Bill Oddie will be making a special guest appearance at this week’s award-winning Wickham Festival.
The television entertainer and renowned conservationist will be giving a talk on behalf of the League against Cruel Sports at three o’clock on Saturday afternoon.
The comedian, actor and author, who shot to prominence with the Goodies in the 1970’s, will be delivering a serious message in his own inimitable style as part of the Festival’s link with the charity.
Having written and sung a string of comic hit songs for the Goodies including the Funky Gibbon, there is also a strong chance that the 75-year-old may perform with the SAS Band later that evening.
Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome such a talented entertainer to Wickham. As an artist, actor and ornithologist, Bill Oddie is a household favourite to millions across the country.
“I am sure his talk for the League Against Cruel Sports will be both educational and entertaining and it is a real bonus for the thousands who have already bought tickets for Saturday.
“In addition we also have X Factor winner Matt Cardle guesting with the Trevor Horn Band and on the same bill we also have the SAS Band featuring Roger Taylor of Queen, Fish, Madeline Bell and Toyah Willcox. They always create a fantastic party atmosphere so it should be a memorable night.
“With Oysterband plus Chas & Dave also appearing on the Saturday, tickets were already selling really well and now we expect to be close to a sell-out with the three other nights also going fast.”
Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley tops the bill on the opening night on August 4 with the Stranglers and Bruce Foxton’s From the Jam as the main attractions 24 hours later.
Lindisfarne close the family-friendly event on Sunday August 7 with strong back-up from Steeleye Span, Hayseed Dixie and festival favourites the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
The hugely-popular four-day fiesta was voted Best Festival (Under 15,000 capacity) at last year’s Live UK Music Business awards and this year’s event looks to be even better.
In addition to the three regular stages, there will now be a fourth platform where local and unsigned bands can perform with a view to possibly landing themselves a contract or at least gaining further exposure.
There will be the usual array of craft and clothing stalls as well as a wide variety of high quality food outlets and a huge range of activities for children who can roam safely.
Chegwyn added: “We pride ourselves on our family-friendly reputation and tickets are already selling well with sales up on last year’s record-breaking event.
“There is a real feelgood factor about this festival which reflects our rapidly-growing reputation locally, nationally and internationally with fans coming from the USA, Canada and even Australia.
“Parents can enjoy the music knowing their youngsters are being well entertained. The atmosphere is very chilled and relaxed which is why so many people book to come back year after year, even before the line-up is announced.
“But with so many top names now confirmed we are looking forward to this being our biggest and best event yet.”
Weekend tickets are £160 or £80 for Under 16’s with Under 10’s admitted free. Day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday can be bought for £60 (£30 Under 16’s) while evening tickets (after 6pm) are £40 (£20). Details at www.wickhamfestival.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org