A star-studded Text Santa returns to ITV, STV and UTV screens later this month and one again the famous, festive faces are all in their Christmas jumpers.
This year viewers will see their favourite celebrities doing their bit in a Christmas knit as the three-hour TV spectacular marks the climax of Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day which encourages everyone to get out their woolies, join in the festive fun and most importantly don’t forget to donate to Text Santa. Three charities will benefit this year from the generosity of ITV viewers – Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children.
Highlights of the treats lined up for viewers on the big night include Coronation Street stars as you’ve never seen them before – or have you? As they travel ‘Back To The Future’ some of today’s stars will morph into iconic characters of old and a very special guest star will be on hand to drive them to their destination.
Dynasty legend Joan Collins brings a touch of class to a specially written sketch for Benidorm but as per usual she’s got everyone on a man-hunt while over at Downton Abbey, Lord Grantham is looking for the right Father Christmas for the Abbey and it’s a highly sought after part as those who turn up for open auditions include Sir Bruce Forsyth, Gordon Ramsay, Gok Wan, Brenda Blethyn as Vera, Jim Broadbent, Michelle Keegan and Warwick Davis.
There’s a special Text Santa edition of Ninja Warrior UK where a team of celebrities compete to win money – all for the Text Santa appeal. Celebrities taking part in the special edition are Kimberly Wyatt; Gemma Atkinson; Louise Hazel; Mark Wright; Torvill & Dean; Carl Froch; Marvin Humes; Ryan Thomas and Ugo Monye. There’s even a Text Santa edition of Big Star’s, Bigger Star where instead of stars and their little ones, stars and their big ones – ie their parents – will do their best to raise some money for the appeal.
Fronting the three-hour, live, fun-filled extravaganza are a mix of presenters from the ITV family including Christine Bleakley, Alesha Dixon, Caroline Flack, Amanda Holden, Paddy McGuinness, Stephen Mulhern, Olly Murs, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby – all of them doing their bit in a Christmas Knit. It’s the work of the three amazing charities which is always at the heart of Text Santa and six films will highlight the importance of the causes. The films will be presented by Ant & Dec, Bradley Walsh, Julie Walters, Martin Clunes, Amanda Holden and Myleene Klass.
As always there’s live music, special surprises and even the stars of Emmerdale will invite viewers to a singalong with a difference. The winner of the X Factor, Little Mix and other musical entertainment will perform all with the aim to encourage donations to Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish and Save the Children.
During the day on the 18th December the ITV schedule will be all about Text Santa with special one-off editions of ITV favourites The Chase, Tipping Point, Jeremy Kyle and 1000 Heartbeats.
The fundraising has already started for many, and people can get a fundraising kit crammed with ideas from ITV.com/textsanta. Ideas for ‘doing your bit in a Christmas Knit’ include attending a Christmas quiz at a local pub in a Christmas jumper and taking part in the main event on Christmas Jumper Day by wearing a Christmas jumper and donating to Text Santa. There will also be an eBay auction of key memorabilia to raise funds. Donations can be made via the following platforms: To give £5 text SANTA5 to 70760; to give £10 text SANTA10 to 70760; to donate by phone call 0300 123 6060; or donate online at itv.com, stv.tv or u.tv.
The appeal hopes to inspire a whole army of fundraisers to raise more money than ever before. The money raised will go towards funding nurses and other essential workers so people affected by cancer get the support they need; granting wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions and transforming children’s lives here and abroad to give hope to families in difficulty at Christmas.
Text Santa is now in its fifth year and has so far raised over £21million for UK charities. The annual appeal also helps to increase awareness of the vital work of our charity partners by using ITV’s reach to millions of viewers across the UK. 100% of the money will be shared equally amongst the Text Santa charities going directly to support their vital work. All donations to Save the Children’s international work will be matched pound for pound by the UK Government up to £5 million.
Pictured top: Some of the celebrities taking part in ITV’s Text Santa 2015, Middle: Joan Collins will be starring in a special Benidorm, Bottom: Sir Bruce Forsyth tries his luck at Downton Abbey.