Stars line up for 40th anniversary of Chiswick's Bedford Park Festival
Including Mary Nightingale, Fergal Keane and Brenda Edwards to raise funds for UNICEF
ITV newsreader Mary Nightingale and 'X Factor' finalist and West End star Brenda Edwards head the line-up of local musicians, writers and broadcasters taking part in this year's Bedford Park Festival, the annual fortnight of arts and community events based in Britain's first garden suburb.
To mark its 40th anniversary, the Festival will be celebrating entertainment and culture over the years - from silent movies and the poets of the 1930s to Morecambe & Wise and present-day stars.
Mary will be opening the Festival at 11 am on Saturday June 9th, where she will judge the children's fancy dress competition. Brenda - who played Mama Morton in Chicago - will be singing and presenting prizes the following afternoon, at the climax of Green Days, the two-day "church fete" which begins the Festival. It is held opposite Turnham Green tube station and St Michael & All Angels church, which runs the Festival for the local community.
Top violinist David Juritz, leader of the London Mozart Players, will be setting out from the Green on the morning of June 9th to busk round the world raising money for his new charity, Musequality. And the BJO - an 18-piece jazz orchestra, featuring TV's Gavin Campbell on saxophone - will be opening the proceedings.
The doyen of silent film pianists, Neil Brand - seen on TV recently in Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns and Room 101 – will be introducing and accompanying the classic Buster Keaton film, Sherlock Jnr, in St Michael & All Angels Church.
The BBC’s Fergal Keane will be reading from the poetry of Louis MacNeice and the actress Jill Balcon will read poems by her late husband, the Poet Laureate C Day-Lewis, as the Festival marks the poets of the Thirties.
And the editor of Eric Morecambe's diaries, William Cook, will be recalling the days in the 1940s when Morecambe & Wise lived in a boarding house behind the old Chiswick Empire on the High Road. His new book about their early lives will be published this autumn.
The Guardian political writer Michael White, a Bedford Park resident for over 30 years, will be analysing the upheaval at Westminster as Blair gives way to Brown.
And broadcaster Sandy Burnett will appear in two concerts in St Michael's church - conducting two Bach Cantatas by the West London Bach Players and leading the Sandy Burnett Quartet in an evening of top-quality jazz.
The Festival fortnight begins on the weekend of June 9th and 10th with the annual Green Days fete. As well as the usual array of stalls, fairground attractions, food and live music, this year there'll be a chance to win a stylish VW Eos convertible car. Top local restaurants such as La Trompette, Le Vacherin, Chez Gerard and FIshWorks have signed up to offer a free meal for two in the Win-a-Meal contest, sponsored by www.chiswickw4.com.
The Festival will include all the most popular regular events - the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition, the Open Gardens, the Bedford Park Walk, the children's musical and the photographic competition. And it will celebrate its 40th anniversary with films and photos, marking the Festival's role in saving Bedford Park from property developers in the 1960s.
This year's Festival will be raising money for UNICEF's 'Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS' campaign; The Upper Room, feeding the needy in west London; and the appeal for the repainting of St Michael & All Angels Church.
May 21, 2007