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Nottingham musical family, the Kanneh-Masons, to star in BBC2 Christmas special

One of the world's most famous classical music families will perform their favourite festive songs in a one-off television special this Christmas.

The Kanneh-Masons are in demand across the world, topping classical charts and performing their music for audiences far and wide.

However, this festive season, the family from Nottingham will be getting together for a seasonal celebration like no other.

(L-R) Konya, Mariatu, Jeneba, Aminata, Braimah, Isata, Stuart (dad), Kadie (mum) and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (53673470)
(L-R) Konya, Mariatu, Jeneba, Aminata, Braimah, Isata, Stuart (dad), Kadie (mum) and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (53673470)

The Kanneh-Masons are just as traditional as most families, despite their global stardom, with tree decorating, the traditional secret Santa draw, competitive charades and board games all part of the fun.

The programme will also include specially recorded performances of the family’s favourite Christmas music such as Mary’s Boy Child, We Three Kings, Santa Baby, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy and In The Bleak Midwinter, plus versions of Bob Marley’s Who The Cap Fit, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Eric Whitacre’s The Seal Lullaby.

The family first shot to fame when six of the seven siblings reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2015.

Sheku, the third eldest, later became the first black artist to win BBC Young Musician of the Year and subsequently played at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Parents Kadiatu (Kadie) and Stuart have captured the family Christmases on video over the years and granted exclusive access to these home movies for this programme.

The footage includes funny out-take moments of the kids when they were much younger and, more importantly, reveals how music has always played such an important part in their lives.

Kadie said: “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas unless everybody was at home. I can’t imagine Christmas as a small, quiet affair.

"The house is meant to be noisy, it’s meant to be full of music and young people’s voices, and I like it like that.

“It’s wonderful when they (the children) get the instruments out and perform together. They like a piece of music and they arrange it themselves, and it just seems to come organically between them. They all add their own ideas and it just grows from that. All the pieces are family favourites.”

Isata, the eldest, said: “We still do the majority of our concerts in the UK but we’re starting to perform a bit more in America and Europe as well, so it’s not that often it’s all nine of us together.

"But Christmas is a time when it’s always been like that every year.

“Christmas has always been, for me, very much a time to shut off from the world and just be within the family.”

A Musical Family Christmas with the Kanneh-Masons will air on BBC2 on Christmas Day at 8.35pm.

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