One question is asked when Keighley Amateurs release the tickets for their annual pantomime: "is Peter Whitley in it?"

Answer "Oh yes he is" and the bums will be on seats quicker than you can make a custard pie.

Peter has been bringing the house down for just four years in Keighley but already the annual show wouldn't be the same without him.

He draws on decades of experience performing in amateur musicals, plays and pantomimes across West Yorkshire.

In particular, he is aided by his 20 years in various roles in the regular panto in his home village of Harden.

Peter's wife Debbie is still a regular Harden Players performer and he himself returns whenever possible.

He will step into a small role in Harden during the week following his latest Keighley Amateurs appearance.

In Keighley Peter again plays the lead comedian, this time in Dick Whittington, with the usual one-liners, asides and slapstick routines.

He freely admits he plays the same character every year, in time-tested comic routines, with just a few jokes updated.

But he adds: "It's the same formula, but it always works. It's a grown-up playing a kid -- the kids love seeing that.

The Dame's sidekick isn't the only role Peter can play: he is renowned around the district for his memorable performances in musicals.

He has made well-known characters his own in Me and My Girl, My Fair Lady, Barnum, Singin in the Rain and most surprisingly Scrooge. And despite his love of comedy this 46-year-old father-of-two has even shone in the title role of The King and I.

Peter says: "Scrooge and the King are the nearest I've got to doing straight stuff. I'm not that bothered -- I've got a character face.

"What a fabulous part the King is. There's everything -- there are some quite funny bits and you can do a lot with it."

Peter again plays the King -- a role made famous on screen by Yul Brynner -- as Keighley Amateurs stage the classic musical this October.

Four months earlier, the constantly-busy actor makes his debut at Keighley Playhouse in the invisible-white-rabbit comedy Harvey.

* See Peter in Dick Whittington, at Victoria Hall, from tomorrow until the following Saturday, 7.15pm, plus Saturdays and Sunday at 2.15pm. Phone 01535 652547.