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Britain's Got Talent winners to star in Manchester panto Dick Whittington

Manchester Opera House's annual pantomime attracts a host of famous faces, including the 2012 winners of Britain's Got Talent

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Manchester Opera House panto Dick Whittington will feature a whole host of famous faces

Britain's Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey will be among the famous faces performing in this year's Manchester Opera House pantomime.

Telling the rags to riches tale of Dick Whittington and his cat, the performance will also feature West End and television star Jodie Prenger as Fairy Bowbells, Ben Faulks (aka Mr Bloom from CBeebies) as Dick Whittington, Opera House panto favourite Tam Ryan as Idle Jack, panto dame extraordinaire Eric Potts as Sarah the Cook, and Spamalot's Samuel Holmes as the evil King Rat.

Ashleigh and Pudsey, who bagged themselves the attention of Simon Cowell back in 2012, will be taking on the roles of Alice Fitzwarren and her dog.

Also written by Potts, the production includes all the favourite pantomime ingredients, including sensational songs, a live band, dazzling dance routines, hilarious slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation.

The run will include the first "relaxed performance" of panto at the Opera House on 2 January, 2014. A relaxed performance is aimed at anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability.

Dick Whittington will be staged between 6 December and 5 January.

- Rebecca Cohen