Agnes Brown of RTÉ and BBC comedy Mrs. Brown’s Boys and ITV presenter and classical singer Aled Jones, have just been confirmed by Parkinson’s UK as the latest acts to perform at the Symfunny No. 2 event.
Aled Jones, singer, BBC Radio broadcaster and ITV presenter
“Having recently worked with James, I’m honoured that he has asked me to perform at the second Symfunny event in aid of Parkinson’s UK. This will be a joyous night raising money for a fantastic cause and I’m so grateful to have been asked to be a part of it.” – Aled Jones
The second Symfunny event will once again unite amazing musicians and comedians in a collaborative fundraising effort for Parkinson’s research. Funnyman Jason Manford presides as Pete Townshend, Rob Deering, Katie Melua, Collabro, Josh Widdicombe, and the I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue team featuring Jack Dee also take to the stage.
They will be accompanied by the specially created Symfunny Orchestra and Choir, featuring some of the best professional musicians and voices in the UK.
This very special fundraising event, hosted by Parkinson’s UK, was the brainchild of conductor, composer and producer, James Morgan who was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s in 2012 and his partner, fellow composer, producer and mezzo soprano Juliette Pochin.
Agnes Brown, aka comedian Brendan O’Carroll of BBC and RTÉ comedy hit Mrs Brown’s Boys
Known as Morgan Pochin, James and Juliette recently produced the ‘Vera Lynn 100’ record and their work also includes hit albums for Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Collabro, films including Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet, starring Billy Connolly and Dame Maggie Smith, and classical stage work at venues like the Royal Festival Hall. James has conducted artists from Aqua to Andrea Bocelli, and Juliette has recorded for Sony Classical and performed with most of the UK’s leading orchestras, including three appearances at BBC Proms in the Park.
Symfunny made its debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 when it was hosted by Al Murray and saw music and comedy stars including Jason Manford, Alfie Boe and Rebecca Ferguson come together to give performances on the night.
For Symfunny No. 2, James and Juliette will be helped in curating the event by Crossroads actress, author and Parkinson’s UK President Jane Asher, as well as Paul Mayhew-Archer, best known for his work with Mrs Brown’s Boys and the Vicar of Dibley. Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011 and recently wrote and presented Parkinson’s: The Funny Side for the BBC for which he won the Grierson Trust’s ‘Best Documentary Presenter’ award.
“When they asked me to take part I had one question. ‘Is Parkinson’s contagious? If it isn’t, I’ll do it. If it is, I’ll send Grandad.’ I was having a look at Parkinson’s UK on the interweb. Did you know that every hour, someone is told they have Parkinson’s. Think about that. That means some of them are being woken up and told at three o clock in the morning. ‘Wake up!,’ ‘What’s going on? it’s three o’clock in the morning,’ ‘You’ve got Parkinson’s. Now go back to sleep.’” – Agnes Brown