Griff Rhys Jones once again hosted a big-hitting Christmas charity event at Ipswich Regent to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Griff has managed to convince a bunch of his showbiz friends to take part and they certainly made the effort to produce a good night which kept the crowd laughing, crying, singing and wondering… The night raised £90k – an amazing result.
The evening’s entertainment was a faced-paced comedy variety sketch show interspersed with bad Christmas Cracker Jokes from even more famous people on a big screen, which gave the live action feel from the likes of Graham Norton, Joanna Lumley, Ant & Dec.
On the stage we had some big names, however let’s give you an idea what when on, if I can … Griff came on as Santa to give us an introduction to the night ahead, and was on/off at various points for a quick ditty and introduction to the next act. Clive Anderson also was on/off telling a few stories and intros, and attempting to keep Jonny Vegas under control for the raffle – which he couldn’t and I don’t think Jonny was in control either. He was bonkersly funny.
The Nimmo Twins created a very funny regional sketch which had the audience laughing immediately. Westdal & Hayward had some fun with a range of Julie Andrew’s songs but changing the words for an entertaining version! Magical Bones wowed the audience with his tricks and I still can’t work out how he managed to do it.
Stephen Fry walked on to the stage with a huge roar of appreciation from the crowd. Humble as ever he gave us a ditty and showed us Rod Stewart’s shoes – which are put of the fundraising auction prize on the each website.
Comedians Ed Byrne, Kai Humphries and Olga Koch gave great stand-up – these are funny people and we laughed through each of their sets.
The music element was supplied by the delightful Ruthie Henshall with the Haverhill Silver Band.
Eddie Izzard had to get involved to help with controlling Jonny Vegas, before her actual slot, then when she came on, her piece was also brilliantly bonkers too.
The finale of the evening was everyone singing a couple of Christmas songs with the Haverhill Silver Band, which topped off the evening.
It was charmingly rough around the edges as I imagine these things are exceptionally hard to organise, particularly with the number of big names on the list and wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of them were professionally winging it. Although each act had a short amount of time for their set we all had a fantastic time – even the guys on stage, you could tell they were having fun too – goodness knows what was going on back stage! It was a delight and a pleasure to be there and be part of this crazy show.
The purpose of the evening was to raise money and raise awareness of each – so please take a moment to take a look at their website and see if you want to bid on the prize donated by Sir Rod Stewart: https://www.each.org.uk/happy-christmas-ipswich-2/