An­niver­sary treat for car­ollers

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

CAROLS in the Do­main, broad­cast­ing live from Syd­ney’s Royal Botanic Gar­dens, cel­e­brates its 30th an­niver­sary on Satur­day.

Co-host Natalie Barr hints that ‘‘there’s some­thing spe­cial planned’’ but re­fuses to elab­o­rate. ‘‘It’s a sur­prise,’’ she says. Even with­out some­thing topse­cret in the works, Carols has plenty to of­fer the peo­ple tuning in at home, not to men­tion the 50,000 or so who at­tend live.

The lineup in­cludes favourites Ge­orgie Parker, Jay Laga’aia, Rachael Beck and John Wa­ters, en­sem­bles such as The Ten Tenors and cast mem­bers from Legally Blonde: The Mu­si­cal and new faces – The X-Fac­tor favourites The Col­lec­tive and this year’s win­ner singer Sa­man­tha Jade.

‘‘I asked to be on Carols when I was on X-Fac­tor,’’ Jade says.

‘‘I said, ‘If I come first, if I come third, if I come 10th, I’d just really like to be on Carols’. I watch it ev­ery year, and it’s one of the dreams to be part of it, so I’m so ex­cited that it’s ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing.’’

Jade isn’t the only new ad­di­tion to Carols in the Do­main. This year, the event has a new co-host in the form of event broad­caster Chan­nel 7 per­son­al­ity Matt White.

‘‘It’s such an hon­our to share the spirit of Christ­mas with so many Aus­tralians,’’ White says. ‘‘I’m a sucker for a good sin­ga­long, es­pe­cially when I know the words.’’

Barr agrees. ‘‘I hear Matt can sing. I made sure they turned down the mics last year when it was time for the hosts to sing but we might see about keep­ing Matt’s on for the big fi­nale this time.

‘‘Bet­ter keep mine off, though, be­cause I am a ter­ri­ble singer. I love singing along but no one else should hear me.’’

Barr joins Carols for her sec­ond year. Even be­fore she was in­volved, she, her hus­band and their chil­dren would ei­ther watch or at­tend.

‘‘I’m ab­so­lutely be­side my­self they’ve asked me back,’’ she says.

‘‘I love the Carols, I really do. Grow­ing up in WA I used to watch it ev­ery year, and when they asked me to do it last year I couldn’t be­lieve it.’’

The only per­son more ex­cited than Barr? Barr’s mum, of course.

‘‘She really thought I’d made it be­cause they asked me to host it.

‘‘For­get ev­ery­thing I’d ever done be­fore­hand in my ca­reer – get­ting Carols was the most ex­cit­ing moment for her. Mine too.’’ Satur­day, 8.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

hosts Matt White and Natalie Barr.

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