Here are a few highlights of events and offers our customers enjoyed in December 2019.
An Audience With Alan Titchmarsh
The warmth, wit and wisdom of that guru of the gardening world Alan Titchmarsh was in full bloom to illuminate a bracing December day, much to the delight of almost 1,000 Saga customers, both ticket holders and lucky VIP prize draw winners.
Saga customers gathered for a proper winter treat as part of our An Audience With live talk show series, at east London’s reborn yet little-known elegant art deco gem Troxy. The genial broadcasting favourite shared lively anecdotes about his rich and varied life, affably interviewed in a laid-back and entertaining chat with fellow TV presenter Konnie Huq.
Alan’s effortless charm sowed the seeds of a hugely enjoyable afternoon. The day was topped and tailed for the assembled guests with two complimentary drinks, selfie opportunities with the man himself, an azalea each in a signed plant pot, plus another free garden-themed gift in the shape of a composting pencil. That’s a pencil you plant, water and then – magically – flower seeds start to sprout a few weeks later. Who knew?
An Audience With Sir Bradley Wiggins
Next up in December for around 700 Saga customers came the chance to enjoy an evening with the inimitable Sir Bradley: cycling’s ultimate, all-round king of speed and stamina on track, road and mountains, Tour de France winner and Britain’s most decorated Olympian - with just the eight Olympic medals, including five golds, to his name.
In Manchester’s spectacular and familiar – to Sir Bradley in particular – Velodrome, the down-to-earth sporting inspiration and sometime super-mod style icon gave a fascinating and informative talk in conversation with sports writer-broadcaster Ian Stafford, packed with the refreshing candour associated with a genuine legend who reached the pinnacle of his profession and then some.
Peter Pan – Brighton’s Big Family Panto
This grand finale production of the classic pantomime, performed exclusively for our customers, more than lived up to its promise as a magical, memorable and seriously Christmassy experience for the whole family.
Along with amazing flying effects, barrels of laughter on tap, jaw-dropping costumes and even - of course - a pirate-eating crocodile, this super show at the Hilton Brighton Metropole was sprinkled with the fairy dust of lots of little extras for guests, turning a good day into a great one. Treats included ice cream, refreshments, programmes, top-notch seats to enjoy the panto to the max, plus free light-up play swords for the children to relive the pirate proceedings with their own fun bit of swashbuckling. All together now: ooh aargh!
This expertly-guided and informative tour welcomed participants into the mysterious depths of the London Tube, to experience a fascinating journey through the disused platforms and passageways of Charing Cross station. This was an ultra-rare opportunity to explore unseen spaces transformed into iconic film sets in so many blockbuster movies and TV shows.
Blinking into the light above ground, things then took a more traditional turn with an indulgent afternoon tea in Charing Cross’ adjacent hotel, before Saga customers and guests enjoyed their very own Bond moment at a private screening of Skyfall with a complimentary Martini in hand - shaken not stirred, of course.
Back to the Big Screen: Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street always competes for top spot on the tree of all-time classic Christmas films (quiet at the back there, It’s a Wonderful Life). And this 1947 feelgood festive gem was re-released for Saga customers at a string of special screenings in Leicester, Reading, Southampton, Walsall and on Teesside, to turn things all tinselly in the run up to the 2019 festivities.
Saga customers snapped up complimentary tickets for private showings of this timeless movie - the latest much-loved blockbuster in our popular Back to the Big Screen series.
Other Back to the Big Screen favourites revived just for you in recent months included ‘80s cinema classics Romancing the Stone and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Watch out for more coming to a screen near you in 2020.
Family ice-skating experiences
Like Christmas markets, ice-skating is very much a thing these days for all the family every festive season. And hundreds of you – ticket holders and prize draw winners alike - got your skates on at exclusive sessions across the country, in spectacularly scenic venues including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Liverpool Ice Festival, Manchester Cathedral Gardens and Brighton Pavilion.
It’s great when you skate. But Saga customers happier glugging a glühwein or hoovering down a hotdog rather than showing off your triple salchows had just as much fun, mulling over gifts at the rinks’ delightful festive markets while watching other family members and friends do all the legwork!