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Digital Spy: Anna Williamson's Showbiz Peek at the Week

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Anna Williamson as Alice Fitzwarren,
Dick Whittington

© Rex Features / London News Pictures/Rex Features

Hola peeps, wow what a week it's been! I've been well and truly getting into the Crimbo spirit this past few days; and no I haven't bought one gift yet, nor a tree, or even written a wretched Christmas card. For this week has seen the start of Panto season...OH YES IT IS! What? May as well have got the predictable come back gag out the way early!

So in addition to keeping my ears and eyes to the ground sniffing out all the latest showbiz goss, I've been hanging out with Dame Edna, Sam Attwater and the rest of our fab cast down in Wimbledon, putting together (what we really hope is) London's best pantomime.

Fourteen-hour days, the obligatory cast flu, a cast of 40, a flying wombat and a stage diving dwarf later, we have a show! Now, I'll not give too much away as we're gearing up for our press night (oh how the tables have turned on me now, ha!), but this year's panto offering of Dick Whittington at the New Wimbledon Theatre is quite honestly the funniest show I've been involved in in a long time. Dame Edna is nothing short of a delight to work with and her alter ego Barry Humphries has fast become my NBF. Much to my amusement (and his management team's shock and horror) I'm delighted to report that Barry is getting well and truly into the cast spirit and has recently shunned his three-course lunches at London's finest establishments to instead prefer dining with us mere mortals at Nandos.

Dame Edna, Dick Whittington pantomime at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London

© Rex Features / London News Pictures/Rex Features



The faces of our fellow diners when in bowls Dame Edna clutching his 'half chicken meal' voucher is just priceless. I'm still trying to teach him the complex process that constitutes a Nandos ordering experience. Granted one does need a PHD to complete such a lengthy decision process, but you know what, he's old school, and I'm jolly glad he is! Because as you'll see for yourself if you fancy popping down to the show, he's a true legend and even after all these years, he's as sharp as they come and still one of the best entertainers there ever was. What can I say, there's a lot of Edna love in the room!

Now enough of my waxing lyrical and self promotion (humble apologies for that blatant plug), I have also been keeping a beady eye on what's been going on this week in the world of showbiz.

You'd have to be living in a nuclear bunker to not have known about this weekend's X Factor final; terrific idea to have it from Wembley but my my my, didn't it go ON! Tulisa must have THE biggest bruise on her hand after whacking the table SO much, and the amount of tears, snot and 'this has been the biggest journey' babblings really did move to a never before seen level of sheer annoying proportions.

The X Factor: Final 2011

© Ken McKay/TalkbackThames/Rex Features



That said, after the obligatory 'home visit' VT's, more tears and 'journey' babblings, and even an appearance by the Mayor of South Shields (err really?!), Tulisa's little muffins Little Mix made the record books by being crowned the first girlband in the show's history. Woohoo! These girls are the deserved winners, and they had it in the bag from the moment they stepped out on stage on Saturday night. Well done ladies, you did it and I can't wait for an exciting future ahead for you all.

OK, X Factor has been an interesting one this year and dogged with controversy, but I for one have loved it. It needed to be freshened up and I believe that the producers have delivered. With the combination of Olly and Caroline on Xtra Factor, Dermot's dancing, Gazza B and the Wembley final, this format lives to see another year surely?!

So with X Factor back in the cupboard for another year, what are we going to use as an excuse to stay in on Saturday nights now? Fear not my friends, Dancing on Ice and Britains Got Talent are waiting in the wings; so you best enjoy the next few weekends of festivities before permission to be a couch potato once again in the New Year is granted.

TV Titters

The X Factor Final Part 1
Kelly Rowland trying and failing to pronounce Amelia Lily's name properly - every week! The massive bottle of Moet and Chandon unashamedly being in the forefront of shot during Amelia's home VT. Jesy 'Little Mix' gold jeggings....NB to stylists...this girl is NOT fat, stop making her look otherwise!

Olly Murs pronouncing Mayor as 'May-yer' - awww bless him, and Pixie Lott's poodle hair on Text Santa - Pixie... no!

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