Redheads given free cinema tickets to escape heatwave on Monday and Tuesday

A beautiful young woman with red hair sits alone in a cinema.
Redheads will be given free tickets to escape the heatwave. (Getty)

Redheads will be given free tickets to escape the heatwave next week, with temperatures predicted to hit a record 40C.

The Met Office has warned people’s lives could be at risk and has issued its first red warning for extreme heat on Monday and Tuesday.

Those with red hair can struggle in high temperatures due to having two copies of a variant of the MC1R gene which affects the type of melanin pigment they produce, leading to freckles, pale skin and a strong tendency to burn in the sun.

Showcase cinemas has now stepped in to offer redheads a sanctuary by providing free cinema tickets and a slushy on Monday and Tuesday.

Watch: Is the UK heatwave a cause for concern?

Showcase said in a statement: “Experts say the UK is soon to witness its hottest ever days on record and since redheads are often more vulnerable than most to the sun’s rays, we're giving them shelter from the sun inside our fully air conditioned cinema screens to catch the latest blockbusters for no cost at all.”

General manager Mark Barlow added: "While the UK enjoys some much-needed sunny weather, we know how hard some people find the heat."

Redheads can grab their free tickets from box offices for films showing on Monday or Tuesday from one of 17 Showcase cinemas across the UK.

Read more: Boris Johnson skips heatwave crisis meeting to ‘host Chequers party’

2018 British Academy Britannia Awards - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, U.S., October 26, 2018 -  Damian Lewis poses REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Famous redhead actor Damian Lewis. (Reuters)

It comes as the heat health warning has been increased to a “national emergency” level four amid predictions the mercury could hit a record 40C.

The current heatwave is set to peak on Tuesday, with an 80% chance of the temperature topping the previous high of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019.

The concern is so serious that ministers held an emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday to discuss the escalating heatwave.

Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse, who chaired the meeting, warned transport services faced “significant disruption” as he urged people to avoid travelling on the hottest days.

Read more: National emergency as red extreme heat warning issued for first time across England

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Jessica Chastain arrives at the Paramount+ UK launch at Outernet London on June 20, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images for Paramount+)
Famous redhead actress Jessica Chastain. (Getty)

He told the BBC: “Obviously the transport providers are messaging people that they should only travel if they really need to on Monday and Tuesday.

“Services are going to be significantly affected. The heat will affect rails, for example, so the trains have to run slower. There may be fewer services. People need to be on their guard for disruption.

“If they don’t have to travel, this may be a moment to work from home.”

Malthouse said steps had been taken to ensure hospitals and ambulances that may come under pressure were prepared, while schools were being issued with guidance to enable them to remain open.