John Bishop to write and star in ITV panto comedy

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Comic John Bishop and playwright Jonathan Harvey have teamed up to write Panto!, a comedy for ITV.

The comedy will star Bishop, alongside Sheridan Smith, Samantha Spiro, Mark Benton and Chesney Hawkes.

Bishop said: “In 2006 I left my job – that Christmas I appeared in a local panto. It was there I fell in love with that world and came up with the idea of a comedy drama, which has now evolved into Panto!. To be making this six years later for ITV1 is really very exciting. The script I’ve written with Jonathan Harvey is something I’m immensely proud of, and the cast are all brilliant.”

Myfanwy Moore, comedy commissioner at ITV, described the comedy as “a glittery and heart-warming treat of a show.”

Panto! is being directed by Christine Gernon and is a co-production between Baby Cow and Bishop’s company Lola Entertainment.

It will be shown over Christmas.