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TV presenter Carol Vorderman and Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies joined hundreds of people at Bristol Zoo Gardens’ Big Christmas Sing-a-Long last night.
People gathered on the Zoo’s main lawn to listen to local choirs and join in singing a host of festive favourites.
But torrential rain led to the event being moved into The Hide café restaurant where the sing-a-long continued.
Both Carol and Sharron said how much they loved Bristol Zoo.
Former Countdown and Loose Women star Carol, who has lived in Bristol for 11 years, said the Zoo was one of the city’s iconic places.
She said: “There’s something so beautiful about the Zoo especially the way the lawn has been left as open space in the centre.
“It is compact and I think you can feel so much more attached to Bristol Zoo than a bigger zoo such as London.
“The Zoo helped me last year before I went onto I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I came into the conservation education centre and handled some snakes and spiders so I would know what they felt like.”
Carol, 56, now semi-retired after working on TV for 35 years is an ambassador for the RAF air cadets and holds the rank of honorary Group Captain said she still has plans to fly solo around the world.
Sharron Davies, winner of an Olympic silver medal and two Commonwealth Gold Medals, said she used to come to Bristol Zoo as a child.
The 55-year-old said “I am so impressed with the ethical conservation side of the Zoo and especially the work with gorillas as well the history of the place.
“I grew up watching Johnny Morris here so it is always great to come back.”
Sharron, 55 who as well as her TV work is also a qualified personal trainer, said she visits the Zoo each year before Christmas and in the summer.
The evening began with Break Out Voices from Windmill Hill in Bristol who performed six popular Christmas songs including Jingle Bells and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.
Bristol Acapella, who rehearse in St Paul’s church in Clifton, were next on the open-air stage, signing seven songs. They included It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Winter Wonderland.
The downpour led to them fin ishing their set in The Hide and they were followed by the 50-strong Lighthouse Choir who finished the evening with a classic collection of seasonal songs ending with The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Entry to the evening at the 181-year-old Zoo was free but people were encouraged to contribute to a collection in aid of the Zoo’s conservation work.
Bristol Zoo’s Owain Cassidy said: “Despite the weather it was a fabulous evening and everyone enjoyed themselves.”
“It also helped us to raise important funds to support the Zoo and our vital conservation work.”
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.
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