this isn’t a one-off; it’s a trend. Check out this story:
Debra Stephenson, who played factory boss’s wife Frankie Baldwin in the Street, has signed up to star as Peter Pan at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal.  Former Corrie star Debra  has shunned I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here – to earn twice as much doing panto.Debra, 35, was offered £75,000 to rough it in the jungle for the hit ITV1 show.  But she opted to sign for a six-week panto stint which will net her £150,000.  A pal said: "What a sensible girl! She’s been very shrewd about it all."
Can you believe it? All that money for a six-week stint in panto. I agree with Debra Stephenson’s pal; she’s a very sensible girl. Then again if I had to choose between jumping out of a helicopter into shark-infested waters or prancing around on stage playing Peter Pan for £150,000 – the latter would definitely be the more attractive offer.
Now every soap has a twist doesn’t it? Well this panto story is no different. It ended with a dilemma facing Strictly Come Dancing stars Letitia Dean and Stephanie Beacham. Apparently the pair are due to appear in panto before the December 22 final of the show. Ironically, it was Stephanie Beacham and Letitia Dean who ended up in the bottom two in  the very first week which saw Stephanie controversially voted off Strictly Come Dancing. Sports presenter, Gabby Logan (who placed fourth that week) and GMTV’s Kate Garraway (who clearly got the sympathy vote in addition to negative comments from the judges) were inconsolable that evening. However, Stephanie looked like she’d won the lottery!  
As for Letitia Dean, if you looked closely enough, I swear you could see her cursing the viewers under her breath for not voting her off the show. All that panto money that’s up for grabs! I wonder how she’s gonna fit everything in? Perhaps she’ll do a Peggy Mitchell and get Sean ‘Shout!’ Slater to do ‘er some harm so that she won’t miss her big panto payout. 
Anyway one thing’s for sure, with the kind of money panto is paying these soap stars, I wouldn’t be surprised if Letitia Dean is nowhere near the BBC come the Strictly Come Dancing final night…
That’s all for now.  Join me on Friday for some more soap gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
Ms Bubbles
MSN’s Eye On Soaps
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6 Responses to Kemp’s Panto Payday

  1. stephi says:

    You can\’t pay these people enough for panto, have you seen how hard they work, anything that gets kid\’s {small and big} away from the playstation is worth it\’s wait in gold, my kids love it and they are in there late teens, and talk about when they take there kids.  So long live the actors who work so hard to bring so much joy.

  2. Brian says:

    Hi i run a Scout Troop who are just starting to rehers there panto for the first week in December these kids are aged 10 to 18 and work very hard to put on 3 shows  just glad that i dont have to pay them!!, this is our 9th year and we still have scouts that were in the first one returning to see it. long live Panto but oh how it gives me gray hair    

  3. Megan says:

    Altho ur mean aba Ronnii n Roxy – I ADORE YOU coz you given me the ansa i was looking 4 – ROXY STAYINNNNNNNNNNN WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO xxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Unknown says:

    christmas would not be the same without a god kids have been going since they were babies and they love it. this year we will be in oz for christmas and they are guted that there will be no panto for them even though they are having the holiday of their dreams….
    does anyone know if they do pantos in oz or are all famous australians over here in our pantos???????

  5. Soap Blogger says:

    Hello Lolly, it\’s a UK tradition only. They don\’t do it in Australia and they don\’t do it in the US that\’s why so many of their stars come here to do it. Keep the comments coming please, I read them all.

  6. alan gerrard says:

    I thought that he had been in panto for years!!! Let\’s face it his so called hard man act  as Grant "Grunt" Mitchell in Eastenders was straight from panto all it missed were yells from the audience of, "He\’s behind you!!!" As for his role in Ultimate Farce sorry I mean force no actually I do mean farce the less said the better.

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