Thursday 19 September 2019

Jodie Whittaker among stars surprising children on special trip to New York

Four children were treated to a magical festive adventure in the Big Apple.

Jodie Whittaker (PA)
Jodie Whittaker (PA)

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

Jodie Whittaker and Millie Bobby Brown were among the stars who helped surprise a group of children on a magical trip to New York.

Pixie Lott, Maya Jama, Jon Culshaw and Harry Maguire also took part in the surprise, which saw the group whisked to the Big Apple to “live like Kevin”, the little boy played by Macaulay Culkin in the Home Alone films.

The trip was organised by British Airways for four children, including a boy who lived in Grenfell Walk, at the base of the Grenfell Tower, at the time of the 2017 fire, two girls whose lives have been affected by cancer and a boy whose sister died as a result of a car crash, which he survived.

The children in New York (Stuart Bailey)

The adventure got started at Heathrow, where singer Lott revealed the trip destination during an acoustic performance of Walking In A Winter Wonderland.

Jama and Maguire then checked them in to the specially re-branded Kevin Class.

Doctor Who actress Whittaker and Stranger Things star Brown both recorded personal video messages to the children.

Whittaker’s video was played via the giant screen at One Times Square, alongside the children’s names and a Happy Christmas message.

The group had a personal meeting at the Plaza Hotel with President Trump, who was played by Culshaw, and they also enjoyed ice skating in Central Park, a visit to the Rockettes show at the Radio City Music Hall, toy shopping in the newly re-opened FAO Schwarz and an ice cream feast in the Plaza Hotel’s Presidential Suite.

“A Very Kevin Christmas” was captured in two films, a movie-style teaser and a longer chronicle of their adventure.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “New York is a magical destination to visit at Christmas whether you are a child or an adult, so it was the perfect place to stage our most ambitious BA Magic surprise yet.

“As our films reveal, the children have had to cope with very challenging circumstances and their stories are moving and inspiring in equal measure.

“We wanted to give them and their parents a magical start to Christmas they will never forget.”

The trip marked the start of the BA Magic 100 project, which will see 100 acts of kindness performed by the airline in its centenary year, 2019.

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