IT’S almost panto time at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and many of last year’s stars are returning to the Black Country this Christmas for a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

After the barnstorming success of Aladdin, a number of cast members were quick to sign up for another outing, including everyone’s favourite lazy cow – Doreen Tipton.

The Black Country comedy queen will be joined on stage by returning favourites Lisa Reilly, Ian Adams and Adam C Booth, while newcomers Graham Cole (The Bill’s Tony Stamp) and Gareth Gates complete the all-star line-up.

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Doreen, who will be playing ‘The Lazy Neighbour’, sat down for a chat with News reporter Dan Sharp to explain why she has agreed to another month-long run at the Grand.

Are you looking forwards to doing the panto again, especially considering all the hard work which goes into it?

“I always try to look forward. I find that when I look backwards I fall over.

“But it’ll be great working with all them celebrities again – some of them are so famous even I recognise them.

“There’s Lisa Reilly of course, the gorgeous Gareth Gates, that bloke who used to be on The Bill, and some others who I recognise but can’t put a name to.

“And they’m all lovely, so it ay really hard work.”

As you’re playing a fictionalised version of yourself in the panto, how will the character differ from your actual persona?

“It’ll be weird playing me pretending to be somebody else who’s just like me. To be honest I ay really got me yed round it yet, but I’m sure it’ll make sense in the end.

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“They’ve made me a nice medieval brown hoodie to wear, so I’ll feel at home, and I even get to sing a couple of songs, so it’ll be just like Christmas-time at home when my daughter Trojan gets the hokey cokey machine out.”

Do you have any surprises in store for the audience this year?

“That sounds like a trick question. If I tell you about the surprises they won’t be surprises anymore and we’ll have to invent some new surprises.

“So yes, there are some, but I’m wouldn’t tell you what they are even I knew, which I don’t, which is nice because they’ll also be a surprise to me.”

After winning the Great British Pantomime Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ last year, is there an award you’re hoping to pick up this time?

“I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as an Oldcomers Award, or a NearlyNew/Usedcomers Award, but if there is I suppose I could be in for that.

“If there’s an award for the best person playing somebody called Doreen in a medieval hoodie I’m a nailed-on certainty to be shortlisted for that.”

Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk – which runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Saturday, December 9, until Sunday, January 14 – are on sale now and can be booked online at, in person from the box office, or by calling 01902 429212.