A weekly reporter took part in a pantomime performance alongside celebrities Gareth Gates and Toyah Willcox – after the team behind the show took exception to an article he wrote.
Jamie Bullen of the Kentish Gazette wrote a story about the Sleeping Beauty pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, saying accurately that it was the most expensive in the county.
But the producer and cast of the show took exception to it, challenging him to take a role as a naughty schoolboy in one of their performances.
Jamie, pictured below in the school tie with cast members, accepted the challenge and was on the receiving end of a jibe when Nurse Nellie asked the audience what happens to naughty boys when they grow up, before replying: “They become journalists!”
He said: “On stage, facing the glare of lights and 869 excited faces, was a feeling very different to my career as a reporter.
“In the run-up to the performance, I was relaxed; it would be over in moments, they wouldn’t give me any lines, what’s the worst that could happen?
“But when the day came and I found myself about to tread the boards for the first time since a school play eight years previously, the nerves began to mount. After the scene was over, I ran off stage boosted by relief and delight that my performance had ended.
“On reflection I am happy to retire gracefully from acting and concentrate on reporting.”
Editor Leo Whitlock added: “Top marks to Jamie for being a great sport and tackling the unfair criticism of his reporting head on.
“The team thought he got off lightly by being cast as a schoolboy – we lobbied for him to be the dame or the back-end of a pantomime horse.”