The Thursford Christmas Spectacular, which has entertained more than six million worldwide visitors since its first Christmas Eve performance more than 40 years ago, has been cancelled for 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Uncertainty around the reopening of theatres and staging of live events in the UK has led to the postponement of one of Europe’s biggest Christmas shows until 2021. John Cushing, the founder, producer and director of the show in the East of England, said the decision had been a “heart-breaking” one for the entire team.

The production would normally open in early November and employ around 360 entertainers and backstage staff.