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Dame Shirley Bassey to attend Variety, The Children’s Charity Celebrity Book Launch hosted by Eamonn Holmes

29 April 2015

Eamonn’s first event as an official Ambassador of the charity will be to welcome Dame Shirley Bassey at the launch of Variety’s limited edition anniversary book SHOOTING STARS, on Tuesday 19th May at the London Film Museum.

Variety, the Children’s Charity, today announced that, much-loved journalist and one of Britain’s favourite presenters,  Eamonn Holmes was formally inducted as the charity’s latest Celebrity Ambassador at last night’s Chief Barker’s Annual Reception on 28th April 2015. Officially inaugurated by Chief Barker Jason Lewis, the Annual Reception was also an opportunity for the Chief Barker to introduce himself to key supporters, and thank them for their continuous hard work.

A long-running supporter of the charity, Eamonn will formally join an illustrious list of stars that have supported Variety in the recent years including Dynamo, Warwick Davis, Denise Van Outen, Sir Michael Caine and James McAvoy. In his first official event as a Celebrity Ambassador, Eamonn will host the launch of Variety’s limited edition anniversary book “SHOOTING STARS”, celebrating the greatest moments from the charity’s first 65 years, on Tuesday 19th May at the London Film Museum.

“Shooting Stars” features images taken by the late Doug Mackenzie, who kindly signed over his entire image and copyrights to Variety. Doug captured many celebrity supporters throughout the years, including members of the Royal Family, leading politicians and stars of screen, stage and television. The coffee table book highlights the illustrious 65 - year history of Variety in its important work with sick, disabled and disadvantaged children. Patron of the charity, HRH THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH has written the foreword for the book and other contributors include SIR ROGER MOORE, SIR MICHAEL CAINE CBE and DAME ESTHER RANTZEN. A special feature of the book will be devoted to photographs of the former Chief Barkers, with brief biographies highlighting their achievements and their contributions to the Charity. In a united effort, images for the book were shortlisted by Joe Williams and the final selection chosen collectively by Crew Members.

Celebrity attendees for the glamorous event will include the legendary Welsh singer DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY as well as BARBARA WINDSOR MBE, CILLA BLACK OBE, ANGELA RIPPON OBE, STEPHANIE BEACHAM and CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS, all of whom have had images selected for the book.

With deep roots in entertainment and film, Variety, the Children’s Charity, is dedicated to supporting children and young people across the UK who are disabled and disadvantaged, facilitating positive experiences for them through its vast array of showbiz orientated programmes and initiatives. Since setting up its UK division in 1949, the charity has raised over £260 million and supported more than 800,000 children.

WHERE – The London Film Museum in Covent Garden, 45 Wellington Street, WC2E 7BN

WHEN – Tuesday 19th May at 6.30pm

WHO – Broadcaster and Presenter Eamonn Holmes, Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbara Windsor MBE, Cilla Black OBE, Angela Rippon OBE, Stephanie Beacham, Brenda Blethyn OBE, Wendy Craig, Christopher Biggins, Bernard Cribbins OBE, Russ Abbot, Des O'Connor CBE, Honor Blackman, Lord Michael Grade CBE, Dame Esther Rantzen

PRICE – Individual Ticket: £85 (Includes 1 copy of the 'Shooting Stars' book)

Joint Ticket: £140 (Joint ticket for two guests and includes 1 copy of the 'Shooting Stars' book.)

Further details of the event and tickets

About Variety, the Children’s Charity
Part of a worldwide charity, Variety, the Children’s Charity, was formed in the UK in 1949. Since then, it has raised more than £260 million to help children and young people throughout the country who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged. Variety believes that neither disability nor disadvantage should prevent any child from reaching his or her full potential. That’s why Variety provides practical help, through a wide range of services, that make an immediate improvement to the quality of the lives of the children and young people whom it supports.

The charity’s famous Variety Sunshine Coaches help children at special needs schools and other organisations to experience the wider world and engage with their local community.

The Variety Wheelchair Programme provides so much more than mobility. These wheelchairs bring much-cherished independence, freedom and dignity and enable children to take a more inclusive part in activities with friends and family and at school.

Every year, many thousands of disadvantaged children are taken on great days out by Variety at Work, providing them with lasting memories of happy childhood times.

Sick children and young people are cared for in specialist children’s hospitals and hospices supported by Variety throughout the UK. For example, a £25 million fundraising campaign is currently under way to build a new wing at the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital in London. This will extend the outstanding work that the current Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s carries out and for which it is respected and renowned throughout the world.

Variety also provides specialist in-home equipment to assist children and young people in an extremely wide range of ways – from bath hoists to sensory toys.

Youth Clubs are supported by Variety, which funds equipment to help them expand their facilities and, so, attract new members - keeping them off the street and out of trouble.

Variety’s ‘Swings & Roundabouts’ initiative is a pioneering new approach to children’s playgrounds in public spaces. Starting in London, in partnership with The Royal Parks Foundation, Variety’s ‘Swings & Roundabouts’ programme will create new playgrounds with equipment for all abilities, so that children with physical and sensory disabilities will share play equipment with able-bodied children and play alongside them. This will enable less able-bodied children to feel more included; it will also encourage able-bodied children to recognise the needs of those less fortunate than themselves.

Variety is the oldest international children’s charity, and a worldwide one. It currently has branches in the United Kingdom (with a stand-alone branch in Jersey), Australia, Barbados, Canada, Eastern Caribbean, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United States. Variety’s origins are firmly in the entertainment industry, having been founded in 1927 in the USA by a group of like-minded show business impresarios, including those working in the circus. To this day, Variety retains many circus idioms. Each branch of Variety around the world is known as a ‘tent’ and every year each branch’s Trustees elect a Chairman who carries the title of ‘Chief Barker’ (the person, in a circus, responsible for filling the big top with paying customers).

Variety, the Children’s Charity, is registered in England and Wales (No 209259) and in Scotland (No SC038505).

Further information is available at the Variety Website or follow Variety on Twitter @VarietyGB and Facebook

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