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‘Brecon with Bells On’ Joanna Lumley to switch on Christmas Lights

Joanna Lumley, the Absolutely Fabulous star and advocate for the Gurkha Justice Campaign is to switch on the Christmas lights in Brecon this year.

This will be the highlight of the town’s “Brecon with Bells On” Christmas Market on Saturday November 18th organised by Brecon Town Council. It is the second year the event has been staged in the town centre.

Councillor Ann Mathias, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee commented: “I am thrilled that Joanna Lumley has kindly agreed to come and support us. She is fully aware of the strong links the town has with the Nepalese community. We, as a Council, are encouraging everybody in Brecon to come together for this fantastic day.”

Joanna said: “Brecon has always been such brave and generous hosts and defenders of their Gurkhas and Nepalese community, a “Beacon” indeed”.

Joanna was born in Kashmir, India, where her father was a Major in the 6th Gurkha Rifles. She first came to fame in the 1960s as a model before moving on to have a distinguished career as an actress on both stage and screen. Her portrayal of Patsy Stone in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous won her two Bafta TV Awards.

Joanna led a highly publicised and successful campaign to ensure that Gurkha Veterans who had served in the British Army before 1997 gained the same rights as their British and Commonwealth counterparts. She is a Vice Patron of the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Major (Retired) Kushiman Gurung MVO, Secretary of Brecon Nepalese Society Wales UK said “The Gurkha community of Brecon is overjoyed that Joanna Lumley (Didi) is coming to Brecon for the switching on of the Christmas lights. It is no secret that Joanna (Didi) is not just the daughter of a Gurkha Officer, but is also a well respected person of many around the world.
Her support and dedication towards the retired Gurkhas is second to none and without her wholehearted support and campaign we would simply not be enjoying the life in the UK as we are now. It would be an honour to welcome her in this lovely part of the Country and will no doubt add extra dimension in the local community to the event”.

“Brecon with Bells On” will start at 12 noon with stalls and entertainment for the whole family in the town centre, leading up to the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights at 6 pm. Anyone interested in taking part in the event should contact Brecon Town Clerk on 01874 622884 or email

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