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Panto star Ben Langley ‘overwhelmed’ as crowd give him standing ovation in final show

PUBLISHED: 21:14 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:09 16 January 2019

Ben Langley as Wishee Washee Credit: Rosa Maria Hughes

Ben Langley as Wishee Washee Credit: Rosa Maria Hughes

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Comedian Ben Langley received a standing ovation as he left the stage in his last-ever Norwich pantomime at Theatre Royal.

A crowd awaits Ben Langley as he leaves the stage door. Photo: Luke PowellA crowd awaits Ben Langley as he leaves the stage door. Photo: Luke Powell

The Britain’s Got Talent star, who lives in Shimpling near Diss, said he was leaving his panto days behind him after being told he will not be in the 2019 cast.

The announcement last month sparked an online petition urging theatre bosses to reconsider their decision.

Mr Langley, who starred as Wishee Washee in this year’s Aladdin production, said he was “overwhelmed” by the support he had received.

At the end of his last performance on Sunday night an audience member cried out “we love you Ben”. He was then given a standing ovation.

Ben Langley with his family after the show. Photo: Luke PowellBen Langley with his family after the show. Photo: Luke Powell

Crowds also gathered outside the stage door to bid fairwell to the panto stalwart, who has performed at Theatre Royal for the past five years.

Mr Langley said: “Tonight was electric and there was an amazing response from the crowd. They gave me a standing ovation and it was completely overwhelming.”

Confetti was thrown in the air and there was a round of applause as Mr Langley exited the stage door.

He then took time to pose with fans for photographs.

Speaking afterwards he said: “I was overwhelmed by the support and love from the Norfolk community. “Watch this space because there is some exciting news to come.”

Mr Langley revealed he would not be returning to next year’s pantomime on Twitter in December.

Fans expressed their outrage with #BringBenBack and #SaveBenLangley hashtags started on Twitter and some audience members watching the show even held up posters in support of Ben.

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