There was only one answer for Katie Morgan when her very own Prince Charming proposed - live from a Panto stage from the stage.
Boyfriend James Bunkell delighted Katie with the surprise of her life as he joined the cast and chorus to pop the question just as the curtain was about to come down on Cinderella at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion.
James, 27, from Warley Road, North Shore, was sporting the full Prince Charming costume after being secretly whisked backstage by panto producers.
After Lowther management heard of his plans to ask for Katie’s hand at the matinee performance, he was even invited to a rehearsal by production company Polka Dot Pantomimes to make sure all went smoothly.
“I couldn’t believe how helpful they were and it went like a dream,” said James.
“When we got the tickets for the panto a few weeks ago I thought it would be good to propose that day but I wasn’t sure how best to do it – I thought it might work via an announcement at the interval or something.
We are delighted it all went well - the audience was thrilled
“But when Polka Dot heard about it, they couldn’t have been more helpful.
“They asked me down to a rehearsal so I knew who was who and how the curtain call would work and, at the performance, as the finale was coming to an end, I told Katie I was off to the loo.
“I was taken backstage, handed the costume to change into and invited to join everyone on stage.”
James, a former student of Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College who works in the finance department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, asked Katie up on stage to pop the question and her positive answer prompted thundering applause from the 300-strong audience.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Katie, 31.
“It was the first panto we had been to together and we had really enjoyed the show. James said he was nipping off to the bathroom and then he turned up on stage and asked me to join him.
“It was so romantic and of course I said yes.”
No date has been set yet for the wedding but the plans mean a happy ending for the couple.
They met while working together in Axa in Lytham earlier this year but were both made redundant in October.
Among those joining James and Katie at the panto were James’ mum Janet, who lives in St Annes, and Katie’s mum Pat, along with Katie’s children from an earlier relationship, Calum, nine, and Taome, five.
“I thought it was a brilliant show and the ideal way to celebrate our first Christmas together,” added Katie.
“Now, it will be a day I will absolutely never forget.”
Lowther general manager Roger McCann said: “What a wonderful occasion – certainly not something you see in a theatre very often and our heartiest congratulations to James and Katie.
“We are delighted it all went well - the audience was thrilled.”
Panto producer Darren Maddison added: “When we heard what James had planned, we were only too happy to help.”