A one of a kind film camera coffin made in Ghana is among quirky items that could be yours this Christmas as A-listers sift through their D-list stuff to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction is being organised by Griff Rhys Jones as he continues his annual festive fundraising for EACH.
He is currently asking his network of celebrity friends built up over 40 years of comedy, TV and radio to regift items too valuable to take to the dump, with a tranche of top grade celebrity cast-offs, memorabilia and treasure expected to be available come 27 November, when a week-long online auction will begin.
Exclusive books from David Walliams, including one of three copies of Baby Eric, a story written for Simon Cowell when his son was born, and a special £10 note created for Doctor Who from David Tennant are among items that have already started coming in.
The likes of Alexander Armstrong, Ant & Dec, Ian Hislop, Joanna Lumley, Matt Lucas, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander and so many more have also pledged to delve through their drawers. Alongside some quirky personal items will be mementos from favourite shows and films such as Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean.
In a personal letter, Griff explains: “Last year we did a great show called Happy Christmas Ipswich at the Regent. A lot of good friends and great performers like Lee Mack, Rick Wakeman, and Al Murray had a ball and raised over £70,000. We can’t do a show this year, for reasons I won’t bore you with because you know already. But we still need money.
“I have been to the children’s hospice in Ipswich myself several times and I have never been so moved. It is a place that is about life, not death. It is there to give joy. Not just to enable kids to get the best out their time, but to support their mothers and fathers. These are people who may have had to entirely alter their lives, their hopes and their ambitions because of their love and sacrifice. For some parents just a single weekend of hospice care can be a beacon of hope.
“But it costs. The money this vital service needs, which is largely unsupported by government, has been hit grotesquely hard this year.”
Becky Redbond, EACH Events Fundraising Manager, said: “This year has been extremely challenging and uncertain as we experienced a hugely significant drop in voluntary income, with shops being closed and fundraising events cancelled. We met our first challenge of surviving the initial drop and supporting families to protect themselves at home. However, with the prospect of the organisation and our supporters being unable to resume key fundraising activities, and without additional government support to that we’ve already received, our financial challenge for the future will be huge. If we’re to meet the cost and increasing need for delivering our specialist care – we are now receiving an increased number of requests for support as families become exhausted from providing care on their own – we need public and government support now more than ever before. That’s why we can’t thank Griff enough for continuing to spearhead and raise money for our cause this Christmas. Celebrity Bottom Drawer is an exciting idea and it’s amazing to see all the things celebs are finding! Thanks also to Bid In for their work on this. They are giving their services free of charge, meaning every pound spent will help hundreds of vulnerable children and their families going through probably the toughest period of their lives.”
This is the fourth Christmas running Griff has raised money for EACH, with last year’s star-studded show having followed two solo performances in 2017 and 2018.
The auction will be hosted by online auction experts Bid In, kindly donating its services free of charge, with Go Group giving a free platinum delivery service straight to doors. For more information and to start looking at lots announced so far visit www.CelebrityBottomDrawer.com. Anyone who feels they already have enough items around the house will be able to ‘bid for nothing’ and make a donation straight to EACH.