No brass band in the UK is likely to get as much media exposure this festive season than Oldham Band (Lees) — who will be appearing not once, but twice on national television on Christmas Day.
BBC and ITV
First of all they will be live on BBC 1 on the morning of the 25th (10.00am — 11.00am), with an ensemble helping the congregation at Oldham Parish Church sing carols to the nation.
Later in the afternoon however they will also be seen on ITV with a pre-recorded carol playing appearance on 'Coronation Street', helping the fictional residents of Weatherfield enjoy what is sure to be a drama packed day.
It rounds off a memorable year for the band — one which has seen them win five of the six contests it competed at under MD John Collins, and which saw them become First Section Champion Band of Great Britain and Senior Cup winners.
"It's a great way to end a great year," John told 4BR. "The BBC asked if we could provide an ensemble on Christmas Day, and as we have a great relationship with the church where we have held rehearsals before big contests, we were delighted to say yes.
Unfortunately I won't be there as I'm going on holiday this year, but I'm sure the players will enjoy the experience and the pressure!"
I can't think of too many bands that will be heard in the living rooms of millions of homes not once but twice on Christmas DayMD, John Collins
Not the first time
John also revealed that the appearance on ITV's legendary soap opera won't be his or the band's first either.
"A few years ago I made a cameo appearance as 'Billy the Trumpet' in an episode about a pub cricket match between regulars at 'The Rover's Return' and 'The Flying Horse' — although I fell asleep between takes in the sun!
The band made an appearance a couple of years ago too on a Christmas episode, so it's nice to be asked again.
I can't think of too many bands that will be heard in the living rooms of millions of homes not once but twice on Christmas Day."