Party Of The Week: Variety is the spice
Friday 21 November 2008
On Sunday night, the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane opened its doors to the 56th Variety Club Showbiz Awards. While guests tucked into the green tea, crème brulée and petits fours that ended the three-course dinner, an auction to raise funds for the children's charity hit the heights as James McAvoy won an Apollo 11 presentation signed by Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong, for £10,000. One raffle-winner, Sir Ben Kingsley, generously returned his year's membership to the 25 Club to be auctioned.
Gibraltar pianist Aaron Monteverde treated guests to one of his flamenco-flavoured compositions. Later the crowd enjoyed an opera recital by Classical Performer of the Year Hayley Westenra and a lively appearance by the cast of Hairspray.
Michael Caine was given a standing ovation as he picked up his Outstanding Contribution award to the tune of "Simply the Best". He praised his wife Shakira "for being married to the same actor for 36 years". Caine won the New Talent award many years ago; this time it went to Colin Morgan, 22, star of the BBC television series Merlin.
After the audience watched a clip of McAvoy in Wanted, the Scottish star thanked the Variety Club "for using a clip on which I spit all over my face". The reason for his Film award? "Probably the amount of blows I took to the head."
The awards will be broadcast on Sky1 at 5pm on 30 November
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'