Comedian Catherine Tate, Queen’s Brian May and X-Factor winners Alexandra Burke and Shane Ward were among the almost 500 supporters who joined the Home to celebrate its 150th anniversary. They enjoyed an action-packed night hosted by actress and TV personality Amanda Holden. The charity’s President HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO also joined the guests to help raise much-needed funds for Battersea.
The Power Station provided the perfect dramatic backdrop for the event, as the four iconic white towers were lit up and a special marquee inside the Station housed the main event. As they arrived, guests were greeted by a red carpet doggy Guard of Honour, of 150 Battersea dogs and their handlers. Many celebrity guests were caught sneaking a cuddle with a furry resident by the dozens of paparazzi and press lined up on the red carpet.
Stars of the Guard of Honour included Mimi the American Bulldog who has been at the Home since August, and caught the eye of Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and last year’s contestant and swimmer Mark Foster. Actor Anthony Head and his wife dog trainer Sarah Fisher stopped to stroke Lucky the nine month old hound, while the finalists of Miss Great Britain adored Nancy the Chihuahua. The dogs wore a knitted jumper under their Battersea jackets to keep them warm in the cold weather and they all won praise for their impeccable behaviour on the night.
Catherine Tate admitted she fell in love on the red carpet – with Battersea resident Patrick the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. “He’s a fellow ginger, so of course he has to be my favourite,” she said. “The doggy Guard of Honour was amazing, I just loved it! I think the surroundings of the event here at Battersea Power Station are magnificent.”
Once inside the Power Station, guests were treated to a performance from some of Rock’s greatest names, who joined forces for what Amanda Holden described as “a truly landmark performance”. There were stunning sets by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Patti Russo, the female lead vocalist of Meat Loaf, alongside Ryan Molloy from the Olivier Award winning musical The Jersey Boys.
The surprise package was a performance from members of the cast of Phantom of The Opera.
The night received high praise from Queen rock legend Brian May, who said: “I’m really pleased to be here to help raise funds for Battersea, and its such a worthwhile charity. Tonight we have a great line-up of some really great people.”
The distinguished audience bid for “money can’t buy” prizes and dug deep for the Auction of Dreams. A luxury holiday to Thailand sold for £10,000, while an exclusive 2011 Rugby World Cup package to New Zealand went under the hammer for £11,000.
The night’s entertainment also included X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, who packed the dancefloor with her hits Hallelujah, All Night Long and Broken Heels.
At the end of the night the lucky party-goers took home a goodie bag designed by Lulu Guiness, packed with treats including a special Dyson dog grooming tool, a Battersea Artisan du Chocolat bar and many other Battersea goodies.
The charity would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who celebrated its 150th anniversary and donated so generously, and to all its staff, volunteers and of course dogs, who made it a night to remember.
Comments from celebrities on the night:
Brian May, legendary guitarist and song writer with rock group Queen
“I’m really pleased to be here to help raise funds for Battersea and its such a worthwhile charity. Tonight we have a great line-up of some really great people. I have spent most of the last year campaigning on behalf of animals so it is a cause very close to my heart and I love dogs. It’s sad that there even has to be animal rescues as we are meant to be a nation of animal lovers, yet we still need reminding how to care for them.”
Amanda Holden, TV presenter and actress
“I am a massive supporter and I love what Battersea do and I was honestly flattered to be asked to host this evening, which is a true milestone event.”
Catherine Tate, comedian “I think the surroundings of the event here at Battersea Power Station are magnificent and Battersea has done such an impressive job, it really looks theatrical. The doggy Guard of Honour was amazing, I just loved it! The dogs were beautiful, and my favourite was Patrick, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as he was a fellow ginger!”
Jane Hill, BBC News presenter
“I think a lot of the guests have been very struck tonight by the doggy Guard of Honour as they arrived. Red carpet events can be ten a penny, but that was a lovely idea and a really unusual way to welcome guests. As a mother of a Border Collie, I am delighted to be here and I definitely support Battersea’s ethos.”
Shane Ward, winner of the X-Factor 2005 “It’s exciting to see how much we can raise for this fantastic charity. I’ve visited Battersea a few times and I’m always amazed by what the Home does. When I’m ready to get a dog I will definitely be going back.”
Nicky Clarke, hairdresser to the stars “I’ll definitely be bidding on some items in the auction, it’s just so hard to decide what to go for, as the prizes are amazing. Style-wise, I think everyone looks fantastic tonight.”
Janice Dickenson, international model and TV star
“I am overwhelmed with the benevolence and warmth of everyone here, from the staff to the doggies, especially BooBoo the Akita cross, who is my favourite. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for being invited, and for being a true friend of Battersea.”
John Adeleye, X-Factor 2010 contestant
“This really is a fantastic evening and there are some really cool people from all industries here supporting such a wonderful charity. It’s great seeing the auction, and people have donated some amazing prizes. I’m really looking forward to seeing Alexandra Burke’s performance.”
Su-Elise Nash, singer in girl group Mis-teeq
“I’m really enjoying myself here tonight and it is a privilege and an honour to be here with such lovely people and such wonderful dogs. I’ve got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Giselle and I am a real dog lover so it’s wonderful to be here.”
Liz Fuller, Chief Executive, Miss Great Britain
“Battersea is one of the oldest charities and Miss GB is one of the oldest beauty contests, so I feel we have a lot of synergies. We all have dogs and cats and we all love our pets, so to hear that almost 30 dogs and cats come into Battersea each day is shocking. I hope we can raise lots of funds tonight for the Home.”
Alanna Saskia Thomas, Miss North London
“I’ve volunteered at Battersea’s Old Windsor site and it really is an emotional ride, and it truly brings you back to reality. I have a real passion for dogs, so it’s great to be at this wonderful event.”
Lora Jayne Nuttall, Miss South Hertfordshire
“It is so lovely to be here and support Battersea. My grandparents bred dogs and cats and took such wonderful care of them, so I can’t imagine how anyone could ever give up an animal. I think of the way my dog looks at me and I just don’t understand how anyone could ever give their pet away. I want to rehome them all!” -Ad-
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