Virgin Media Christmas Stars Competition

Posted by iChild, October 16, 2019 10:25 AM

By the Virgin Media Christmas Stars competition team

Christmas is a time for joy and celebrating, and a school’s Christmas play is at the heart of the festive season.

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Virgin Media wanted to celebrate Christmas and spread the magic of the festive season with millions of their TV customers – in a unique and heart-warming way.

And what better way than to take a primary school’s Christmas play – one of the most cherished moments of a child and proud parent’s life - from a school hall into the homes of millions of people across the nation.

And that’s how Virgin Media’s Christmas Stars competition came to life.

The competition offers primary schools across the UK the opportunity to have their festive play professionally recorded and made available, via On Demand, to four million Virgin TV customers.

The school Christmas production is a great experience for children; they think it’s fun (which it is, obviously), but it’s also a great way of encouraging their development. Performing builds children’s confidence, learning lines helps memory and concentration, and the camaraderie of a show develops friendship and teamwork.  These are essential skills which they will use throughout their lives.

The competition was a great success last year with Carlisle’s Pennine Way Primary School scooping the top prize, and the children had the time of their lives.

The Christmas elves at Virgin Media have gone all out to make this year’s competition even bigger and better, in order to offer more unforgettable experiences for schools, their children and their teachers.

Virgin Media is once again teaming up with TV presenter and magician, Stephen Mulhern, who’ll narrate the winning school’s play live on stage with the children.

Stephen is a fantastic storyteller; with 20 years’ experience of entertaining people on stage and screen. He has a warm, vibrant and engaging personality and builds a natural rapport with everyone he meets.

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Stephen had a blast working with Pennine Way’s pupils in 2018 (pictured above) narrating their play ‘Robin Hood Saves Santa’.  Stephen’s boundless enthusiasm energised the children and they gave the performance of their lives.

To celebrate the launch of this year’s competition, Virgin Media and Stephen are hitting the road and visiting schools across the UK to run special performance masterclasses. Stephen will help pupils shine on stage and get them ready for their festive productions by sharing top tips on how to have confidence when performing, what to do if you forget your lines (it happens to the best!), and will teach them some great magic tricks, too.

Virgin Media has also wrapped up incredible prizes for the winning school, a runner-up and 22 regional finalists.

As well as having their Christmas play televised on Virgin TV, the winning school will receive £5,000 and epic experiences thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit West End show, School of Rock the Musical.

A class will be invited to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London for an electric, rip-roaring performance masterclass from the cast. The children will also be treated to tickets to watch the blockbuster show and see the talented cast in action. Travel is included, and accommodation will be available if needed. The masterclass is open to a class of 28 children and seven chaperones.

To keep the Christmas spirit going, School of Rock the Musical will generously give the winning school 10 ukuleles so they can keep strumming first-class performances well into 2020.

And, as it’s the season of goodwill, there are plenty of prizes on offer for the runner-up school and 22 regional finalists. The runner-up school will win £1,000 plus 15 ukuleles, while 22 regional finalists will win £100 and two ukuleles each.

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There are plenty of prizes and opportunities for primary schools everywhere, with Virgin Media offering schools a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they’ll never forget. All you need to do is to get your entries in now!

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