Panto star turn for Press Club lunch.

Guests announced for annual bash.

It’s not going to be a pantomime. But Birmingham Press Club has a panto star as one of the guests at this year’s Press Club Christmas lunch on 15th December. And a great Brummie comic has been lined up as well so loads of fun are guaranteed.

BBC radio producer Kevin Pashby, who is co-organising the lunch with fellow Press Club director Sonya Bell, said: “There’s a a new look to the event this year – but I have no doubt that everyone will be in for a great time.”

The lunch is being held at the award-winning restaurant and bar at The Penthouse Suite at the Loft Lounge in Bromsgrove Street, not far from Birmingham Hippodrome.

Panto favourite Matt Slack, appearing at the Birmingham Hippodrome for the fourth consecutive year – this time as Idle Jack in Dick Whittington – will be providing the entertainment along with stand-up comedian Jay Handley.

Jay gave up a career as a furniture-maker to make jokes instead and, apart from appearing at comedy venues around the country, he has also performed six times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year he presented his show You Want the Truth? You Can’t Handley the Truth!

Matt has earned rave reviews for his previous panto performances and Birmingham audiences this year will again be rolling in the aisles with his hilarious physical comedy and quick wit in the role of Idle Jack.

EastEnders star Steve McFadden, a close friend of Matt, who is appearing at the Hippodrome as King Rat said: “I’ve been to see Matt in panto here for the last three years and I can confidently say that Birmingham is home to one of the best pantomimes in the country.”

Also appearing in this year’s panto at the Hippodrome ( will be musical theatre star John Barrowman, comedy duo The Krankies, actress and singer Jodie Prenger and Andrew Ryan, as the panto dame. Tickets can also be booked by calling 0844 338 5000.