PANTO queen Elaine C Smith has revealed how she “couldn't have lived” with herself if audiences had caught coronavirus this year.

The national treasure was due to appear as the Fairy Godmother in a production of panto favourite Cinderella at the King's Theatre in Glasgow this year.

But it and hundreds of other pantomimes were cancelled over the risk to public health as the pandemic continues.

In an interview with STV's Scotland Tonight, which goes out at 7.30pm and is available online, Smith discusses the 12-month postponement of her show, saying: “I don’t think I could have lived with myself had someone taken ill or died because they came to a theatre to see a show. I don’t think anybody could.”

Speaking from the King’s, Smith says: “Maybe because I’m just old and I’ve been doing it a long time and I haven’t had a proper Christmas in 25 years, I had a feeling in my waters it wasn’t going to happen.

“I’ve been quite shocked by how I feel coming in, and what this has meant to me for all these years. The thought of those theatres, those great palaces of entertainment, being shut for so long...

“But I don’t know whether I would have liked to have done a show to a third-full King’s either, because the audience are panto.”

On her love of pantomime and its cultural importance in Scotland, Smith says: “There's a part of it that's intrinsically Scottish for me. It pokes fun at power. It allows love to always win and a bit of light to go out into the world.

“Glaswegians love to laugh. They tell you if it's not funny very quickly as well. But I discovered the same in Aberdeen – they love to laugh, and so you really have to get it badly wrong if they're not laughing and applauding.”

The edition also features interviews with actors Leah MacRae, Grant Stott, Tom Urie and Johnny Mac on the impact of pantomime closures on Scottish theatres.

The programme will be available at