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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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TV talent star and Cumbrian actor take centre stage

A CONTESTANT from The Voice will appear in a festive charity show alongside a Cumbrian star fresh from the bright lights of LA.

Toni Warne who wowed the BBC One show’s judging panel on its opening episode, will be in the Carnegie on December 15 along with Seaton actor, singer and performer Billy Walker.

The proceeds from the one night only Big Christmas Cracker will be split between local breast cancer charities.

The show will be hosted BBC Radio Cumbria’s Val Armstrong, who has twice battled the disease and been named Cumbria’s Woman of the Year.

Billy, 31, of Hunters Drive, who organised the event, said: “People ask me around this time of year if I’m appearing in panto in Carlisle.

“It’s nice to be able to say ‘I’m not but you can come and see this!’

“It’s also good to do something in west Cumbria for a change, the place I’m originally from.”

Billy has only recently visited the refurbished Carnegie Theatre.

“I was so impressed. They have done such a fantastic job and it will be a pleasure to perform there,” he said.

Billy approached Toni via email and within 24 hours she had written back to say she would love to come to the Carnegie.

He said: “I feel that, with west Cumbria, there always seems to be excuses why we can’t get big names.

“I wanted to get someone who is current off the TV this year who is talented, and not just a name.”

Also included in the line-up will be Roberts ‘n’ Ashcroft, billed as ‘Blackpool’s number one vocal double act’.

Father Christmas is set to make an appearance, as is Workington mayor Andrew Lawson.

Billy, who has toured the UK in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, has just returned from three months at a top Hollywood acting school.

Ivana Chubbuck Studio in LA has helped the likes of Halle Berry and Charlize Theron.

Billy appeared in two short films while he was over there.

He played a British doctor and also appeared in an arthouse film about a down-and-out saved by an angel.

Billy is well-known in Seaton where he grew up and performed to mark the centenary of the village carnival.

He trained at the Manchester School of Acting, has appeared in various TV adverts.

Members of the audience will be given a pink heart upon which they can write messages to friends or loved ones affected by cancer.

The messages can then be hung on the Christmas tree which will be in the Carnegie throughout the festive period.

This will be followed by an after- show party with mulled wine and mince pies.

To buy a ticket call the box office on 01900 602122. Tickets cost £10.

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