A showstopping comedy and music spectacular has been hailed a “magical and unforgettable triumph” after raising more than £130,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). 

Happy Christmas Ipswich 4, spearheaded by and starring Suffolk resident Griff Rhys Jones, featured a host of household names at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre on Monday night. 

EACH patron Griff raided his contacts book once again to put on a show featuring Dara Ó Briain, Dame Joanna Lumley, Gavin and Stacey favourite Rob Brydon and player Rick Wakeman. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Griff Rhys Jones spearheaded Happy Christmas 4 at the Regent on MondayGriff Rhys Jones spearheaded Happy Christmas 4 at the Regent on Monday (Image: www.jhreportage.co.uk)

Others on a glittering bill included Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard, comedians Tessa Coates, Sooz Kempner and Kiri Pritchard-McLean, West End star Miriam-Teak Lee and the Suffolk Sinfonia orchestra. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Rob Brydon and Joanna Lumley delighted the Ipswich audienceRob Brydon and Joanna Lumley delighted the Ipswich audience (Image: www.jhreportage.co.uk)

The final total raised was a record-breaking £133,200.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dara was also among the stars who took partDara was also among the stars who took part (Image: www.jhreportage.co.uk)

“What an amazing night – a magical and unforgettable triumph,” said EACH Director of Fundraising, Kevin Clements. 

“It was surely the best one yet and the line-up and money raised was incredible. 

“There was a palpable sense of emotion and so much warmth generated towards all the acts and especially Griff. 

“He puts on a truly unique show and we couldn’t be more appreciative of what he manages to achieve every year. 

“We thank him so much and this money will make a monumental difference to the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Rick Wakeman was thereRick Wakeman was there (Image: www.jhreportage.co.uk)

Another main highlight on the night was a special performance by brothers Henry and George Barnard, who teamed up with EACH music therapist Ray Travasso for a special performance of the Oasis classic, Don’t Look Back in Anger. 

Henry, ten, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness – and receives care at The Treehouse. 

He and his family have been regular visitors there since he was two.

The audience also watched a short film about the boys and their therapy sessions with Ray. 

Griff described the talented siblings as “the real stars of the evening” and said the show had been “another cracker”. 

Happy Christmas Ipswich 4 was supported by joint-headline sponsors The New Homes Group and Johnston Quarter Ltd.