Invite for Johnny after Barlow’s jibe

Take that Gary! Scarborough spa panto producer Tony Peers, right, with the banner he has had made after Gary Barlow's comments about "a bad panto in Scarborough" on Saturday's X-Factor show. Pictured with him is Stewart Ward, the Spa marketing manager. Tony Peers is also having a giant copy of the banner made which will hang outside the Spa.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  114505a  07/11/11
Take that Gary! Scarborough spa panto producer Tony Peers, right, with the banner he has had made after Gary Barlow's comments about "a bad panto in Scarborough" on Saturday's X-Factor show. Pictured with him is Stewart Ward, the Spa marketing manager. Tony Peers is also having a giant copy of the banner made which will hang outside the Spa. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114505a 07/11/11
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A SCARBOROUGH show producer has defended the town’s pantomimes following jibes by X-Factor judge Gary Barlow.

Take That star Barlow slated Scarborough in front of millions of views, after branding contestant Johnny Robinson’s performance as being akin to “a bad pantomime in Scarborough” during Saturday nights live show.

Following his comments, there was an instant backlash from proud Scarborian’s on twitter, including former contestant Sophia Wardman, who said of the town: “If it’s good enough for Elton John then it should be good enough for him.”

It’s now drew the ire of Scarborough’s pantomime king Tony Peers, who believes the singers comments to be unjust.

Speaking to the Evening News, he said: “There’s no such thing as a bad pantomime in Scarborough, both The Spa and the Y.M.C.A put on absolutely fantastic performances every year.

“I think it’s a bit rich of him to have a go at our pantomimes considering he’s a judge on the biggest panto in the entire country.”

Following on from Saturdays comments, contestant Johnny was eliminated from the show after receiving a unanimous vote from the four person judging panel.

Now Mr Peers, who has been putting on theatre shows and pantomimes in Scarborough for decades, has vowed to offer the ousted singer a role in a future production.

And he has also offered to cast Barlow in the role of Simple Simon,

However, Mr Peers insists that he is “totally unfazed” by the comments, and insists, if anything, they have been a blessing in disguise, saying: “It’s given Scarborough priceless publicity, and I’m considering sending Gary a hamper at Christmas to thank him.”

Scarborough Council has also leaped to the defence of the towns proud pantomime past, with Cllr Andrew Jenkinson branding Mr Peers “an ambassador” for Scarborough.

Cllr Jenkinson believes Barlow should be forced to apologise for his comments, and even offered the singer a compromise: “He should be made to come here and put on a free concert at the Open Air Theatre. At the very least he should come and apologise to the town.”

If the singer did take Cllr Jenkinson up on his suggestion, it wouldn’t be the first time he had played Scarborough.

He performed two concerts with Take That in the early nineties at Toffs and at The Bees.