Peter Capaldi – the recently announced new Dr Who – joined a line-up of stars reading at the 
Operation Smile UK Charity Carols by Candlelight service last week, which raised a staggering £50,000 to help provide free surgery for children born with facial deformities.

Peter Capaldi at Operation Smile UK's Carols By Candlelight event
Peter Capaldi at Operation Smile UK's Carols By Candlelight event

Operation Smile, the cleft lip and cleft palate charity, hosted the Carols by Candlelight service at the beautiful City church, St Botolph’s without Bishopsgate. Hundreds of Operation Smile supporters queued outside the church to catch a glimpse of the fantastic readers and performers including Honor Blackman, Peter Capaldi, Mishal Husain, Lucy Kellaway and Sir Clive Woodward.

The Overtones at Operation Smile UK Carols By Candlelight event

The service was filled with traditional carols, readings and live performances from the MOBO Nominated IDMC Gospel Choir and We Sing U Sing children’s choir. Five-piece vocal harmony group The Overtones, also gave a special performance of their Christmas Single in aid of Operation Smile, a festive version of the 1954 Nat King Cole classic ‘Smile’. After the service, guests mingled and enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine.

Commenting on the evening, actor Peter Capaldi said: “It was a lovely, festive evening, with fantastic performances from The Overtones and IDMC gospel choir. I’m thrilled to be supporting such an important and life-transforming cause.”

Supporters listened to seasonal readings from the celebrity guests and saw films from Smile Ambassadors Duncan Bannatyne and The Overtones volunteering on medical projects in Mexico and Rwanda. Operation Smile Ambassador and BBC presenter Mishal Husain commented: “It can cost as little as £150 to repair a cleft and change a child’s life forever. It’s amazing to think that the money raised from this evening will help change 300 children’s lives.”

All proceeds from this service and the Operation Smile Mayfair Carols by Candlelight Service which also raised £50,000 for the charity, thanks to the support of their high profile readers including Bill Bailey, James Cracknell and Barbara Windsor will go towards supporting activities to provide free, safe surgery for all children in the developing world born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

“We are so grateful for the support shown by the celebrity readers and performers. They not only help to raise the profile of our events but leave inspired by the amazing work of our volunteers and are motivated be involved further” said Alex Talbot, Chief Executive of Operation Smile.

The Overtones Smile EP in aid of Operation Smile is available to download on iTunes & Amazon now.

For more information, click here.

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