Charity telethon Jõulutunnel to air on Christmas Day

Anna and Kristjan Pihl hosted this year's edition of Jõulutunnel, which aired on Christmas Day.
Anna and Kristjan Pihl hosted this year's edition of Jõulutunnel, which aired on Christmas Day. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

The 19th edition of Jõulutunnel ("Christmas Tunnel"), ETV's annual holiday charity telethon, will be hosted this year by journalists and husband and wife Anna and Kristjan Pihl. This year, the focus will be on raising money for the treatment of children with rare disorders.

While the programme itself will air on Christmas Day, the hosts began filming in preparation for the telethon ahead of time, spending a day taking the place of the parents of Markus, a child with Angelman syndrome.

"We were able to see up close what one day is like for a parent [of a child with a rare disorder]," Ms Pihl told ETV. "It certainly isn't like [a day] with a typical child."

Over the course of one day, the two hosts helped feed and dress Markus, and even took him to therapeutic horseback riding.

"This was an eye-opening experience also in speaking eye-to-eye with a mother in their child's bedroom about the day years ago when she found out that her child had something called Angelman syndrome," Mr Pihl said.

Angelman syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder characterised by intellectual and physical developmental delays. "This was such an eye-opening experience which made you think that if you have any problems, then honestly, they're nothing," Ms Pihl said, describing the experience.

Hotlines open through end of 30 December

This year's Jõulutunnel aired a preview programme on Sunday, 23 December. The main event will be aired on Christmas Day, and include memorable meetings and music alike over the course of five live programmes beginning at 10:00 EET.

Throughout the day, the Pihls will talk with a number of guests, and various clips will feature Mai Palling, Kaidor Kahar, Hannes Hermaküla, Christel Karits, Aivi Parijõgi, Silvia Karro, Siiri Ottender-Paasma, Marit Valk, and Jüri Nikolajev. As always, the programme will feature a great deal of good music as well.

In partnership with the telethon, operators Telia, Elisa and Tele2 will mediate donation calls free of charge. Donation hotlines will be open through midnight on 31 December.

To make a €5 donation, call 900 7701. For a €10 donation, call 900 7702, and for a €25 donation, call 900 7703.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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