20 NOVEMBER 2008

Click here to see the stars appearing in all 12 productions around the UK

A dream team of performers is promising families a treat as this year's panto season kicks off. On Wednesday American favourites Henry Winkler and Steve Guttenberg joined Cilla Black in donning costumes to promote 12 productions in theatres around the country.

For the much-loved Liverpudlian appearing in her first panto for 22 years will be even more fun since she'll be acting on home turf. "I don't know if I'll do another one, so to do it in Liverpool is marvellous," she admitted.

"I had to think about it quite a lot before saying yes though. I've certainly never played a fairy godmother before - I'm such a bad girl I shouldn't be playing her really!" she joked.

Henry, aka The Fonz of Happy Days, is currently starring on the Milton Keynes stage as Captain Hook in Peter Pan - a role he first took on in the 2006 panto season. Wearing the sinister wig and hooked arm associated with the role the actor said: "I'm having a wonderful time".

His fellow US star Steve, known to cinema goers from the Police Academy series, is also venturing into the great British tradition - which is largely unknown in the US - donning a frock coat to portray Baron Hardup in Cinderella.

Joining them in taking on a panto role is Gareth Gates, who'll star as Prince Charming in Wimbledon, South London.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Fairy Godmother Cilla added a sprinkling of magic to the line-up when a host of stars gathered to promote 12 pantomimes opening this week. "I'm such a bad girl I shouldn't be playing her really!" she joked Photo: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Henry Winkler - The Fonz from Happy Days - has hooked a juicy part as Peter Pan's dastardly adversary, while Steve Guttenberg is appearing in Cinderella Photo: © Getty Images