The mysterious lure of panto for Americans

The Hoff was all up for it. He wanted to do panto this Christmas. He was all set to be Captain Hook until the unpatriotic Simon Cowell stole him away from us.

Now we have the news that Patrick Duffy – Bobby from Dallas or the eponymous Man from Atlantis if you prefer – is to appear as Buttons in Cinderella in Woking.

What is this strange allure that panto holds for these all-star, all-American actors?