Happy Christmas Ipswich was hosted by Griff Rhys Jones this annual charity event is now becoming a highlight at Christmas time raising lots of money for EACH.
The format this year was the smoothest yet, although previous year’s organised chaos was still a lot of fun, this year was very funny.
Griff is the warm and welcoming host who introduces each guest with plenty of enthusiasm while also adding in a few of his own jokes and anecdotes. The night was filled with comedy, music, laughter and created memories for all involved. A few last minute changes to the roll call but these things are expected.
In the first half we had music from Danny Beard & Their Band – they performed a couple of tracks and wow, what a fantastic voice alongside marvellous musicians. Danny was sassy, camp and utterly gorgeous.
The legend Rick Wakeman tinkled the ivories for a couple of arrangements of ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Life on Mars’ both were glorious and he also provided a couple of suitable dad jokes.
Comedy was from Kiri Pritchard-Mclean and Tessa Coats – both funny women with their fresh take on normal life.
Dame Joanna Lumley appeared on the stage to a big cheer. Last year she was on the VT giving everyone best wishes so we were not sure if she would be in person this year, however she was! Forever fabulous Joanna explained she was specifically brought in to do the most important job: push the raffle ticket sales.
Joanna also introduced a special performance by Henry and George with their Music Therapy Teacher Ray. Henry spends time at the EACH hospice due to his condition and playing music with his brother brings joy to him and the whole family. The trio played an Oasis track and there was not a dry eye in the house.
After we composed ourselves and bought more raffle tickets the second half opened with the Suffolk Sinfonia with a few beautiful short pieces, including one from Swan Lake.
Miriam-Teak Lee looked stunning and sounded amazing as she sung slower and more theatrical versions of tracks from Brittney Spears and Katy Perry.
Sooz Kempner came out to provide more comedy and was hilarious, her impressions of Christina Aguilera and Kate Bush were marvellous.
Both music and comedy from Rob Brydon – what a stunning voice he has! He came back out with Joanna Lumley and drew the raffle, Rob doing impressions of Joanna’s choosing.
Dara O’Briain was fast paced and hysterical talking doctors and warm feet – he is a funny man.
Each guest set was too short but this was the only way to squeeze everyone in without it going on for hours and hours. All the performers came together at the end for a Christmas sing song with the audience.
We were told the night raised £130,000 for the charity – an amazing result.