Having cut his pantomime teeth as Genie of the Lamp in 2011’s Milton Keynes Aladdin, the roly-poly astrologer Russell Grant has moved a few miles across Buckinghamshire in 2012 to star as Roger the Cabin Boy (ooh-er, missus!) in Aylesbury’s Peter Pan.

Fans of JM Barrie’s timeless play for children might wonder who precisely this character is. In fact, Roger is the invention of adapter Eric Potts in the glittering new version unveiled by producers First Family Entertainment two years ago.

Some may think the role is largely an irrelevance since the duties of silly ass aboard the pirate ship of Captain Hook are already being performed, as ever, by Smee, here in crowd-pleasing style by the excellent Andy Collins.

Previous Rogers have been Pineapple Dance Studio’s Louie Spence (a knock-out in Milton Keynes’s Cinders at present) and Harry Derbidge of The Only Way is Essex. Russell’s recruitment – following his new-found fame, with all his trademark campery, as a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing – confirms a predictable deference to the cult of celebrity in some panto casting.

Perhaps it is as well to draw a discreet veil over his involvement – it had better be rather a large one to encompass the garish pink outfit in which Russell preens and twirls during a rumbustious performance of Shirley Ellis’s The Clapping Song. This has been cleverly segued by musical director Pierce Tee into The Spencer Davis group’s Gimme Some Loving whose belting vocals are delivered by the production’s Divas, so styled, Bobbie Gordon and Ngozi Ugoh. These dynamic soul singers prove to be stars of the show.

Not the only ones shining, though, in this high-quality production under director Ian McFarlane. Steven Serlin, Aylesbury’s King Rat last year, stokes up the animosity of the crowd as an arrogant, child-hating Hook and really rocks on Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Holly Brewer shows us a less syrupy than usual Wendy, and sings superbly, though not often enough.

From the snatches of song we hear just before the final curtain, Adam Pettigrew, as headstrong Peter, has considerable vocal talents, too. But nothing, of course, can match the Lost Boy’s ability to fly, here demonstrated to tremendous effect.

THREE STARS Until December 30 Tickets: 0844 8717607 or atg.tickets.com/aylesbury