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The Stars come out for ITV Text Santa…in their Christmas jumpers

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A star-studded Text Santa returns to itv on 18th December and for 2015 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:
– Everyone’s favourite 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.
– 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.
– In 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 Text Santa 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 Text Santa’s charities: 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
Last year, thanks to the public’s fantastic generosity, the money raised through Text Santa helped to provide 45,000 hours of specialist care to help young people fight cancer, support over 3,600 people suffering from dementia, and provide 51,650 hours of care to children and their families.
Supporting Text Santa for 2015 are appeal partners Primark, who will donate to the appeal for every Christmas Jumper sold from the 1st December to the 17th December.*  Other appeal partners include Papa John’s, Vodafone, Twentieth Century Fox and department store Liberty.
Go to www.itv.com, www.stv.tv and www.u.tv. for terms & full charity details.   More information on how to get involved in Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day can be found at www.ITV.com/textsanta.
ITV Text Santa is produced by ITV Studios.
Notes to Editors:
*Primark will donate £1.50 to the appeal for every Christmas Jumper sold in a Primark store in UK & Northern Ireland during the designated period 1st  December – 17th December 2015.
About ITV Text Santa Appeal
ITV Text Santa is ITV’s annual fundraising appeal aimed at giving hope at Christmas by raising money and awareness for selected charities and causes. Since 2011 more than £21 million has been raised in support of 22 different charities.
The appeal will run from the beginning of December and will encourage the public to take part in a series of festive fundraising activities.  It will culminate in an evening of television entertainment on Friday 18 December, which will showcase the work of the three 2015 charities and highlight how they give hope to families in difficulty at Christmas.
Text Santa is part of ITV’s Corporate Responsibility strategy which aims to leverage our reach for the benefit of our communities, whether through raising awareness of issues, recruiting volunteers or raising money for charity.  In 2014, ITV contributed over £15 million through cash and in-kind contributions to help charities and causes. In addition to this, the public helped raise a further £12 million through our appeals and campaigns to support their vital work in the UK and abroad.  For more information on ITV’s Corporate Responsibility agenda, and the Text Santa appeal specifically, visit www.itvresponsibility.com
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support believes that no-one should face cancer alone. There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today. As Britain’s leading cancer support charity, we know that cancer can take over your whole life and the lives of those around you. That’s why our Macmillan nurses and other professionals work tirelessly to help individuals and their families with expert medical, practical, financial and emotional support at a time when it is needed the most. Macmillan is committed to providing expert care and support throughout cancer treatment and beyond, helping everyone affected by cancer take back control of their lives.
For more information visit www.macmillan.org.uk  or call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm)
Registered charity number: England and Wales 261017, Scotland SC039907 and the Isle of Man 604.
About Make-A-Wish® UK
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and over 1,000 of them will turn to Make-A-Wish this year. We want to grant a wish to every eligible child, but can’t do that without the generosity of the public. Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.
For more information visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 90.
Registered charity number: 295672, Scotland SC037479
About Save the Children
We do whatever it takes to save children. From their first moments of life, we work to get children the healthcare, food and water, safety and education they need to survive and thrive.  We’re on the ground in 120 countries and we’re there for children in their toughest moments, in the toughest places. Our pioneering work helps give children, no matter where they’re born, the chance to fulfil their potential. Last year we responded to 97 emergencies and reached 15.4 million children directly through our work. All donations to Save the Children’s international work will be matched pound for pound by the UK Government up to £5 million.
For more information visit www.savethechildren.org.uk
UK Registered charity number: 213890, Scotland SC039570
TEXT SANTA Christmas Jumper Day Presenter Interviews with Christine Bleakley, Alesha Dixon, Caroline Flack, Amanda Holden, Paddy McGuinness, Stephen Mulhern, Olly Murs, Phillip Schofield and  Holly Willoughby.

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