TV stars join charity concert line-up

Banbury Cake: Popular: Claudie Blakley Popular: Claudie Blakley

Two further stars have given their support to tomorrow's Spirit of Christmas concert at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, in aid of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Claudie Blakley, known for her role as Emma Timmins in BBC’s popular period drama Lark Rise to Candleford, and Anthony Howell, who appears as Sgt Paul Milner in the classic ITV drama Foyle’s War, will be among a host of distinguished theatre, TV and film performers giving festive readings at the event on December 5.

Blakley achieved international success in the films Pride and Prejudice and Gosford Park and is also known for her television role in popular costume drama Cranford.

Much loved for his character within Foyle’s War, Anthony Howell has also starred in the TV adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl and in the period drama Wives and Daughters opposite fellow Spirit of Christmas celebrity reader, Bill Paterson.

They will be joining Olivier Award-winning actresses, Tamsin Greig and Sophie Thompson, as well as Sasha Behar, Bill Paterson and Jamie Glover. The candle-lit evening will feature fun, festive readings and performances to help usher in the Christmas spirit.

The event will also see performances from 2011 Songs of Praise finalists, the Dragon School Choir.

Organisers hope the Christmas concert will raise £12,000 towards Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s funding of vital research into treatments for muscle-wasting conditions and support for those affected. There are 70,000 families across the UK who are affected by muscular dystrophy or related neuromuscular conditions, 600 of whom live in Oxfordshire.

Zoe Williams, who is part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign team co-ordinating the event, said: "Claudie and Anthony have appeared in some of Britain’s best-loved TV dramas and it is a delight to have them performing at this year’s Spirit of Christmas event.

"We are very grateful to have their support and have no doubt their readings will be a fantastic contribution to what promises to be a spectacular, fun and festive evening.”

Prices for the concert range from £10 to £ 40, with either ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’ tickets, the latter giving priority seating and the opportunity to attend the post-concert champagne reception complete with festive refreshments and the chance to meet the guest performers.

For further information or to book tickets please contact the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Events team on 020 7803 2856 or email events@muscular-dystrophy.org

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