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Top-notch celebrity line-up announced for this year's Holt Festival

PUBLISHED: 09:15 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 22 February 2018

Jasper Carrott and his band, who will be closing this year's Holt Festival with a comedy and music show at the Theatre in the Woods. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

Jasper Carrott and his band, who will be closing this year's Holt Festival with a comedy and music show at the Theatre in the Woods. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

Archant

Holt Festival is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary in style this summer, with a top-notch celebrity line-up ranging from comedy legend Jasper Carrott and seventies music star Leo Sayer, to doctor-turned-tenor James Gilchrist and ex-Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown.

Seventies pop star Leo Sayer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVALSeventies pop star Leo Sayer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

Actor, songwriter and broadcaster Stash Kirkbride, who has taken the helm as artistic director for the festival’s anniversary year, announced the first 10 highlights of the annual event this week.

“One welcome piece of news is that Jasper Carrott has recovered from the health scare that caused him to cancel last year’s appearance at short notice,” he said.

Lib Dem legend Lord Paddy Ashdown, who will be speaking about his long and varied career at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVALLib Dem legend Lord Paddy Ashdown, who will be speaking about his long and varied career at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

The comedy and music star will be bringing his new Stand Up and Rock set to the Theatre in the Woods, at Gresham’s School, for the festival finale on July 29.

Combining a stand-up set with an all-star band featuring ELO founder member Bev Bevan and other Midlands music heroes, the show promises to be a sell-out, Mr Kirkbride said.

Tenor James Gilchrist, who will be performing with musician Matt Wadsworth at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVALTenor James Gilchrist, who will be performing with musician Matt Wadsworth at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

Other highlights include The Tom Baxter Band, whose songs have been covered by stars including Take That, Boyzone and Dame Shirley Bassey, and a concert by Italian classical piano legend Gloria Campaner, who will be teaming up with Polish jazz star Leszek Mozdzer, who has played with the likes of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

There is also a welcome return to the festival by Colin Cloud, who promises to challenge audiences’ perception of the world with his new show PSYCHO(Logical), and a trailblazing performance by pianist Lucy Parham, who will fuse music and words to chronicle the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff, with a narration by Norfolk-based actor Alex Jennings, who starred as Prince Leopold in the hit ITV series Victoria.

Two pianos: Gloria Campaner and Leszek Mozdzer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: Maciej_GajdaTwo pianos: Gloria Campaner and Leszek Mozdzer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: Maciej_Gajda

The full festival programme will be announced in April, but audiences can expect the usual mix of musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians, as well as some more big names, Mr Kirkbride said.

He added: “I hope this initial selection of acts gives a taste of our intentions for this year, I have tried to add new elements to the programme while retaining all the ingredients that people have come to expect from this wonderful festival.”

Seventies pop star Leo Sayer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVALSeventies pop star Leo Sayer, who will be appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Photo: HOLT FESTIVAL

The festival runs from July 21-29. For more information, or to book tickets, phone 01603 598699 or visit www.holtfestival.org

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