Warwick Castle and the Arena Ice Rink is the star of the show in a new Channel 4 documentary to be shown at 9pm on Tuesday 22nd December. “Christmas at the Castle” follows the Castle team as they prepare for a most unusual Christmas in 2020.
The programme goes behind-the-scenes to show preparations for this year’s Christmas extravaganza, following a cast of staff as the Castle gets ready to open for the festive season. Filmed over six weeks in November and December, the show gives a unique insight into the flurry of activity leading up to the launch on 5th December, and how the team works together to pull off a Covid-secure Christmas.
Operations Director Liam Bartlett oversees the installation of not only the Light Trail but also the Castle’s ice rink – back this year bigger than ever before. Meanwhile, Head Elf Elle Thomas (aka Twinkletoes) leads the Castle’s team of characters who help bring Christmas to life for guests of all ages. Head of Conservation Val Goldman details the work that goes into dressing the Castle’s interiors for the festive season including a 20-foot Christmas tree in the Great Hall, with Head of Historical Interpretation Melissa Perry showing off some of the Castle’s historical Christmas collection including a hundred-year-old sleigh.
Nick Blofeld, Divisional Director for Warwick Castle, says: “We’re delighted that Channel 4 chose Warwick Castle to lead with their Christmas week programming – anyone that has visited the Castle knows that we always put on a big show for Christmas, and this year has of course been especially challenging. It’s thanks to our fantastic team, and some amazing creativity, that we’ve managed to make Christmas 2020 at the Castle into one of the best yet, from the brand new Light Trail to the bigger-than-ever Ice Rink, and a Winter Market for the first time. For the time being, we can only welcome local visitors so this documentary is a great opportunity to showcase it to the rest of the country.”
Rob Derry, Managing Director of events for Arena, says: “What an honour for our fantastic ice rink to be featured in the Channel 4 Warwick Castle documentary. Building an ice rink into the ditch at Warwick Castle is no mean feat, but we love a challenge and are proud to have delivered a safe and memorable attraction within the grounds of the best castle in England.”
All attractions at Warwick Castle have been organised with guest safety as priority, with compulsory advance booking for timed slots and strict capacity limits to ensure that everyone can socially distance as well as temperature checks on arrival and plentiful sanitising stations. Warwick Castle’s Christmas offering as seen in the show runs until Sunday 17th January 2021. Tickets must be pre-booked in advance at www.warwick-castle.com.
Christmas at Warwick Castle is made by ITN Productions. It airs on Channel 4 on Tuesday 22nd December at 9pm