A York pantomime legend says he is considering a “one off show” to say “thank you” to the local fanbase he built over his 47-year career.

On Monday (February 26) The Press reported that Britain’s longest-serving pantomime dame Berwick Kaler announced he would be “bowing out gracefully” after almost five decades in the spotlight.

But now the 77-year-old has revealed there may be more to come before he exists stage left.

In an interview with theatre critic Charles Hutchinson, Berwick said: “It has crossed my mind to maybe do a one-off show as a thank you, a show of appreciation to the staunch fans of our pantomime.”

York Press: York pantomime legend Berwick Kaler is bowing out after a career spanning almost five decades York pantomime legend Berwick Kaler is bowing out after a career spanning almost five decades (Image: Frank Dwyer)

“I don’t want to say too much but the farewell has been handled wrongly,” he added.

“I’ll be 78 later this year (October 31), I’m ready to retire, but I would like to have made the decision in a better way.”

Berwick’s last performance in the Robinson Crusoe And The Pirates pantomime at the Grand Opera House was met by a seven-minute standing ovation.

A Grand Opera House spokesperson said it had been a “privilege” for the venue to host Berwick for the last three years.

They added that Robinson Crusoe cast members Martin Barrass, Suzy Cooper, AJ Powell and David Leonard would also not be returning this year.

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Berwick starred in Theatre Royal pantos for 40 years and announced he would retire after the 2018/19 pantomime.

But in a shock announcement in 2020, he said he would be returning to the stage at the Grand Opera House.

It came after the Theatre Royal announced a new creative would be appointed for its next pantomime and the current stars – including Berwick – would not be automatically offered a role in future productions.

At the time Berwick told ardent fans he was "furious" and that the Theatre Royal was "ruining the company's close relationship with pantomime goers”.

'Thanks for the wonderful memories'

Dozens of Press readers shared their thoughts on our Facebook page after the news broke about Berwick’s retirement.

“Everything must come to an end - what a ride. Thanks for the wonderful memories,” John Wright wrote.

“Such a lovely man. I met him many years ago in London when he was starring with Suzi Quatro in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. We were waiting to get autographs and when he found out we had travelled down from York specially to see the show, when the others wanted to leave he sent them off and spent a good time talking with us before catching a taxi. A real legend and I'm sure he will be greatly missed,” Colin Boynton said.

“So many wonderful and funny shows. Thanks for the happy memories!” Samantha Pugh added.