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Katie Piper, Educating Essex staff for two C4 Christmas messages

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Channel 4 has revealed that two Alternative Christmas Messages featuring the subjects of several of its documentaries will air this year.

The first address - given the theme "just be yourself" - will see diversity programme stars Max Laird from Seven Dwarves, Susan Campbell-Duncan of Beauty And The Beast, My Transsexual Summer's Karen Gayle and acid attack victim Katie Piper from Katie: My Beautiful Friends make a "plea for tolerance".

The second will be fronted by Educating Essex headmaster Vic Goddard and his deputy Stephen Drew.

Katie Piper

© PA Images / Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment

Educating Essex

© Channel 4



It is the first time since the annual broadcast began in 1993 that viewers will see multiple messages.

"Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message is a yuletide institution giving voice to different opinions and social attitudes," director of creative diversity Stuart Cosgrove told The Guardian.

"This year the [first] message is collectively authored by people who have all starred in shows which foreground diversity. The message is a plea for tolerance and praises difference in a society that often demands conformity."

Previous stars of the channel's Alternative Christmas Message have included Jamie Oliver, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a 9/11 survivor and The Simpsons.

The 2010 message was delivered by midwives and medical staff being filmed for One Born Every Minute, while Piper made a first appearance the previous year.

'Just Be Yourself' will air on Christmas Day at 1.55pm on Channel 4, followed by the Educating Essex Christmas message at 4.15pm the same day.

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