Sir Cliff Richard’s friends and fans flocked to London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel to share in an evening of celebration at the Diamond + 1 Summer Ball. Organised by Joy Forbes-Wake, Sir Cliff and his long-time friend, Gloria Hunniford OBE, united to raise money for their charities, The Sir Cliff Richard Charitable Trust and The Carol Keating Foundation.
Under the watchful eye of the Royal Lancaster Hotel’s Events Manager Gareth Bush, guests were greeted with Champagne, and Sir Cliff and Gloria welcomed old friends. On arrival at his table, Sir Cliff was greeted with a standing ovation by the many fans offering their support to the entertainment icon.
Sir Cliff said Grace, and the efficient waiting staff served a delicious dinner of Royal Lancaster trio of Salmon with Cured Salmon, Smoked Salmon and a Salmon Fish Cake with Sour Cream and Caviar, followed by Dingley Deli Roasted Pork Loin with Salt baked Beetroot, Celeriac and Potato Gratin, and finishing with Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Ice Cream and a Raspberry Macaron, created by Executive Chef Daniel Mcgarey.
There was an unexpected surprise during dinner when Andy Searle and his Singing Waiters entertained guests in their own special way, involving Sir Cliff and Gloria Hunniford in the fun.
In an on-stage conversation between Gloria and Sir Cliff, he spoke of the ordeal he had been through over the past 4 years, and how valuable the support and encouragement, not just from his friends but also from his loyal fans, had been.
The fans, some of whom had travelled great distances, were delighted, not only to be in Sir Cliff’s presence, but also to see their hero take to the stage for an energetic performance of a selection of his hits, as they danced to the well known and loved music. He was joined in his performance by Tim Bonser and David Luke Wilson, who had been a part of his 2019 Tour.
The traditional auction, hosted by Roger Bruce, took place throughout the evening, with items including Sir Cliff’s Signed Tour Jacket, a Burns Guitar signed by Bruce Welch and Sir Cliff raising £1,500, a Loose Women Experience raising £1,000, and tickets for Sir Cliff’s next UK Tour raising £7,500. At the beginning of the evening the amount raised stood at £100,000, and the proceeds from the auction and the raffle increased that substantially, benefitting both of the Charities.
The two Charities support areas that are really important to Sir Cliff and Gloria Hunniford. Sir Cliff Richard Charitable Trust supports charities working in the areas of medical research, with children, with the elderly and with the physically and/or mentally disabled in Britain. The Caron Keating Foundation is a charity run by Gloria Hunniford and her family in Caron’s memory to support all types of cancer. The aim is to give a significant number of grants to small charities throughout Britain.
It was a wonderful evening, full of friendship, enthusiasm, and music, celebrating the British Rock‘N’Roll Legend Sir Cliff Richard, and the support over the years between Gloria Hunniford and Sir Cliff.