The UK Pantomime Awards 2023

This year, once again the Trafalgar Theatre London hosted the UK Pantomime Awards- a wet and chilly night, but still the red carpet was laid outside the theatre welcoming performers and technicians, stage management and musicians, producers and marketing departments from pantos all over the land. In short- The Pantomime Family celebrating this unique British Entertainment!

Hosted by the UKPA the show was presented by its President Christopher Biggins. Chris has presented every year of the Awards, since their inception back in the day to a small group of Panto afficianodos, to its current glamorous full scale Awards Ceremony which, this year as always was run like clockwork- congratulations to Alicia and to Sam Munday -Webb for the slick and smooth evening of awards and speeches and performances.

This year the UKPA created the legend that is Derek Griffiths to be their Vice President. Derek- master of Panto Villainy and comedy has a long and enviable Pantomime career, and I can think of no one better to fill this role! The Chair is Simon Sladen of the V&A Museum, and Vice Chairs Susie McKenna and Sam Munday-Webb.

The trustees are Nick Humby, Alex Jackson, Chris Jarvis, Linda John-Pierre, David Lloyd Jones, Robert Marsen (Of Staffs University) and Laura Taylor.

The Evening was a glorious celebration of all things Pantomime, and a chance for all of us who work in this world of Pantoland to get together and meet up- something we rarely do, as we are always in a panto at the same time, from Scotland to Penzance, and rarely get to meet up, if at all! It also celebrates the amazing amount of hard work and skill that goes into presenting this entertainment, a Panto can often keep a theatre afloat and help subsidise its output for several months after the curtain has come down.

During this year’s show there was a moment to remember those who have left us in the past year. A very moving moment and a huge standing ovation and lengthy applause to commemorate those we have lost.

The awards and winners can be found here, on the UKPA’s website:

Here’s a short video of the event:

The venue was packed, and it was an honour once again to present an award along with Andrew Ryan for The Best Contribution to Music. The Winner was Emma Fraser, “Dick Whittington” at the Octogon Theatre, Yeovil. Here we are with Emma and Biggins .

So many friends in the building, impossible to name them all, and I was too busy catching up with everyone to take photos, but here are some from Social Media to give a flavour of the evening.

During the evening The special recognition awards (presented by Simon Sladen) included an Outstanding achievement award to Su Pollard (Join the club Su!) and An award to Sir Ian McKellan for his passionate advocacy and services to Pantomime. Sir Ian and his “Mother Goose ” Company won the Best Pantomime Award (500-900 Seats) and he gave a very warm and lovely speech to the Pantomime Family in the room. He and his company head off to Bristol Hippodrome for the last week of their Pantomime tour.

Sir Ian with Sarah Boden, Laura Taylor and Vernon Kay.

Vernon Kay won the Best Newcomer to Panto Award.

Jill Jordan (Doreen) with Joe McElderry

Doreen & Biggins

guest performers included Doreen Tipton, Myra Dubois, Gigi Zahir, Corey Watts, Jake England, Anna Jane-Casey, Katie Sanger & Chet Robertson, with the amazing cast of Disney Villains- Michael Batchelor, Cat Cunningham and Paul Hill with Ellie Carwithen, Dominic Charles, Danni Faulkener, Sasha Minakov, Bethany Mullen and Kayleigh Patient.

Many thanks to UKPA for a very lovely celebration and for honouring the world of Pantomime and all those who work so hard to create it each and every year.

If you have an photos of the evening you’d like to share on this page, please feel free to send them to


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