Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Craig Charles hosts Christmas Ball

Craig Charles is hosting the Funk and Soul Christmas Ball at Blackpool's Winter Gardens

Craig Charles will be resurrecting Blackpool's annual Christmas ball at the Winter Gardens Empress Ballroom this weekend.

The Coronation Street star, who also DJs for BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 as well as hosting regular club nights, will welcome the Brand New Heavies and Smoove and Turrell to the event, where he will also DJ himself.

He said of the Funk and Soul Christmas Ball being held at the Winter Gardens: " It's a massive room so it's a bit nerve wracking, it's like that scene in The Blues Brothers where Elwood says 'It's like a barn, how are we going to fill it?' It's massive.

"Back in the day they used to have a winter ball and a summer ball at the Winter Gardens Ballroom in Blackpool and they were really big things, special and really cool so we're trying to get it back going again. This is the first one we've done and I'm really excited, it's going to be a really cool night."

Craig, who starred as Lister in Red Dwarf, said of headliners the Brand New Heavies: "I've been a fan of them for years and they sound as good as ever, so that's quite cool."

But he said he didn't expect the crowd to be just Red Dwarf fans coming along to see him.

He said: "People come along for the music and are all fans of the radio show. They're real music heads, they know their music and all that. There's not much of a crossover, not many people go to the front of the stage wearing Red Dwarf t-shirts."

However, some of Craig's Coronation Street castmates could well be seen on the dancefloor at the event which is organised by Band On The Wall, a not-for-profit company that Craig runs DJ nights for.

He said: "We've got loads of invitations to the Corrie guys and a lot of them come down to Band On The Wall as well so a lot of them are fans of the night already. Ian Puleston-Davies (Owen Armstrong) is there quite a lot and Mikey North (Gary Windass), Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald), Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor)."

Craig Charles' Funk and Soul Christmas Ball is on Saturday, December 14 at the Winter Gardens Empress Ballroom in Blackpool.

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