Another highly successful year for Variety culminated in the fabulous “Jiving Christmas” Lunch Party on Tuesday, 13th December at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Thanks to all our wonderfully supportive guests, phenomenal performers and auction and raffle prize donors, we raised funds for children across the UK who have to cope with sickness, disability or disadvantage.

The event began with a buzzing reception, after which the guests enjoyed an afternoon packed with first-class food and entertainment in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom. The entertainment started with a terrific high-energy “Jive and Lindy Hop” performance by the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Later came a spell-binding performance by Alan Hudson, star of ITV’s The Next Great Magician, which mesmerised the audience, and the finale starred the UKs finest and most in demand swing jive and classic pop-and-soul band….Jivin’ Miss Daisy!

Another highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of a donation of £3,500 by the UK’s superstar vocal group, BLAKE, who are passionate and committed supporters of Variety. This was about the 15th time they’ve appeared for Variety – always completely free of charge – to help make our events even more special. After presenting the donation to Chief Barker Pamela Sinclair, they performed their huge hit, “The Christmas Song” (that’s the ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ one!) absolutely brilliantly!

And there was more! The afternoon also featured the world première of Variety’s new “telling our story” animation – the result of a countrywide competition open to everyone in the UK involved in animation, individual or company, professional or amateur. The winner was Leicester based Just Anim8 and company director Seymour Lavine was presented, at the lunch, with the competition prize of £1,000 (kindly donated by a generous Variety supporter) after the audience had watched the animation – which prompted a very large number of glowing compliments. You can watch it by clicking here

Our auctioneer Adger Brown, another stalwart supporter of Variety, ignited a fiery live auction which raised more than £12,000. The lots included a private box at the Royal Albert Hall, a luxurious trip to Rickety Bridge in South Africa, a stay at the Hilton on Park Lane with complimentary tickets to ‘Half A Sixpence’ and dinner before or after the show ….. and a private dance lesson with Strictly Come Dancing stars Karen and Kevin Clifton (“Kevin from Grimsby” – one of the finalists in this year’s series)!

At the end of the afternoon, we said a huge “Thank you” to Pamela Sinclair, who has worked so hard during this year as our Chief Barker – and welcomed our Chief Barker for 2017, Nick Shattock, wishing him a successful and enjoyable year ahead.

Co-Chairs and Co-Producers of the event, Tony Hatch and Rod Natkiel, sincerely thank everyone involved in making the Christmas Lunch Party 2016 such a success. See you next year!