“From The Stars To The Stars” Is a video of TV celebrities made exclusively for Care Leavers on Christmas Day at Lemn Sissay’s Christmas Dinners. This is a guest blog post from the woman who makes it happen each year: Sally Abbott.
Since meeting Lemn seventeen years ago I’ve become a writer. Something he’s always encouraged in me. For the last eight years I’ve written EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Doctors and now my own BBC show, The Coroner. I thought what I could possibly give him were access to celebrities who the young care leavers would recognise. “From the Stars to the Stars was born. For the last four years each Christmas I’ve collected video messages which are made into a short film and played at each Christmas Dinner and for the last two years it’s been produced by my friend by Jodie Chillery, a professional film-maker.
Each celebrity gives a genuine Christmas message to the young adults at The Christmas Dinner. We’ve had messages from the casts of EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Casualty and Holby City. Sharon Marshall films guests on This Morning: Keith Lemon, Peter Andre, Rylan, Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden, Steph and Dom from Gogglebox, Holly Willoughby to name just a few.
Beatie Edney made the loveliest film last year with the cast of Poldark. This year we have a message from the cast of Grantchester. Kevin Cecil, who writes with David Walliams asked if he could help? He filmed a special message from David Walliams? Sally Lindsay is our fairy godmother (last year she was in panto and actually was a fairy godmother), she gives the last message – it had me in tears. It had Lemn in tears too. And then there’s Mel from The British Bake Off.
I love making “From The Stars To The Stars” . It’s just about the most Christmassy thing I do. The only people who see it are the care leavers on Christams Day. It’s true what they say – Christmas is more about giving than receiving. It makes me feel joyful.
I love making the Christmas Dinner Message. It’s just about the most Christmassy thing I do. The love from it spreads out. I’ve approached people through Facebook, through Twitter, through friends. People go out of their way to help make it – whether that’s Jodie in my village or Lisa Hammond who makes her own mini musical with the EastEnders cast or Beatie with Poldark or Sharon at This Morning… we couldn’t do it without them. It’s true what they say – Christmas is more about giving than receiving. It’s joyful to make it and think about those young adults and volunteers who’ll watch it on the day and who we hope will feel really REALLY special.
And, as well as for them, I make it for Lemn. My brilliant friend who had an idea and then made it happen. This is my Christmas present to him.