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"Absolutely brilliant best panto I've ever seen"

The Krankies are a Scottish comedy duo who first enjoyed success as a cabaret act in the 1970s and went on to find television success in the 1980s. Up until 2018 The Krankies regularly appeared in pantomime. The duo comprises of wife Janette Tough and her husband Ian. As the Krankies they portray schoolboy Wee Jimmy Krankie (Janette), and paternal figure Ian Krankie (Ian). Beginning in the 1990s, they regularly appeared as The Krankies in episodes of the BBC comedy series French and Saunders.  Janette was born on 16 May 1947 in QueenzieburnNorth Lanarkshire, Scotland, and Ian on 26 March 1947 in Glasgow. The two met in 1966, and were married in 1969.

In 2004 whilst appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk in Glasgow, Janette suffered a serious fall from the beanstalk, she suffered from a fractured skull and broke several ribs and her collarbone whilst also damaging her chest and perforating her ear drum. She fell around 15 feet whilst performing the end of act 1 scene and whilst happily waving out into the audience the beanstalk suddenly collapsed sending her and co-star Gary Hollywood crashing to the ground. Janette became unconscious and was rushed to hospital at what was a very worrying time. Janette would spend then next 10 days in hospital recovering and the pair would take a break form panto for the 2005 season as part of the recovery. 

Ahead of their final pantomime appearance in 2018 the pair spoke openly about their thoughts on how pantomime was now being perceived. Janette recalled that during their 2017 pantomime one lady became very vocal to the press about her feelings towards  pantomime and demanding the show was pulled claiming it was pure filth. In actual fact it was nothing more than the standard panto innuendo that had always been used where some jokes were clearly aimed high above the heads of the children and at the adults, if the children understood those jokes then it properly said more about the parenting than anything else.  Ian said: “There’s a brigade now who want to change all of this. The snowflakes of this world are frightening.” Janette added: “Any more snowflakes and I’m out of it.” 

In early 2019 Janette & Ian broke the news that they were now retired from panto, but not necessarily from show-business, having felt they had simply run out of energy and doing 2 shows a day, 6 days a week for a 5 week run would be too much. They were also concerned that continuing to make panto appearances would worsen Janette's osteoporosis condition. 

One regret Janette spoke of was their desire to end their panto career at the London Palladium as that is where it all started for them.

Panto history:

1978/79 Cinderella - Darlington Civic

1979/80 Babes in the Wood - Bristol Hippodrome 

1980/81 Babes in the Wood - Theatre Royal Nottingham

1981/82 Babes in the Wood - Oxford Apollo

1982/83 Dick Whittington - Birmingham Hippodrome

1983/84 Babes in the Wood - Bradford Alhambra

1984/85 Cinderella - Theatre Royal, Newcastle

1985/86 Cinderella - New Theatre, Hull

1986/87 Dick Whittington - New Theatre, Cardiff

1987/88 Aladdin - Sunderland Empire

1988/89 Dick Whittington - Bradford Alhambra

1989/90 Aladdin - Manchester Opera House

1990/91 Aladdin - Newcastle Theatre Royal

1991/92 Aladdin - Wolverhampton Grand

1992/93 Aladdin - New Theatre, Hull

1993/94 Aladdin - Darlington Civic

1994/95 Robinson Crusoe - Bournemouth Pavilion

1995/96 Aladdin - Glasgow Pavilion


1997/98 Robin Hood - Darlington Civic

1998/99 Pinocchio - Glasgow Pavilion

1999/00 Peter Pan - Glasgow Pavilion

2000/01 ?????????? - Glasgow Pavilion

2001/02 Aladdin - Glasgow Pavilion

2002/03 Cinderella - Glasgow Pavilion

2003/04 Pinocchio - Glasgow Pavilion

2004/05 Jack and the Beanstalk - Glasgow Pavilion

2005/06 No panto

2006/07 Cinderella - Darlington Civic

2007/08 Dick Whittington - Wolverhampton Grand

2008/09 Peter Pan - Wolverhampton Grand

2009/10 Cinderella - Wolverhampton Grand

2010/11 Aladdin - SECC Glasgow

2011/12 Robinson Crusoe - SECC Glasgow

2012/13 Jack and the Beanstalk - SECC Glasgow

2013/14 Dick Whittington - SECC Glasgow

2014/15 Cinderella - SECC Glasgow

2015/16 Peter Pan - SECC Glasgow

2016/17 Dick Whittington - Birmingham Hippodrome

2017/18 Dick Whittington - Manchester Opera House

2018/19 Cinderella - SECC Glasgow

Click to enlarge

1981 Oxford Apollo panto.jpg
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1984 Theatre Royal Newcastle.png
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1997 Darlington Civic.jpg

Video: 2009 panto clip

2016 pantomime interview with The Krankies

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