October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
On Wednesday night Andy and I travelled down to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London to attend the annual Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show.
I had been before, but this was Andy's first time. After winning one of the charity auctions last time, I left my credit card at home! Eight of us travelled there by limo and we met four other friends at the hotel.
It was an amazing experience. There was a red carpet entrance. We took advantage of the champagne reception. Ahem. The room looked fabulous. The meal was excellent considering they were catering for 800 people. There were plenty of celebrities roaming around too. Most importantly the event raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Breast Cancer Care.
The highlight of the night was fashion show. I didn't really notice the clothes, nice as they were, because my attention was on the models. All of the models, 23 women and 1 man, have survived breast cancer. This particular cancer can dramatically alter your appearance, so to walk down the runway with hundreds of people cheering and clapping must be a massive boost to your self-esteem.
One model in particular caught my eye, my best friend Amanda. She looked stunning.
I'm filling up as I write this. Every time I remember her floating down the catwalk I cry. Watching all of the models was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
My apologies to the Grosvenor for using one of their napkins to dry my tears, I hope the mascara comes out in the wash.
I've run out of superlatives so I'll leave you with the photographs. They're not quite in the right order, but I hope you can get some idea of just how wonderful the night was. The photos were taken by Andy and I and our friend Alan.
Amanda and her proud mum Carola
Amanda's husband Graham, playing the 'Heads or Tails' game
Me, with a mouthful of food! Eagle eyed readers will notice that I am wearing the same dress as last time, but with different accessories. And brown hair.
Amanda and Joe Swash (King of the Jungle, Eastenders)
Amanda on the catwalk, wearing Matthew Williamson
Amanda being escorted by a male model. Jealous? Moi?!
Amanda wearing Oasis and Coast
Amanda wearing Twenty8Twelve and Lisa Edwards
Amanda wearing Twenty8Twelve and French Connection
The entertainment was provided by Beverley Craven
Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopilova from Strictly Come Dancing. This was the auction prize I wanted to bid for. They were offering a dancing lesson at their dance studio in Cheam. The Cheam part made me laugh though, I used to work there and glamorous it is not!
Some celeb gossip for you. Lilia stormed out before the end with a face like thunder. She was followed by a grimacing Darren. He looked like he was used to it!
Ben Ofoedu and Vanessa Feltz on their way to the loo.
More celeb gossip. "Andy Snubs Soap Star". While Andy was taking this photo of Vanessa and her fiance, Kara Tointon waited patiently to get past. Andy thanked her, but didn't ask to take her picture. Well, we don't watch Eastenders. He had no idea who she was!
The lovely Gail Porter. She was a fabulous host.
'Lord' Jeffrey Archer. Whatever you may say about him, the man is a brilliant charity auctioneer. After the main auction he asked for 80 people to stand up and donate £250 each to pay for a breast cancer patient to have hair-loss consultancy. In five minutes Archer raised an additional £20,000.
The patron of Breast Cancer Care, Cherie Blair
More celeb gossip. Geri arrived and was photographed, but she didn't stay for the show. Apparently Lisa Snowden was there too, but we didn't see her at the show either.
Joe Swash and Kara Tointon. Andy knows who she is now.
Denise Lewis and Kara Tointon on the catwalk, modelling an auction prize
Tara Palmer-Tompkinson. Even more celeb gossip for you. I saw Tara up close a few times on the night and she is far more beautiful in real life than on TV or in photographs. And those shoes were HIGH!
Jonathan Ansell (ex G4 opera singer)
Ooh, the excitement! Look what we got in our goody bags
The Show program and ticket
And finally here are a few grainy videos.
Apologies for the whooping, squealing and cheering, but I was standing next to the camera!
The first video is Amanda on the catwalk in the 1920's section.
The second video is Amanda in her beautiful Matthew Williamson dress in the finale.
Finally, all of the models came out individually at the end to receive flowers and thanks from Cherie Blair.
I hope you enjoyed the show!