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Strictly star Colin Salmon helps Beckton hospice raise £94k

06:00 13 November 2012

Colin Salmon with the quintet of mums from Richard House Children

Colin Salmon with the quintet of mums from Richard House Children's Hospice

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Strictly Come Dancing star Colin Salmon took centre stage at the Richard House annual ball in central London recently.

Colin Salmon taeks to the dance floor with Maggie WillsColin Salmon taeks to the dance floor with Maggie Wills

The actor and patron of the Beckton-based children’s hospice not only entertained 335 guests at the glitzy gathering at the Waldorf Hotel on Aldwych, but also decided to auction himself off.

Two people bid £1,500 each to secure a dance with the actor, famed for his roles in Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day. One of those was Steve Wills who paid the amount to allow his wife Maggie to strut herself with Colin.

The experience left Maggie awe-struck. She said: “He was amazing. He led beautifully and I felt I floated over the floor. It may have only lasted a couple of minutes, but I will never forget it.”

Husband Steve said: “It was worth every penny. Maggie left the dance floor beaming from ear to ear. I can’t thank Richard House enough for the experience.”

Earlier, Colin spent time entertaining a number of other special guests – five mums of Richard House children. The quintet – Debbie Hawkins, Alison Smith, Risa Balynas, Gowhar Shaikh and Christine Coker – posed for a photograph with the star.

He then introduced a video about the life of Josh from his mum Liz Forbes. Josh died at Richard House in 2010.

Tony Lynam, of The Private Office Forex Limited, paid £1,600 for a guitar signed by Abba, and a massive £8,000 for another signed by the former Beatle Paul McCartney – the highest bid on the night.

The night raised about £94,000 – a sizeable chunk of the £2.77m the hospice needs to raise each year.

Manjeet Boparai, the organiser of the event for Richard House, said: “We’d like to thank each and every person for their help behind the scenes at our event as well as all the supporters who donated.

“It was a wonderful evening and all the money raised will go to support the families we care for from across London and the south east.”

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