Fury at ‘panto’ jibe by X-Factor judge

Under fire Gary Barlow, and below,  Johnny Robinson
Under fire Gary Barlow, and below, Johnny Robinson

X-FACTOR judge Gary Barlow has sparked outrage in Scarborough after comparing a contestant’s performance to “a bad pantomime” in the town.

And he has been urged to visit the town to see for himself what the pantos are like!

Johnny Robinson

Johnny Robinson

He made the comment during the live show on Saturday night in front of a television audience of millions.

It followed a performance from contestant Johnny Robinson, who sang a mash-up of Hung Up by Madonna and Dead or Alive classic You Spin Me Round.

In last night’s results programme Robinson was voted off the show by the four judges.

Scarborough’s very own Sophia Wardman, who was a contestant on last year’s show with her group Belle Amie, has hit back at the comments.

Speaking to the Evening News, she said: “When I saw it I was not very happy at all with him dissing Scarborough.

“If it’s good enough for Elton John then it should be good enough for him.

“(Fellow judge) Tulisa was only here the other month, so she must have been really embarrassed. I mean, what was he thinking?”

Immediately following the Take That star’s comments, irate Scarborians took to Twitter to hit back at the judge.

Scarlett Johnson expressed her displeasure with the judge, writing: “So glad I don’t follow Gary Barlow any more after that comment about Scarborough!”

Theo and Beth stuck up for pantomimes in the town, saying: “Gary Barlow why insult Scarborough..our pantomimes are AMAZING!

And Jess Haigh tweeted: “Have discovered what was said about Scarborough. Barlow, you are dead to me. After all we’ve been through together...”

This year, the Spa will be staging a performance of Aladdin for its annual pantomime.

The Evening News contacted The Spa for comment, but nobody was available.

However, one visitor to the town leapt to the defence of pantomimes in Scarborough. Holidaymaker Martin Riley said his mother used to watch the pantomimes when she visited Scarborough, which he called “lovely”.

The 42-year-old Londoner labelled the comments “disgusting”, saying: “He should have to come and apologise for what he’s said.

“There’s nothing wrong with it, and maybe if he visited and watched one then he might change his mind.”