He may have been crowned the winner of this year's X Factor but singer and actor Matt Terry could have been spending his Christmas in a very different way, as he was originally booked to play the starring role in Barrow's pantomime.

After winning Britain's biggest reality TV show, Matt Terry is no doubt feeling overwhelmed - but has he missed out on the performance of his life at The Forum?

Pantomime veteran and 'silly billy' expert Adam Kelly, who plays Mr Schmee in this year's production, said: "This Peter Pan is probably the funniest pantomime I have ever acted in. The writer and director James Shone has come up with a brilliant script.

"We are all thrilled for Matt's success but we are even more excited to watch Oliver Bower, who replaced Matt, perform as Peter.

"I know that Matt has a fantastic voice but I think if Oliver had been competing on the X Factor he would have done just as well."

The ticket sales for Peter Pan are at a record high and have sold more seats in advance than any pantomime previously performed at The Forum.

Matt's winning single, Christmas Comes Around, is already being criticised on Twitter, with fans disappointed that the song's writer, Ed Sheeran, was not the one to sing it.

With viewing figures steadily decreasing over the years for the ITV show and winners receiving less success than the torch carriers such as One Direction and Little Mix, perhaps Matt would have been better off sticking to his lead role in Neverland.

This year's cast at The Forum are no strangers to reality, TV with local star Georgie Jackson, from Swarthmoor, who plays Tinkerbell, having done a stint on Britain's Got Talent, with Disney princess themed girl band Misstasia.

It is reported that ITV had to pay an undisclosed amount to Shone Productions, the company behind this year's Barrow panto, to release Matt from his contract. The production's young director and writer James Shone, 20, was delighted to find Oliver who has stepped in and, he says, been the most magical Peter Pan anybody could have hoped for.