LAUGHTER AND FUN AT THE FREDDIE STARR TRIBUTE LUNCHEON
The London Marriott Regents Park Hotel was filled with the sound of laughter on Sunday 1st December as guests were entertained with videos and personal tributes to the legendary comedian, impersonator, actor and singer, Freddie Starr.
Organised by The Forget-Me-Not Society and hosted by the Province of East Kent Freemasons, the special memorial luncheon was attended by wealth of celebrities and members of the ‘showbiz’ community including EastEnders’ star Danny Walters, Jim Davidson OBE, Jess Conrad OBE, Patti Boulaye OBE, PJ Proby, Anita Harris and Duncan Nouvelle as well as eminent Freemasons.
The event began with a champagne reception providing guests with a great opportunity to socialise with fellow ‘Freddie’ enthusiasts, mingle with the many celebrities as well as lots of ‘selfie’ photos. At 12.30pm everyone was ushered through to the main room where diners enjoyed a three course lunch interspersed with video clips of Freddie’s many live shows and TV performances.
Compèred by actor and ‘60s heart-throb, Jess Conrad OBE, the tributes began with comedian Jim Davidson OBE being invited to take to the stage. His recollection of personal stories and memories of the zany, ‘one of a kind’ showman had the audience roaring with laughter. Concluding with a standing ovation, Jim was followed by fellow comedian, Duncan ‘Chase Me’ Norvelle, songstress Patti Boulaye as well as actress, Anita Harris.
The personal tributes concluded with Mark Bassant, Assistant Provincial Grand Master at Province of East Kent Freemasons presenting a beautiful glass plaque to commemorate the day to Laura Holland, organiser at the Freddie Starr Worldwide Fan Club.
As well as celebrating the life and talent of departed celebrities and other famous people who have made significant contributions to their respective professions, The Forget-Me-Not Society aims to help generate funds for the East Kent Freemasons 2025 Festival which has a target of £3.5 million to be donated to the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
As part of the fundraising during the day, there was a silent auction offering guests the opportunity to bid for a wide range of unique experiences and gifts. The raffle also generated considerable interest with most attendees ‘trying their luck’ with a purchase of at least one strip of numbers! The amazing singer, Patti Boulaye OBE, kindly arranged for her raffle prize of a bottle of whiskey to be signed by various celebrities and auctioned again.
The proceedings concluded with dancing to the wonderful sounds of Renee and the Big River Band and even ‘Elvis’ making an appearance!