accessibility & help

Britain’s Got Talent star wows at Red Cross Gala Ball

For further information please contact
Laura Hinks
telephone: 0044(0)207 877 7463 / 07921 493 560 (07659 145 095 out of hours), email:

Last night’s annual British Red Cross International Fundraising Committee Gala Ball (Wednesday 10 June) raised over a tremendous £160,000 and included a performance by Dennis O’Neill CBE, one of the world’s leading operatic tenors. Other entertainment was provided by Electric violinists FUSE, Britain’s Got Talent saxophonist Julian Smith and comedian Omid Djalili.

The theme of the evening was ‘A Celebration of Life’ and guests included The Archduke and Archduchess George of Austria, Princess Marie Therese von Hohenberg, Sir Trevor Nunn, HE Anthony Bailey OBE, Princess Rajyashree Kumari Bikaner and Marchesa Elena Longanesi Cattani-Cosulich.

After attending a reception and dinner at one of a selection of Ambassadors’ residences across London, guests were taken to the Hyatt Regency London The Churchill Hotel for entertainment, dancing and an auction of exclusive items. The top auction item of a weekend touring Veneto with author, architect and television presenter Count Francesco da Mosto went for £10,000.

All the money raised on the night will support the international life-saving work of the British Red Cross.

Mark Astarita, British Red Cross, director of fundraising, said: “Special events like this are important because they raise much needed money for our life-saving humanitarian work, from Darfur to Pakistan. Now more than ever the Red Cross is needed to help vulnerable people facing crisis and we are very grateful to those who continue to give so generously.”

Compered by Dr David Bull and hosted in a beautiful ballroom, Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee of FUSE wowed guests with their high-energy electric violin performance and Birmingham saxophonist, Julian Smith, runner-up in the ITV talent show, provided a sneak preview before starting his UK tour. Dennis O’Neill CBE and the Cardiff International Academy of Voice were the highlight of the evening culminating in a stunning indoor firework show. Omid Djalili wrapped up the evening in style with his own brand of international humour.

Notes to editors
Photographs from the evening are available. For further information or photography, please contact Laura Hinks at or 07921 493 560.
For more information about FUSE please visit or contact John Stanford,

All money raised from the Gala Ball will fund the vital work of the British Red Cross in the UK and around the world, which recently has included aid work in Darfur, relief efforts for the thousands of people affected by cholera and food shortages in Zimbabwe and fund-raising for those affected by the Italian earthquake and Australian bushfires.

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.