TV star Tim Healy is negotiating with Newcastle's Theatre Royal to star in its pantomime Peter Pan.

The 51-year-old Newcastle-born actor is one of the busiest people in showbiz and may take the role of Captain Hook after filming the farewell series of Auf Wiedersehen Pet in the Dominican Republic.

Greg Miller, of the Theatre Royal said its pantomime production company, Qdos, was in discussion with Mr Healy at the moment but nothing had been confirmed.

The panto run at the theatre royal has been put back a week this year to December 13 because of the Royal Shakespeare Company season. Peter Pan will end its run on January 18.

Tim's equally busy actress wife Denise Welch was persuaded to take on the Theatre Royal's panto two years ago. She is due to start filming a role for ITV1's Bad Girls in the autumn.

The pair returned to the region at the beginning of the month to celebrate Newcastle Live Theatre's 30th anniversary.

Denise was then looking after the couple's two-year-old son, Louis, at their Northumberland home while Healy was based at the couple's second home in Cheshire. He has just finished filming a Murder In Mind episode for BBC1.