Celebrity cast on stage for carol concert in Rutland

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A STAR-studded celebrity concert will be held in Rutland in aid of a children’s charity.

The 2011 Rutland NSPCC Carol Concert - a celebrity-studded major fundraising event - will be held on Monday, December 5, in All Saints’ Church, Oakham, at 7.30pm.

Audience members will be welcomed at the church door on arrival with mulled wine and mince pies and will enter to the festive sound of Christmas carols. The church will be lit by candlelight and will be decorated with Christmas trees. The programme of entertainment will include a solo performance of the carol Once in Royal David’s City.

Television personalities Lars Tharp of the BBC Antiques Roadshow fame, cook Mary Berry, recently co-presenter of The Great British Bake-Off series, diet and fitness expert Rosemary Conley and Anne Davies, top presenter on BBC East Midlands Today will be joined by local celebrities Peter Wheeler, a former player and executive director of Leicester Tigers, well-known Rutland compere Caroline Aston and David Farrer QC, who will give readings from the Christmas Nativity story. Julia Bradbury, a native of Rutland, a supporter of the NSPCC and a well-known television presenter for the BBC’s Countryfile, Watchdog, Wainwright Walks and Coast to Coast programmes, is also hoping to be there.

Musical entertainment will be provided by The Harborough Singers and Foresters Brass 2000 who will also lead some audience participation by way of seasonal carol-singing.

The event is being sponsored by Don Paddy’s wine bar and restaurant in Uppingham.

Since its launch in December 2007, this occasion, which will be attended by Rutland’s Lord Lieutenant, Dr Laurence Howard and the county’s High Sheriff Peter Lawson, has proved so successful that it has become an annual event, raising around £12,000 a year to benefit local NSPCC projects which help abused and neglected children. The outstanding sum raised is achieved through the support of many local businesses which sponsor the evening itself and/or advertise in the concert programme.

The NSPCC relies on donations to keep running.

Tickets are £12 and available at Buy the Book in Oakham, Gates Nurseries at Cold Overton, Don Paddy’s Wine Bar in Uppingham or Margaret Wheeler on 01572 813626.