Stars shining for Children in Need

IT was a star-studded night of fundraising as the West End, classical and pop chart-toppers joined BBC Look East to bring an unforgettable night of entertainment to the Ipswich Regent.

Lynne Mortimer

IT was a star-studded night of fundraising as the West End, classical and pop chart-toppers joined BBC Look East to bring an unforgettable night of entertainment to the Ipswich Regent.

A mix of performance and chat show, our host for the evening was the inimitable red-socked Stewart White, stalwart of the Look East presenter's chair.

A rare privilege for the audience was the chance to hear Stewart sing. There was a Children in Need collection in two buckets - one for Stewart to sing, the other to stop him singing.


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In the event, more than £400 was raised and 90 per cent of it was in the Stewart sings bucket.

With his guitar tuned by author Louis de Bernieres Stewart gave us his version of the classic Tambourine Man.

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Before this showstopper, the appreciative Ipswich audience, was treated to the fulsome talents of some of the best performers East Anglia has to offer including the Operababes (Suffolk and Hertfordshire) who sang the Flower Duet from Delibes' Lakme - probably best known from the BA commercials and followed with Clair de Lune and La Brindisi, from La Traviata.

West-end and Broadway mega-star Ruthie Henshall, in glorious voice, gleaming white trouser suit and sparkling shoes, sang If You Believe, a song written by Don Black for Children in Need.

This packed evening of high class performances was also graced by soul singer/songwriter Nate James and the legendary Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

Famously the author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, former Ipswich schoolteacher Louis de Bernieres played the mandolin, performing Beethoven's Minuet and trio having previously wowed us with his charango playing in El Condor Pasa.

Suffolk singer/songwriter Juliana Meyer played and sang and Comic interludes were provided by Cambridge Footlights and, of course Pudsey Bear.

Not singing on this occasion were Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton and former Norwich City goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, who good-humouredly talked about football and golf with Stewart.

The finale was led by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in Make Me Smile. They certainly made me smile and Children in Need will be smiling too as the event raised more than £10,000.

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