It has delighted children with traditional music and songs for more than three decades.

But the owners of the hugely popular Singing Kettle have announced that this year's Christmas performances will be the last.

The "Big Christmas Party" will bring an end to the iconic show following the retirement of its two main performers and company directors, Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise, two years ago.

Mr Trezise said: "My wife Cilla Fisher and I have now decided to close up shop.

"We've both enjoyed having a bit more time to ourselves since we stepped out the limelight and now we can enjoy not having the pressure of running the business."

Ms Fisher added: "It's become a tradition in Scotland and many children and their families will miss the show. We've had so many wonderful times over the years and met so many lovely people. It's so nice to have created something that's brought such happiness, not just to our audiences, but to us too.

"We'd like to thank all the children, and adults, who have come time and time again to see us over the years. Everyone involved with the company has had a ball." The show began in the modest surroundings of Dalkeith Library in 1982 and quickly grew from a small show for children, touring playgroups and schools, to one of the biggest box office draws in the UK.

It also proved popular in the United States, Oman, Hong Kong and Jordan.

There have been more than 6500 live shows over the years, as well as 44 DVDs and 49 CDs which have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The Singing Kettle's amazing popularity also led to a host of awards, including a BAFTA for best children's TV programme.

In 1999, Mr Trezise and Ms Fisher, along with founding member Gary Coupland, were awarded MBEs for services to Children's Theatre.

The last tour will take place in November and December, with the last ever show taking place in Aberdeen in February.