Downton Abbey actress and Casualty and Emmerdale star to host Cambridgeshire charity comedy night

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 November 2015

Emma and Jason

Emma and Jason


A Downton Abbey actress, a star of Casualty, an award-winning comedy duo and members of Cambridge University’s Footlights Club will be at a Comedy Night and disco at Ickleton Village Hall next month raising money to help Syrian refugee children.

Emma and JasonEmma and Jason

The money raised will go to the charity War Child which helps children displaced by war and violence. The event is being organised by an Ickleton Mum who told the Reporter: “These children could be our children suffering and that is simply incomprehensible. Let’s not tolerate it just because they are someone else’s children, let’s do something about it and raise as much money as we can to help them.”

The event on Saturday, December 5, under the umbrella of The Ickleton Sizzlers, which organises the village’s entertainments, will be hosted by actress Emma Lownes who plays Downton’s Mrs Drewe, the foster mother of Lady’s Edith’s daughter Marigold, who was so distraught at having to give back the child that at one point she kidnapped her.”

Emma said: “We lived in Ickleton for just over a year and we were involved in the Sizzlers Nights and the Froglets Toddler Group. I moved in with my baby on the Saturday and on the Monday I went to Froglets, it was my salvation. It’s such a friendly village.”

Sharing the compere’s role will be Emma’s partner, actor Jason Merrells, whose television roles include receptionist Matt Hawley in Casualty, headteacher Jack Rimmer in Waterloo Road, the owner of Home Farm, Declan Macey in Emmerdale, Phil Delaney in Queer as Folk and Gavin Ferreday in Cutting It.

The couple will be introducing Edinburgh Festival Award winners, comedy duo, Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce winners of the Spirit of the Fringe prize. They will perform their show that wowed audiences at Edinburgh this year.

Croft and Pearce were nominated for Best Scripted Comedy at the BBC Audio Drama Awards this year for their episode of BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama. Members of Cambridge University’s Footlights team performing stand-up and sketches.

Sarah Mila, who is coordinating the event, said: “My children are half Tonganese. The little boy washed up on the beach looked like my four-year-old. It could have been him. A lot of us in the village said we’ve got to do something.

She added: “Over the years, Ickleton like so many other villages, has raised money for various important reasons, whether it’s keeping our church open, or the village hall maintained, or to help other deserving charities or just events that simply bring the village closer together.

“All of us have been massively moved and upset with the incredibly sad images of people fleeing their homes, children and families torn from their everyday lives because of war, the streams of refugees risking their lives to get away from the violence. We can’t forget that image of that poor little boy alone washed up on a beach.

“We are simply lucky with where we live, that we don’t face these hardships. It’s just geography.”

Doors 7.30. Show 8pm. Licenced bar, refreshments and a grand raffle.

Tickets are £10, available online at or from Ickleton Costcutter.

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