University of Salford Chancellor, Jackie Kay CBE, hosted an online Christmas festival last night, Makar to Cracker.

The Scottish poet, playwright and novelist, named Scottish Makar in 2016, was inspired to create the online festival series Makar to Makar earlier this year.

The festivals aimed to entertain and create work for writers and performers when literary festivals around the world closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lineup included former Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy, Jen Hadfield (the youngest poet to win the T.S. Eliot Prize) and Imtiaz Dharker, with music performed by Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer-songwriter, Kathryn Williams.

The free online event was streamed last night via the National Theatre of Scotland’s YouTube channel and its Facebook page, lasting approximately 90 minutes.

Kay has recently been placed in the BBC 100 Women 2020 list which highlights inspiring and influential women from around the world. She has been recognised in the Creativity category for her services to literature after being made CBE earlier this year.

She said: “It was a great honour to be included in the BBC 100 Women 2020 list.

“Here are women that make you think about life and how to use it, how to inspire and give to others, how to use their many talents for a common good.”

The Salford University Chancellor will also be hosting Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this year.

Which for the first time in history will be an online celebration to wave off 2020.

The free event kicks off on 28 December until 31 December 2020, and will include actors, David Tennant and Lorne MacFayden as well.

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