Actors Martin Clunes and Debra Stephenson, former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton, DJ Johnnie Walker and two camels are among the special guests lined-up for this year’s Julia’s House Carols by Candlelight concerts.
Tickets are already on sale for the sell-out Christmas events which are now in their fourth year and firm favourites on the festive calendar. We're is hosting three concerts this December: two in Dorset on Monday, 3rd and Wednesday 5th and one in Wiltshire on Tuesday, 4th.
Julia’s House Patrons Martin Clunes and Debra Stephenson lead the line-up at St James Church, Poole on the 3rd; Lady Chichester’s camels, Temujin and Therese, will be the star attraction at St John’s Church, Devizes on the 4th and Valerie Singleton and Johnnie Walker will be headlining at St James’ Church, Shaftesbury on the 5th.
The celebrity readers – and camels - will be joined by families and care staff reading poetry and prose and there will be musical performances by adult and children’s choirs, plus traditional carols. Guests are invited to stay and share mulled wine and mince pies at the end of the concert.
It is not usual for the odd surprise guest to crop up, too. AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has attended the past two Dorset events, but even he was trumped last year by the appearance of a pair of camels at the Devizes concert.
Onlookers there were delighted, if a little startled, when the camels suddenly paraded up the aisle halfway through one of the carols and stayed in the church for the remainder of the service. They will be back this year by popular demand and, once again, there will be a camel ‘meet and greet’ afterwards.
Carols by Candlelight tickets are £20 each, £5 for children under-12.