It's a complete pantomime at the Matt Lucas wedding

And hopefully, the 'Little Britain' star and his partner will live happily ever after
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The Independent Online

It's the only gay wedding in the village - or at least the only one any self-respecting celebrity will be attending this weekend.

The Little Britain star Matt Lucas will marry his long-term boyfriend, Kevin McGee, today at a private civil partnership ceremony, followed by a lavish party at a 17th-century palace.

As befits a performer who took fetish-wear and cross-dressing to primetime television, Lucas has chosen to celebrate his wedding in fancy dress.

The 400 guests, including Elton John and Charlotte Church, have been instructed to arrive as characters from Christmas pantomimes.

"I just like dressing up. I'm quite a preppy, dull dresser in my life so it is a chance for me to be a bit more outrageous," Lucas said last week.

The event will be one of the most high-profile gay weddings since Elton John and David Furnish had their ceremony last December, just after the Civil Partnership Act came into effect.

Since then, nearly 16,000 couples have registered civil partnerships, suggesting that the Government - which predicted 22,000 partnerships by 2010 - had underestimated demand for legally recognised gay unions.

Further proof that gay weddings have entered the mainstream came on Thursday when more than a quarter of a million listeners tuned into Radio 4 to hear Ian and Adam tie the knot on The Archers. Ambridge's happy couple celebrated their union with a round of sandwiches at Grey Gables, but today's event promises to be a somewhat more elaborate affair.

The thespian tone was set with invitations in the form of a pop-up miniature theatre showing Lucas and Mr McGee centre-stage. The reception is in the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall - built for King James I as a setting for royal masques and concerts.

While other celebrities have cashed in on their wedding day by signing exclusive magazine and television deals, Lucas and Mr McGee have insisted that the wedding remain private. On Friday their lawyers warned that they would seek injunctions against the publication of any unauthorised record of the event, "photographic, audio or written".

"Matt is a very private person, and he wants to keep the day special. He doesn't want it to be associated with a magazine or commercialise such a special day," said a friend who is attending the wedding.

Lucas, 32, has rarely spoken in public of his relationship with Mr McGee, 30, a TV producer whom he met at a nightclub in 2002.

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