David Gest’s Music & Magic Charity Ball Bday Bash

16/05/2012

David Gest's Music & Magic Ball - Charity Fundraiser & Birthday Bash

British soaps stars, music and TV personalities gathered for a good cause at the ‘Music & Magic Ball' charity fundraiser and joint birthday bash celebrations for music impresario David Gest and Eastenders actress Patsy Palmer at The Grand Connaught Rooms on Friday 11 May 2012.

The evening was hosted by David Gest and Sheila Ferguson - former lead singer of soul singing trio The Three Degrees.  During dinner a live auction took place with items including a luxury trip to Las Vegas, pop art, music memorabilia and Lady Ga-Ga's studded hotpants went under the hammer.  Proceeds from the auction went to ‘Me & Dee' a UK charity providing support and ‘special moment treats' for people with terminal illnesses.

A Dynamo magic show was arranged for guests at the reception and it was good seeing so many well known faces from the Eastenders and Coronation Street casts all under one roof.  Popular actress Patsy Palmer who plays the part of fiery red-head Bianca in Eastenders celebrated her 40th birthday and is currently taking a break from filming Eastenders. When I went to wish Patsy to give her a birthday card I expected her to shout out "where's Rickayyy!" But of course we weren't on the famous Albert Square TV set.  Actor Sid Owen who plays the role of Patsy's on-screen husband Ricky, actress Lindsey Coulson who plays her mother Carol and several of Patsy's friends from Eastenders including cast of Coronation Street, supported the event and let their hair down after a hectic day working on set.

After the auction, the band took their place on stage and a fantastic music entertainment programme commenced with first act Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.  Martha sang famous Motown hits and played her tambourine while guests leapt to their feet and danced.   A further line-up of legendary soul artiste performances included Dorothy Moore, Billy Paul, Kim Weston, G.C Cameron, The Flirtations, Sheila Ferguson, Joe McElderry, Peabo Bryson, Martha Wash of The Weather Girls and Candi Staton.  I've been fortunate enough to see many of the above music artistes perform at two of David Gest's Soul music extravaganzas previously in London and loved watching all these legendary artistes perform classic soul and R&B hits as usually we wouldn't get to see so many of them performing in one show.

I enjoyed chatting to singer Billy Paul known for his platinum selling/Grammy Award winning song ‘Me and Mrs Jones' and his wife Blanche who is also his manager.  Billy and his wife Blanche originally met in Philadelphia and have been together more than 40 years, Billy still enjoys performing and told me he likes watching TV detective programmes particularly British detectives like Sherlock Holmes.  It was also lovely meeting the charming and ever glamorous Sheila Ferguson who sang a duet with Peabo Bryson and told Peabo on stage that her twins were conceived while listening to his earlier records!

Other guests included TV chat show host Vanessa Feltz & family, Loose Women chat show host Carol McGiffin & husband, singer/TV personality Kerry Katona, singer/actress Kym Marsh plus many more.

The Music & Magic ball was an Anglo-American affair in aid of a good cause and hats off to David Gest and team for organising/hosting a successful, most enjoyable and entertaining evening in the presence of many talented artistes in the showbiz industry.
© Article & photos by Gina Chrysanthou

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Patsy Palmer and Gina of Pukka PR

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Sheila Ferguson and Gina of Pukka PR

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Lizzie Cundy (left) Cheryl Howard and Gina of Pukka PR (right)

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                         David Gest

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             Billy Paul and wife Blanche

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      Imad Handi (right) with cousin

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      Martha Wash of The Weather Girls

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                 Sheila Ferguson

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                 Candi Staton

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                  Shona McGarty

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                          David Gest and Patsy Palmer

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                               Billy Paul and Gina of Pukka PR

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                                    Martha Reeves

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Gina of Pukka PR (centre) with The Flirtations and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

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                                     Sheila Ferguson

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                         Martha Wash of The Weather Girls

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                               David Gest (centre) Peabo Bryson (right)

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           Sheila Ferguson sings duet with Peabo Bryson

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                                Peabo Bryson sings duet

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                          Kerry Katona

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Eastenders actresses Tameka Empson (left) Diane Parish (sitting centre) and chat show host Carol McGiffin (standing centre)

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The Grand Connaught Rooms

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David Gest's Music & Magic Ball

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