Comedian Joe Pasquale joins famous faces in Christmas film to raise money for NHS

By Rebecca Spencer

Famous faces are starring in a Christmas film written in one week and filmed in 12 days, after a string of cancellations for its playwright Michael Head.

Comedian Joe Pasquale, TV personality and radio host Vanessa Feltz and 90s pop singer Chesney Hawkes are some of the stars in Michael Head’s panto The Gift which will raise money for NHS Charities Together.

PHOTO CREDIT: LAPA Academy

Head said: “The final straw was having my panto in Islington cancelled, this was when I really worried.”

“This is when my working-class South London never say die spirit kicked in.

“I knew I had to do something, create an opportunity, try and bring some festive cheer.”

The Gift incorporates classic panto characters with a modern spin to the storyline; Smee and his pirates are a dance crew, and Dick Wittington is an Uber driver.

The film was set for an Odeon release and West end premier, but both were cancelled due to Covid according to LAPA Academy.

The Gift is now available through Amazon, it costs £9.99 or is free with Amazon Prime, and one pound of every film sale is donated to NHS Charities Together.

The film has also been given to patients at Great Ormond Street and Homerton Hospital for free.

“We are not trying to change the world, we just want to bring families together over Christmas and make people of all ages smile and laugh,” said Head.


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