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24 September 2014
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Last Night of the Proms celebrations bigger than ever

· Additional folksongs from around the UK to join Rule Britannia!

· First Prom in the Park in Northern Ireland

· Most ambitious weekend of BBC Proms in the Park events

· First Blue Planet Prom in the Park

· 18 hours of live music in six events featuring more than 850 performers across a wider geographical spread than ever

For the first time the traditional Last Night of the Proms celebrations are to include folksong arrangements from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

These have been added to Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs, with its final sung chorus Rule, Britannia!, and join Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem.

The new folksongs are Wood's own arrangements of the Scottish tune Charlie is My Darling and the Welsh All through the Night; and from Ireland, The Irish Tune from County Derry (commonly known as Danny Boy or Londonderry Air) by Wood's friend and contemporary, the much-loved Proms regular Percy Grainger.

As BBC Proms in the Park takes the Last Night party to Belfast for the first time, this innovation is a reflection of the increased interest in the Proms from around the UK and looks forward to the 21st Century by keeping the old traditions fresh.

As well as extending the repertoire, BBC Proms celebrates the end of the two-month festival with the most extensive programme of events ever.

In just two days more than 850 artists - as diverse as Terry Wogan, Lesley Garrett, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Leonard Slatkin and Pop Idols Will and Gareth - perform over 18 hours of live music in six separate events.

These include the Last Night parties in the Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Gateshead and Belfast on Saturday 14 September, as well as the CBBC Prom in the Park and the brand-new BBC Blue Planet Prom in the Park presented by Sir David Attenborough on 15 September in Hyde Park.

BBC Proms brings the 108th season to a jubilant conclusion in the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Leonard Slatkin as outdoor audiences in Belfast, Hyde Park and Gateshead link with those in the Albert Hall via large screens for the traditional highlights of the Last Night celebrations.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is joined by Broadway star Audra McDonald and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in a programme which celebrates the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the contrasting centenaries of William Walton and Richard Rodgers, with You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel bringing a new opportunity for audience participation.

Terry Wogan hosts BBC Proms in the Park for the seventh year.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is joined by a range of stars from soprano Lesely Garrett and tenor José Cura to The Bootleg Beatles, award-winning Jazz Jamaica All Stars and the versatile Hungarian violinist Lakatos, acclaimed as "the greatest Gypsy fiddler alive" following his BBC Proms debut last year.

The musical party in Hyde Park does not end on Saturday evening. Younger audiences can join CBBC's Fearne Cotton and Blue Peter's Simon Thomas for Sunday's CBBC Prom in the Park, a packed celebration of music for children.

Pop Idols Will Young and Gareth Gates perform live on stage with the BBC Philharmonic and the line-up includes a wide range of artists from acclaimed South African dance troupe Umoja to 12- year-old violinist Jennifer Pike, who this year became the youngest competitor to win BBC Young Musician of the Year.

The Proms in the Park weekend concludes with a brand new event - the BBC Blue Planet Prom in the Park.

This concert takes place on the evening of Sunday 15 September and brings the spell-binding footage from The Blue Planet, the BBC's acclaimed natural history series, to gigantic screens in Hyde Park.

Sir David Attenborough and series producer Alastair Fothergill provide narration and George Fenton conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in a live performance of his BAFTA award-winning soundtrack.

BBC Proms in the Park was launched by Nicholas Kenyon, Director of the Proms, in 1996.

It is now in its seventh year and continues to be a colourful conclusion to the season's programme, attracting capacity audiences to London's Hyde Park and other venues throughout the UK.

Nicholas Kenyon said: "The BBC Proms is one of the world's greatest music festivals and now more than ever we are making it available and accessible to the widest possible audience through Proms in the Park.

"I hope this will be an inspiring and uplifting weekend of music-making as tradition returns to the Last Night of the Proms."

Bill Morris, Project Director, BBC Live Events, said: "We are thrilled that BBC Proms in the Park has extended its reach to Northern Ireland.

"This demonstrates the commitment of BBC Proms and BBC Proms in the Park to reaching as broad an audience as possible in this unique musical celebration.

"We warmly welcome all audiences in Donegall Square to the Last Night and all those listening to the live broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster."

The concerts are broadcast across BBC Radio and Television.

Radio 3 broadcasts the Last Night of the Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall; Radio 2 broadcasts live coverage from Hyde Park whilst Proms in the Park in Belfast and Gateshead are broadcast locally.

Televised highlights of all three BBC Proms in the Park are shown as part of the Last Night live coverage on BBC ONE and BBC TWO.

Digital satellite viewers have an interactive finale to the Last Night for the first time, with programme notes and texts for the sung items available.

Notes to Editors

The BBC Proms website provides full details for each concert:

BBC Proms press pack

Renault is the event sponsor of BBC Proms in the Park in London and Gateshead, CBBC Prom in the Park and Blue Planet Prom in the Park.



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