A charity night with the stars

I had a great night in London last night at a star studded event at the Roof Gardens, Kensington which is a private members club. I was invited by my friend James Ingham who’s a showbiz columnist for the Daily Star Sunday newspaper. It was called ‘Jog On’ and James had organized it as a fundraiser for cancer research UK.

I was in my element meeting lots of celebs who had all come along to support the event, including gorgeous boy band Union J who all the girls were screaming for outside  and My new best friend, X Factor winner Matt Cardle , who I was chatting to for ages. and he was telling me about his new tour coming up soon.

I enjoyed the entertainment from the Dream Idols, who did a semi naked strip routine – they’re the guys with gorgeous bodies who you see all over the side of buses as they advertise winkbingo.com

JLS’s Marvin was DJ’ing and playing his r&b favourites plus Britain’s Got Talent and former Strictly judge Alesha Dixon who did some presenting. Mel C and Beverley Knight both performed too – Beverley sounded out of this world, so good.

It was a very relaxed event, not pressurized by overbearing security staff which gave you the opportunity to mingle amongst the stars. I got chatting to one lad who I thought I knew by sight but it turns out it was Ashley McKenzie the Olympic judo athlete who took part in the last celebrity Big Brother. He was really down to earth but I was surprised how tiny he was. I was careful not to upset him or he could have had me on my back in seconds.

At the end of the day, celebrities are just like the rest of us, nothing sets them apart from us other than people’s perceptions of them and how they are put on a pedestal. Spending time with them you realize that.

I took my friend Leon Lopez with me and when we got chatting to actress Hayley Tamaddon who has recently moved from Leeds to London. She asked Leon if he’d heard about some bad press she’d received recently because of her partner whose divorce papers appeared in the paper.  Until she brought it up, none of us had heard about it and although she appeared unhappy about it I don’t think the publicity will do her any harm. 

Above all the celebrities I met there though the person who inspired me the most and made the biggest impact on me was a young girl called Leanne Grose who is truly remarkable. She’s only got one leg after developing cancer in her foot which spread and resulted in her having her leg amputated. She delivered her inspirational speech so beautifully, it made me choke up and think how cruel life can be. I went over to her afterwards to tell her how wonderful she is and it turns out we have 83 mutual friends on Facebook. She’s even launched her own fitness video which beat Davina McCall’s in the charts one week. 

In between rubbing shoulders with the stars, I managed to find the time to bag myself a couple of  auction prizes – some accommodation in the Maldives for £2300 and then the chance to do some diving and have a photo with Tom Daley , who I’ve wanted to meet again for ages after his recent success at the Olympics. It was only going for £500 so as Chris Mears another Olympic Diver was at the event, I offered £1000 if I could get him and Tom together to dive with me.  His Manager said they never dive together usually but they will both be at a tournament in Edinburgh so he agreed it should be possible to do it then.  As an alternative, I’ve offered for them to come and stay at my home, Carr Hall Castle and use our swimming pool. It would have to be shallow diving though – it’s only 1.2metres deep! Lol

I got on really well with Chris Mears and spent quite a while chatting to him, like the other Olympians I’ve met he was really humble too. I think when we get together with Tom Daley we’ll make a really splash together!!

The evening raised £25,000 for Cancer Research UK which is a fantastic effort, well done James Ingham and thanks for a great night.