22 NOVEMBER 2007

Panto came to life this week as a host of British stars – and some very famous American imports – took to the stage in London to launch this year’s festive line-up around the theatres of Britain.

Only one actor didn't dress up in his stage garb - but as one of the coolest screen cops of all time, it was perhaps to be expected. Donning jeans and a jacket was panto newcomer Paul Michael Glaser, who plays Captain Hook in Bromley’s production of Peter Pan.

"I've always had a whimsical side to me, a silly side," says the Starksy & Hutch heart-throb, explaining his surprise move.

Paul isn't the only US star adding another string to his bow. At the age of 86, Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney is heading to the Sunderland Empire, where he plays Baron Hardup in Cinderella. His eighth wife, Jan, is the Fairy Godmother.

Paul and Mickey joined in the colourful photo-call alongside an eclectic selection of British celebrities, including former Liberty X singer, Michelle Heaton, whose Cinderella earned a kiss from both Prince Charming, aka Andy Scott Lee, and Les Dennis's Buttons.

Also putting in an appearance was Ross Kemp, who looked suitably menacing in his henchman outfit for his role in Snow White. Last year’s winner of Radio 2’s Voice of Musical Theatre competition Aimie Atkinson stars opposite the former EastEnders hard-man as the panto's beautiful heroine.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Paul Michael Glaser joins Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan for a colourful launch of the panto seasonPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Michelle, meanwhile, earned a kiss on each cheek from Cinderella co-stars Les and Andy