Presenter Ore Oduba to host Christmas Carols with Bloodwise at Royal Albert Hall
The former Strictly Come Dancing champion will compère the evening of well-loved carols and festive favourites on 11 December, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ore’s support for Bloodwise has grown over the past two years since he first attended as a guest of the show in 2016 to introduce Strictly partner Joanne Clifton on stage. During this time, Ore met young leukaemia patient Andrew Berthoud, who was looking forward to his first Christmas treatment-free after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012.
Andrew (then seven-years-old) and his sister Clara (then nine-years-old) met Ore backstage during the interval and immediately bonded. The following year, after performing Santa Claus is Coming to Town with the added sparkle of a routine with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk, Ore was joined on stage by Andrew and his mum Melody as they shared their blood cancer story.
Ore says: “It’s such an honour for me to be able to host such an extraordinary night. Performing at the Royal Albert Hall last year was sensational and I’m so glad to able to continue my special relationship with Bloodwise this Christmas.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the festive period and raise funds for this fantastic charity. I feel really lucky to have met the amazing Andrew, Melody and the Berthouds. With the audience’s help, hopefully this year’s concert will be another glittering step towards changing the lives of more families just like them.”
Book tickets to Christmas Carols with Bloodwise
Andrew, now nine-years-old, says: “We had been watching Ore on Strictly on the TV every night and then all of a sudden I met him in person. He danced with Clara and we talked to him for a while in the interval. Then last year being on stage, oh my giddy aunt it was incredible being in front of 5,000 people sharing our story, but also slightly embarrassing when we did the Morecambe and Wise dance off stage!
“It is so great that Ore is hosting the show this year because he is helping to raise money for Bloodwise so they can help people who have been affected by blood cancer. He will be fantastic!”
Previously known as Christmas with the Stars, the show has been running for over 30 years – the second longest-running at the Royal Albert Hall after the Proms – and raises around £100,000 each year for blood cancer research and support for patients affected by the disease. One in 19 people will be diagnosed with blood cancer, which is the third biggest cause of cancer deaths, killing more people every year than either breast or prostate cancer.
Clara Berthoud (left) and Andrew Berthoud (right) meet Strictly Come Dancing stars at Bloodwise's Christmas with the Stars in 2016
Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Bloodwise, adds: “We are so delighted to welcome Ore back to our event at the Royal Albert Hall and even more excited, especially with his warmth and charisma, that he will be this year's host.
“We may have a new name for the show in Christmas Carols with Bloodwise but we will have all the same festive cheer, together with the determination to beat blood cancer. Despite one in 19 people being diagnosed with blood cancer in their lifetime, only one in 10 people are confident they know the common signs of the disease. There is a long way to go in raising funds and awareness to ensure we save the lives of each and every one of these people, but events like this go a long way in helping this.”