Absolutely fab backing by legend June Whitfield for Harrogate show

June Whitfield.

June Whitfield.

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By Graham Chalmers

It’s not often a national treasure gives her blessing to a local performing group but that’s what much-loved actress June Whitfield has done for Harrogate Operatic Players.

Cast members were surprised when a letter arrived from the veteran star with a handwritten message which said: “Dear Christine, good luck to you and your fellow ‘Sister Act nuns’. Very best wishes from ‘Sister Ruth’ (Eastenders). Have fun! Your godmother, June.”

Although great fans of the 89-year-old actress, who has starred in radio and TV since the 1950s, most HOPs members were completely taken aback by the letter.

Only one person, in fact, wasn’t surprised.

The recipient of the letter, HOP’s member Christine Littlewood’s is the goddaughter of the actress who is famed for her appearances in Absolutely Fabulous and Happy Ever After.

HOP’s press and publicity officer Melanie James said: “Christine keeps in regular contact with June about her shows and, as she is playing a nun in Eastenders at the moment, she thought it quite amusing that Christine was, too, in our new show.

“Most of our members had no idea of Christine’s connection with June Whitfield and so it was a great surprise.”

Harrogate Operatic Players’ new show Sister Act The Musical runs at Harrogate Theatre from Tuesday, June 9 to Saturday, June 13 and Whitfield’s support has given them a great boost.

Although the Terry and June star is busy in her current role in BBC’s Eastenders, Christine Littlewood is convinced she would love HOP’s new production.

She said: “I’m sure she would absolutely love the show if she was able to come up to Harrogate. She’s always been very supportive of everything I’ve done and it would be a real treat for the cast to meet her”

Tickets are available at Harrogate Theatre box office on 01423 502 116 or online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk