They’re car sharing to work... oh yes they are!

Tam Ryan, who is starring in Dick Whittington with Jodie Prenger at Manchester Opera House
Tam Ryan, who is starring in Dick Whittington with Jodie Prenger at Manchester Opera House
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Poulton lad Tam Ryan is quite pleased he’s got his latest job, not least because he might be able to car share and save a few bob.

And given his passenger is Jodie Prenger the journey should be quite good fun to say the least.

Entertainer Tam has starred in each of the last four pantomimes at Manchester’s Opera House theatre, and was delighted to discover that joining him in the cast this time around is a familiar face from Blackpool in Jodie.

They are in Dick Whittington, which is on at the Opera House until Sunday January 5.

“It’s perfect because we both live in Poulton so hopefully we’ll car share and halve the petrol costs in to work,” said Tam.

“Rather shamefully I’d never met her before this panto, even though we live quite close together and apparently we are members at the same gym … though I think I go in considerably less than she does!

“It will be good getting to know her and it is nice having someone else with proper Northern roots in the cast.”

Tam has something of a similar backstory to Jodie, well minus winning an Andrew Lloyd Webber TV show, obviously.

Originally from Barnsley, Tam moved to the Fylde coast in 2001 after realising it is the best place to be for an entertainer.

“I was a bit like Jodie I guess,” the 37-year-old said. “I did the clubs and hotels, doing an act which included singing and telling gags.

“I did a bit of stand up but quickly discovered, through a very harsh education, that the two worlds are very different, so I went back to light entertainment and developed a family comedy show that seems to be going down pretty well.”

Performing at various hotels and at family holiday parks like Ribby Hall led to his break in pantomimes and he is becoming something of a regular in Manchester.

“It’s four years in a row now, which is nice because if they keep inviting me back it means I must be doing something right,” he added.

“I love pantomime because it is like a mad journey, two shows a day for a month, and there is a great social side to it with the rest of the cast.

“A lot of highbrow people will probably frown on the idea of panto, but maybe they don’t understand the good things it does like bringing kids to the theatre for the first time.

“I particularly love it because I get to be the funny guy. There’s a lot of camp nonsense but it brings the audience in … it is a pretty unique form of theatre.”

Tam also has big plans for next year. He is teaming up with well-known Manchester comic John Thompson for two Easter shows at the Opera House, which will be family-friendly (“based on the same traditions as panto,” says Tam) and features other funnymen like Steve Royle.

They are on April 11 and 12, look out for them.

In the meantime you can catch Tam, and Jodie, in Dick Whittington at Manchester’s Opera House until January 5. Tickets from

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