Noel's safari gift to Beer pair

PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 June 2010

CHRISTMAS came early for two Beer siblings when Noel Edmonds whisked the pair off on a once in a lifetime safari last month. Alan, 26, and Julie Barrett, 28, jetted off with the Deal or No Deal presenter to South Africa in November after Julie nominated

CHRISTMAS came early for two Beer siblings when Noel Edmonds whisked the pair off on a "once in a lifetime" safari last month.

Alan, 26, and Julie Barrett, 28, jetted off with the Deal or No Deal presenter to South Africa in November after Julie nominated her brother for a new TV show.

Alan was nominated by his sister to appear on the Sky 1 TV show, Noel's Christmas presents, for the voluntary work he does at St Giles Kennels, Wrantage, near Taunton.

Although Alan had to give up his job at the kennels after being diagnosed with a chronic heart condition in 2006, he continues to work there on a voluntary basis.

Producers of the show decided that Julie, who has ME and also helps out at the kennels, should be awarded for her hard work as well.

Alan and Julie's mum, Sue, and Rod Baverstock, owner of the kennels, were then contacted by the show's producers to organise the surprise.

Sue, 47, said: "Alan and Julie thought they were having a normal day at the kennels and then Noel, who was hiding, went 'woof woof' and then came out and gave them the tickets."

The very next day Noel, Alan and Julie flew to South Africa for the four day safari.

Alan said: "I was just extremely shocked and it was hard to take it all in.

"The fact we fed baby rhinos and saw cheetahs was just an amazing experience.

"Noel was such a nice bloke and was with us all the time. Julie and I stayed in this huge house and Noel only had a tiny room."

Julie said: "It was out of this world and was just magical and we got to see so many different animals."

The studio show was recorded two weeks ago in the Royal Hippodrome at Eastbourne and Alan was in for another surprise when Rod brought Alan's favourite dog, One Eyed Bob, onto the show.

Sue added: "There was a lot of 'aahs' from the audience when One Eyed Bob came onto the stage and I think a lot of people want to give him a home now."

The programme will be aired on Sunday, December 21 on Sky 1 at 6pm.

There are many dogs at St Giles which need new homes. They can be seen in the 'adopt a dog' section on the website www.stgileskennels.co.uk.

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