WHAT do you get if you mix a sprinkling of fairy dust, some rowdy pirates and one of the most famous TV stars in the world? Answer — the recipe for the perfect swashbuckling panto.

To celebrate the centenary of The Opera House on Boxing Day, the venue has put on what could be its finest pantomime to date.

Staring former Baywatch and Knight Rider actor turned cult celebrity David Hasselhoff in the fearsome role of Captain Hook, Peter Pan is a magical show for young children — and those who never want to grow up.

From the outset there is fantastic scenery, dazzling costumes and pitch perfect singing impressive flying scenes and jaw-dropping acrobatics.

David Hasselhoff, as expected, stole the show with his impressive portrayal of Captain ‘Hoff’ the Hook, obviously confident in the role that he’s been making his own in recent years.

Amy Bird cast her magic upon the audience as the likeable hero Peter Pan, impressing even the biggest panto critic, my four-year-old son. Emmerdale actor Tam Ryan brings a lot of the comedy as the loveable misguided pirate Smee, who tries but fails to impress Captain Hook.

Tinkerbell, who only played a small part in the show, came in the form of a beautifully projected image.

As with any Christmas panto, there were plenty of boos and hisses from the audience and echoes of ‘he’s behind you’.

There was even an eight foot crocodile that snapped his way across the stage.

As hoped, there were Hoff jokes a plenty, including an X-Factor scene with the Hoff singing his comedy hit Jump in My Car.

And no festive panto would be complete without a hilarious version of the Twelve Days of Christmas The obligatory pop songs were not forgotten either and a raucous rendition of Gangnam style had everyone dancing in the aisles.

Peter Pan is at Manchester Opera House, until January 13. Tickets available from 0844 847 2277.