Comedians Griff Rhys Jones and Dara Ó Briain, legendary actress Dame Joanna Lumley, Gavin and Stacey favourite Rob Brydon, Hollywood star Omid Djalili and stand-up comic Kiri Pritchard-McLean are set to light up the stage at this year’s Happy Christmas Ipswich fundraiser.
The award-winning comedy and music extravaganza, which supports East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and is spearheaded by EACH Patron Griff, is taking place at the town’s Regent Theatre on Monday, 4th December.
Tickets go on general sale at 10am tomorrow (Friday, 1st September) and hopes are high that this year’s show, which will also feature award-winning West End star Miriam-Teak Lee, will match or even eclipse last year’s staggering total of £105,000.
The star-studded bill includes Dara Ó Briain, best known for presenting the TV show Mock the Week, and household name Dame Joanna, who has become one of the UK’s best-loved and most respected actresses since being cast in The New Avengers in the 1970s.
Also a presenter, author and campaigner, she is known for her outrageous, show-stealing performance as Patsy Stone in 90s comedy Absolutely Fabulous.
Joining Dara and Dame Joanna on stage will be TV favourite Brydon, known for playing the genial Uncle Bryn in hit series Gavin and Stacey, as well as presenting BBC panel show Would I Lie to You?
It promises to be another sell-out and Griff, who will be hosting the show, said: “I’m sure if you were at last year’s Happy Christmas Ipswich, you’ll agree it was a proper Christmas cracker.
“It was a genuinely different, unique and very funny evening and one that raised crucial money for EACH.
“Well, here goes. We’re off again! We’ve been working hard on the line-up throughout the summer and I’m delighted to be welcoming more of my old muckers to join us on stage in December.
“Other great names are on the way so let’s make this coming year the best-ever, because this is a charity that does an incredible job – a job that’s only possible thanks to its incredible supporters across East Anglia.
“Tickets go quickly. I meet an awful lot of people who say ‘well, I was intending to come, but…’
“My advice would be to get in quickly and don’t leave it too late!”
Happy Christmas Ipswich 4, again supported by headline sponsor The New Homes Group, is sure to be a special night with great comedy and music from Miriam-Teak, who played Juliet in the musical & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre, in London (see below for more details).
Kevin Clements, EACH Director of Fundraising, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to share details of what promises to be another magical, memorable and unmissable night.
“This is our biggest fundraising event of the year and it’s another stellar line-up, thanks to the tireless dedication and hard work of Griff.
“We’re excited to be joined by some huge names, with more stars to be confirmed, and our advice would be to get in quickly and snap up your tickets now, to avoid disappointment.”
In addition to local talent, other big names to have appeared in previous years include Lee Mack, Al Murray, Johnny Vegas, Clive Anderson, Eddie Izzard, Stephen Fry, Deborah Frances-White, Stephen K. Amos, Janie Dee, Tiff Stevenson, Rory McGrath, Ruthie Henshall, Bill Bailey, Jon Culshaw, Milton Jones and Andy Hamilton.
To find out more and book tickets, head to each.org.uk/HCI4
CONFIRMED ACTS FOR 2023:
Dara Ó Briain
Irishman Ó Briain has performed across the globe and is best-known for hosting TV shows Mock the Week, Blockbusters, Robot Wars, Stargazing Live, Dara and Ed’s Great Big Adventure and Dara O Briain’s Go 8Bit, while he also won the most recent series of Channel 4’s Taskmaster.
In addition to being a children’s author, he has also released five best-selling DVDs with Universal Pictures.
Dame Joanna Lumley
Dame Joanna is an actor, presenter, author and campaigner, who has had a long and distinguished career on screen and in the theatre. She is known globally for her portrayal of Patsy Stone in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, for which she has won two BAFTAS. She gives an incredible energy and dedication to her work, actively supporting many charities, and was awarded an OBE in the 1995 New Year’s Honours.
Her other television work includes Finding Alice, A Rather English Marriage (for which she was BAFTA nominated as Best Actress in a Drama) and The Cazalet Chronicles – co-produced by Joanna for the BBC in 2000. She has also filmed numerous documentaries across the world, including the Caribbean, India, Japan, and across the Arctic Circle.
Her notable film appearances also include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Pink Panther and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as comedy feature film Falling for Fargo and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
The Welsh actor, comedian, impressionist, presenter, singer and writer starred in comedy series Supernova, as Bryn West in BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey and as Keith Barret in comedy series Marion and Geoff, as well as spin-off The Keith Barret Show. He has appeared in a number of shows with Steve Coogan, including The Trip, The Trip to Italy, The Trip to Spain and The Trip to Greece.
Since 2009, Brydon has presented Would I Lie to You?, as well as hosting his own late-night chat show The Rob Brydon Show. He has appeared in films including Cruise of the Gods, The Gruffalo, 24 Hour Party People, The Huntsman, Winter’s War, Holmes and Watson and Barbie.
Djalili, who lives in Ipswich, is a multi-award winning stand-up comic, actor and writer, who has been performing to huge acclaim since the 1990s.
He has since become a popular face on TV and cinema screens, including starring in The Mummy and Pirates of the Caribbean III. He has also had his own BBC show and hosted Have I Got News for You, as well as playing Fagin in the West End production of Oliver.
Welsh comedian and writer Pritchard-McLean has performed for several consecutive years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, while her numerous TV and radio credits include appearances on Have I Got News for You, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Would I Lie to You?
Lee’s West End theatre credits include playing Juliet, in & Juliet, Hamilton and On the Town, at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The latter marked her professional debut and she received Best Actress in a Musical at the 2017 Stage Debut Awards.
For creating the role of Juliet, she won the Olivier Award, WhatsOnStage Award and Black British Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Her concert/music credits include LMTO’s A Christmas Carol, at The Lyceum Theatre, and being a soloist in The Ljubljana Music Festival, with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.