- Is James on the naughty or nice list for this performance in 2014?

James 'Santa' May was in a right old pantomime in 2014

32w ago


As it's December now and boxes of baubles are being unpacked, the ghost of Christmas past visited me and reminded me that in 2014 my friend won tickets to the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show pantomime at the Leicester Square Theatre in London and invited me along.

The then host of the show Christian O'Connell had interviewed James May several times that year and had somehow persuaded him to take over the part of Santa/Zombie Santa in the annual pantomime, the role having been played the previous year by former Dr Who actor David Tennant.

Poster advertising the pantomime

The undead cast

The pantomime cast was made up of Christian O'Connell and his co presenter as elves, Shane Ritchie the soap actor, musical theatre star and serial pantomime performer as Dick Whittington, Ian Wright the famous ex footballer and several other Absolute Radio presenters in bit parts. The starring role of Santa/Zombie Santa played, of course, by James May.

An undead and alive performance by James May gripped the audience - I know, I was there..

As the pantomime was for radio, the actors (I use the term loosely) read from their scripts and it was all taken light heartedly. The show was streamed live on youtube and I have added the links further down the article if you have half an hour for some undead Christmas fun.

O'Connell, May, Shane Ritchie and Ritchie looking like they need some Christmas Spirit(s)

The 'Plot'

The plot is that Santa and others become zombies when infected with some mystery ailment, which can only be cured by a well known brand of antiseptic cream. That's commercial radio for you. Anyway, it gave me the chance to see May 'act' live, or undead, and wear a silly costume - May's costume being silly that is, not mine.

You'll be as old as me if you realise May is doing an Ian Anderson impression here....Ring out Solstice Bells..

So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun, click on the links below to be amazed by the spirit of pantomime past, or feel the need for several Christmas spirits.


Welcome one and all

Scary Claus (Photo via Absolute Radio)

Would you give James and acting job? Let me now what you think in the comments below-ho-ho-ho.