Television’s most famous street welcomes one of Britain’s biggest pop stars for ITV’s Text Santa at 8pm on Friday 20 December.
Coronation Street’s cobbles have provided the platform for many a VIP visit in the show’s 53 years. This time, they will be the stage for Cheryl Cole, in a sketch specially written to raise money for Text Santa’s six chosen charities.
Scriptwriters have penned a storyline that sees Cheryl Cole arrive in Weatherfield and head for the Rovers Return, looking for her childhood friend, barmaid Tina. Cheryl expects to be travelling home to Newcastle with Tina for her mum’s Christmas party, but this is Coronation Street where nothing ever goes to plan.
Appearing with Cheryl will be Corrie regulars including Tina (Michelle Keegan) Steve (Simon Gregson), Michelle (Kym Marsh), and Kirk (Andy Whyment).
Cheryl said: “It (Coronation Street) has always been part of my life, we’d all watch it as kids every night. It’s surreal to be part of something I’ve watched my whole life. It’s great to be able to support six wonderful charities and I really hope that this year’s appeal makes a difference to many lives.”
Presented by Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield & Holly Willoughby and Christine Bleakley & Paddy McGuinness, Text Santa kicks off with a spectacular all-singing, all-dancing opening. The Text Santa entertainment extravaganza will feature an exclusive performance by Robbie Williams. Plus other special guest performances to be announced shortly.
Throughout the night, there will be emotional true-life films from the six UK based charities, who will benefit from all money raised, with guest celebrities telling the viewers about the moving stories. Suranne Jones highlights the work of Age UK; Colin Salmon speaks up for Barnardo’s; Amanda Holden visits the people behind BeatBullying; Jonathan Ross examines the work of the British Heart Foundation; Richard E Grant profiles CLIC Sargent; Jim Carter explains the role of Help the Hospices.
December sees the launch of the Text Santa online Advent Calendar, with exclusive messages and behind-the-scenes footage including Corrie stars preparing for ‘Fairytale In Weatherfield’ and Strictly’s Len Goodman and choreographer Arlene Phillips provide tips for Christmas Dancing. Boyzone share their favourite Christmas moments and an insider’s peek at the Text Santa photo shoot.
Text Santa is using its head with “Hats On Display for ‘Hattitude Day”, for a special day of fundraising on Friday 20 December. Anyone who joins in the fun by wearing a hat can donate £1 to Text Santa.
Launching on the 8th December a special Text Santa ebay auction site will feature popular items from a Torvill and Dean ice-skating tutorial on the Dancing on Ice set, to One Direction signed merchandise. December 9th, sees the launch of Text Santa’s ‘Big Volunteer day’ with charity opportunities to help someone near you. There’ll also be a Text Santa bucket collections across the UK from 18th December.
Text Santa is more prominent than ever this year. Major ITV programmes and stars are at the forefront of the fundraising and helping the public to be aware of the work of the charities.
Ant & Dec have helped design this year’s special Text Santa Christmas Hats and Paul O’Grady has emerged from his hit ‘…For the Love of Dogs’ series to design a hat for dogs. These, and children’s Text Santa hats, as well as a range of Text Santa merchandise are available across the UK at Morrisons, one of the appeal partners.
Viewers can make donations throughout the appeal via text; thanks to Text Santa partner Vodafone by using their JustTextGiving service, which ensures 100% of your donation goes directly to Text Santa and lets you add Gift Aid easily. Vodafone will also be operating the landline technology on the night, and taking calls if viewers want to donate by phone. Text Santa’s banking partner, Santander will be getting behind the appeal by taking donations in their 1,200 branches as well as offering this year’s ‘must have’ Christmas accessory, the Text Santa character pin badges, Holly, Rudy and Tinsel. Donations can also be made online at itv.com/textsanta. To donate £5 text SANTA to 70070.100% of donations raised will be distributed equally between the six charities.
The Text Santa Fundraising pack is available online at www.textsanta.co.uk. The packs include information on how to get involved, by showing your ‘Hattitude’ while raising money for Text Santa, and helping the charities help someone near you.
** Texts cost £5. Full details, charity numbers & terms can be found at www.itv.com/textsanta, stv.tv and u.tv. You should be 16+. Please ask the bill payer’s permission. Closes 10.01.14 at 5pm.
Notes to Editors:
Overview of 2013 charities:
Age UK has been selected again, having been one of the 2012 beneficiaries of Text Santa. Age UK helps millions of people every year. No one should have to spend later life cold, lonely or in poverty – so Age UK provides vital information, advice and practical services to end needless suffering for older people.
Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year, through over 900 community projects across the UK. They work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year they help thousands of families to build a better future.
In the current economic climate, there is an increasing demand for their services and the funds raised by Text Santa will support the most vulnerable children in the UK this Christmas, turning their lives around and helping them face the future with hope and confidence.
BeatBullying is a bullying prevention charity, campaigning to make bullying unacceptable and providing support for children and young people affected by bullying.
They empower young people to mentor each other, in their communities and online and give them the support of specialist adult advisers and counsellors. They also provide support for parents and professionals working with young people, helping them to develop strategies to prevent bullying.
British Heart Foundation
Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years the British Heart Foundation has pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. But so many people still need help. Over 2 million people in the UK struggle with the devastating effects of heart disease. It can be painful, frightening and lonely. The British Heart Foundation fund nurses who offer invaluable medical and emotional support to heart patients and their families, enabling many to manage their condition at home, improve their confidence and maintain their independence.
Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years.
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.
Help the Hospices
Help the Hospices champions and supports the work of over 200 hospices across the UK. Hospices provide vital care for people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses and their families, helping them to live well for the time they have left together.
Demand for hospice care is rapidly increasing due to more people living for longer with more complex health conditions. Help the Hospices supports hospices to meet these challenges so they can continue to provide the highest quality care possible.
Text Santa Background
Text Santa is an important part of ITV's Corporate Responsibility programme, using its reach to millions of people to help inspire, engage and empower viewers to make a difference. The organisation does not make any profit from the appeal and is proud that, with investment from ITV and support from Text Santa's partners and supporters, 100% of donations made by viewers go directly to the charities Text Santa supports.
ITV's corporate responsibility campaigns use the combined influence of our programmes, online platforms and celebrity talent, to highlight causes and make a difference.
Collectively our campaigns in 2012 resulted in over £10.5 million being raised for various charities such as Unicef (Soccer Aid), Malaria No More (I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!) and many others locally, all thanks to the engagement and generosity of ITV viewers.
The highlight for ITV is Text Santa, raising over £5.5 million for six UK charities last year, including Age UK, Anthony Nolan, Carers UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Together for Short Lives and Whizz-Kidz.
The chosen charities, whose work was highlighted on the ITV primetime show, reported impacts such as a 1000% increase in shop revenue and increased demand for online services in January 2013, compared to the same period last year.
Text Santa raised enough money for over 180,000 older people to receive support from Age UK. The Charity offers services that help tackle loneliness and isolation. Services range from befriending calls and visits, to information and advice and practical services such as transportation, social activities and lunch clubs.
In the case of Anthony Nolan, the money raised by Text Santa paid for over 9,000 people to join the stem cell register. 9,000 potential lifesavers, who will stay on the register for years to come and may, at any time, be the lifesaving donor for a patient with blood cancer.
This year Carers UK used the funds raised from Text Santa to help 120,000 carers over the next 3 years to extend their Adviceline opening hours offering information and advice from expert advisors and emotional support for carers.
The donations raised for Together For Short Lives were distributed across 49 independent Children's Hospices in the UK ensuring families were able to make the most of their precious time together. Each hospice received enough to pay for a care assistant for a whole year.
In the case of Marie Curie Cancer Care, they were able to provide significantly more nursing care to terminally ill people in their own homes and emotional support for their families. The funds raised by Text Santa made it possible for Marie Curie Nurses to provide over 43,500 hours of hands-on care to patients
With support from Text Santa, Whizz-Kidz transformed the lives of over 200 young disabled people by providing the most appropriate mobility equipment for their young lives, ensuring full and active childhoods and opportunities for a bright future
JustTextGiving by Vodafone is the UK’s first free text donation service. There is no charge for the text to donate, 100% of the donation goes to Text Santa and Gift Aid can easily be added. The donation comes out of the donor’s calling credit or is added to the monthly bill. JustTextGiving by Vodafone is supported by the Vodafone Foundation, registered charity 1089625