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Carols from Chelsea 2019: Festive season begins in style with carol service for cancer research

Carols from Chelsea 2019 readers with ICR CEO Professor Paul Workman

Image: Group shot from our Carols from Chelsea 2019 event. Left to right: Joanna David, Naomi Leveson-Gower, Daisy Waterstone, Marjorie Cole, Professor Paul Workman, Philip Mould, Diana MacKenzie-Charrington. Credit: ICR / ProfotoDesign.

Familiar faces and voices from stage and screen came together on Tuesday 3 December to celebrate the start of the Christmas season at the 17th annual Carols from Chelsea service in support of The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

The service was held in the beautiful 17th century Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and featured readings from television and theatre actress Joanna David, art dealer and broadcaster Philip Mould OBE, In Pensioner Marjorie Cole and Daisy Waterstone from ITV’s ‘The Durrells’.  

Attendees were also treated to a stunning performance from award-winning baritone Henry Neill, soprano Anush Hovhannisyan and choristers Alex Rigo McSweeney and Lydia South.

The service is the ICR’s flagship fundraising event, with a wonderful programme of readings, carols and music from guest performers, including seasonal favourites from Handel and Bach.

Vital funds raised for research

The evening raised thousands of pounds through generous donations and ‘Lucky Envelopes’, including £10,000 on the night.

Fantastic prizes ranging from luxurious weekend spa breaks to opera tickets were were kindly donated by individuals and organisations.  

After the service, guests gathered for a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception, and the opportunity to mingle with our guest readers and performers. All proceeds from the service will go towards the ICR’s world-leading cancer research.

The ICR is currently fundraising towards a new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery – the building will house the ICR’s pioneering new ‘Darwinian’ drug discovery programme, which aims to overcome cancer’s ability to adapt and evolve resistance to drugs.

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A memorable evening for all

Lara Jukes, Director of Development at The Institute of Cancer Research, said:

“Carols from Chelsea is always a highlight of the festive calendar and an inspiring way to start off the Christmas season.

“It is wonderful to be able to raise funds for the ICR’s cutting-edge research in such a beautiful setting with our fantastic supporters. We thank everyone for their generosity.”

Diana MacKenzie-Charrington, Chair of the Carols Committee since 2015, said:

“I’m very lucky to have inherited this amazing event. Not only is it extraordinary thanks to the contributions made, the charity that enjoys the revenue from it is very special.

“The ICR is the 'big daddy' of cancer research and my committee and I would do anything for the ICR.”

Daisy Waterstone, one of our guest readers at the event, said:

“The evening was so special, and I’ll remember it forever. Clearly the work the ICR do needs lots of support and we need to get it to them as soon as possible.”


Our awe-inspiring research, is made possible by an extraordinary community of generous donors, which includes individuals, trusts and foundations and charity partners.

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