HE is one of the country’s bestloved entertainers.

Now comedian, TV presenter, singer, actor and panto king Brian Conley will return to Southampton’s The Mayflower for a leading role.

Brian, who starred as Fagin in last year’s sell-out show Oliver!, will come back to the city this Christmas to lead the cast in the swashbuckling pantomime adventure Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates.

Extra performances have been added and the theatre has today announced the show will now run from December 14 to January 12 next year.

Brian has hosted numerous television shows including Let Me Entertain You, Dirty Rotten Cheater and the hugely successful The Brian Conley Show and Brian Conley – Alive and Dangerous.

He has guest-hosted The Paul O’Grady Show on several occasions and has also appeared on several Royal Variety Performances as well as Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Loose Women.

On stage Brian, described as “a personality powerhouse” and a “brilliant physical comedian” by The Independent, has starred in the West End and in the touring productions of Hairspray and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and portrayed Jolson in the Olivieraward- winning hit musical of the same name.

Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division and executive producer of Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates, said: “Following on from last year’s pantomime success, we can guarantee this will be another action-packed and must-see Mayflower theatre pantomime.

“The show will feature an abundance of comedy, and, surprises galore along the way.”

The pantomime promises fabulous sets, outrageous costumes and stunning special effects, as well as a few surprises.

Michael Ockwell, Mayflower chief executive, added: “Last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk was a tremendous success, seeing traditional panto returning to the Mayflower.

“The only way to followthis was to bring the biggest panto star in the UK down to the south. We saw this production in Birmingham last Christmas and Brian proved again what an outstanding performer he is and we know he will delight our audiences; as a result we have decided to add an extra week to the beginning of the run of Robinson Crusoe.”

l For tickets call 023 8071 1811 or go to mayflower.org.uk