In 2015, national treasure Christoper Biggins celebrated 40 years in pantomime - and it was at Darlington Civic Theatre that he made his first panto appearance. He returned a few years later in 1977-78 to play Sarah the Cook in Dick Whittington - the cast list from the programme is pictured above.

So when the time came for us to organise our fundraising evening, Live at the Hippodrome, to celebrate and anticipate our forthcoming restoration, we knew that 'Biggins', with his links to the town, to the theatre, and to the tradition of panto which we so enjoy, would be a fantastic compere.

For Christopher, as for many of us here in the town and beyond, this beautiful theatre is full of memories. We're sure that he is looking forward to a final chance to visit us before the curtain comes down. Join him - and us - on Tuesday 31 May for this special event which also stars pop star Mari Wilson and comedy magician Matt Edwards, as well as featuring a host of other acts.

To read more about Live at the Hippodrome, and to book tickets, visit [link removed as event has passed].