Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Strictly's Len Goodman helps Shanklin Theatre panto

Len Goodman in Strictly Come Dancing
Image caption Len Goodman appears on a video screen during the Shanklin pantomime

An Isle of Wight theatre is hoping a guest pantomime appearance by a Strictly Come Dancing judge will help to boost its fortunes.

Len Goodman recorded video clips in November to be played during Cinderella at the volunteer-run Shanklin Theatre.

Panto director Jayne Morris said: "We're hoping Len helps save the day and we can keep the theatre open."

He will appear on a video screen on stage judging a dance competition as part of the pantomime.

Len Goodman's son James, who lives on the island for part of the year, also appears in the show.

Shanklin Theatre, which dates back to 1879, was operated by the island's council until 2010. It is now run by volunteers who took it over to prevent it from closing.

Ms Morris said: "Len is a real supporter of the theatre. He was so generous with his time, it was lovely and it means a lot to us.

"The panto is the biggest show of the year, so its vital people support local theatre."

Ms Morris said it was "always hard" to attract celebrities to star in pantomimes on the island at Christmas and that the cast was made up entirely of island-based actors.

The pantomime runs until 2 January.

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