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
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Hey Arnold! is coming back, and possibly Rugrats too
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 200,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up