The £1 MILLION ball – stars and guests stunned at record-breaking Michael Josephson fundraiser
It was a jaw-dropping finale at the star-studded Michael Josephson MBE charity ball in Manchester - when it was announced over £1m was raised on the night. Inspirational fundraiser Michael took to the stage at his glittering annual ball to announce the record-breaking sum shortly after midnight.
Guests, who included a host of famous faces from the TV, music and sports world, looked on in astonishment as it was revealed £1,063,872 had been raised. It came after a night of fundraising and entertainment at the glittering ball at Manchester's Hilton Hotel on Deansgate on Saturday night.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Overtones had earlier wowed guests with live performances at the event, which also included a spectacular Greatest Showman tribute complete with an acrobat swirling across the audience.
Stars at the event included former Corrie star Ryan Thomas with wife Lucy Mecklenburgh, former King of the Jungle Christopher Biggins and Hi-de-Hi's Su Pollard, Hollyoaks favouite Jorgie Porter and Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Bryan Robson.
Gogglebox stars The Malones were out in full force, while former Sugababes star Heidi Range was in glamorous form alongside her husband Alex Partakis.
Reds icon Bryan was full of praise for Michael on the night, saying: "Michael does an incredible job for children's charities. Everyone says how much hard work he puts into it, he always raises such a lot of money, that's why I'm here tonight, it's just brilliant."
Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter was delighted to attend the ball for the first time, as she missed out last year as she was just about to give birth to her baby son Forest. She said: "I've been wanting to come for years, Michael is such an inspiration."
Chart-topping star Sophie Ellis-Bextor wowed the crowds with her finale performance, wearing a glittering gold mini dress. She performed a host of her best-loved tracks including Murder on the Dancefloor and Groovejet as well as some surprise cover versions including a stunning performance of Madonna's Like a Prayer.
She told the audience: "I just want to say well done to everybody being here tonight, and for everything that Michael has achieved."
Hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised on the night, hosted by Happy Radio DJ Darren Proctor, through a charity auction, silent auction, raffle and guest pledges. One guest paid a staggering £40,000 for afternoon tea with Joanna Lumley, while thousands were also raised for a signed Ed Sheeran guitar and exclusive experiences including having your own 100 bottles of vintage champagne made at a vineyard in France.(Image: Carl Sukonik/TheVain.co.uk)
Michael shared his personal story with guests at the start of the night as his motivation for working relentlessly to make a difference to local and national children’s charities.
A traumatic childhood included the loss of his mum just before Michael’s tenth birthday and years of challenging, abusive experiences in the care system. As soon as he could, at the age of sixteen, he left the care system but sadly the trauma remained.
The demons of Michael’s past caught up with him and 25 years ago, on 28 December 1998, Michael attempted to take his own life by jumping off a motorway bridge. He broke almost every bone in his body, spending months in hospital and having to learn to walk again.(Image: Carl Sukonik/TheVain.co.uk)
Michael, now 47, says: "I vowed to myself while lying in hospital that I would not only turn my life around, but that of other children and young adults who had also had their lives affected by traumas and circumstances outside of their control."
All of the money raised from the event will be split between four main beneficiaries - Variety, The Children’s Charity, Mahdlo Youth Zone, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, and for the first time, The Anne Frank Trust UK – all whom work with children and young people in need of support.
After announcing the record-breaking £1million raised, Michael reflected on the special night for charity.
Michael told the MEN: "What an amazing night, I'm overwhelmed with the support we had in the room, the best support we've ever had. I walked into that room last night and wanted to beat everything I've ever done and I think I did that. The guests had an amazing night and all the money now raised for the charities, the children, it's just incredible."
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- ^ Ryan Thomas (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)