I was driving my daughters home when the car phone rang and the voice at the end of the line said ‘Hi John, its Adam Woodyatt here.’
The voice sounded very familiar, but it took a few seconds to realise Adam is the actor who plays Ian Beale in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.
I’d met Adam at a charity event where I’d been the auctioneer and now he needed my services for his charity event.
My daughters Toni and Lena, both huge EastEnders fans, were like two giggling schoolgirls in the back of the car whilst I tried to conduct a serious conversation and gestured to them to be quiet.
They thought it hilarious, however, when I accidentally addressed Adam by his on-screen name of Ian. He accepted my apology and said it happens all the time.
The event was being staged to raise money for Bailey Sarwar, a young boy who had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer. Initial treatment had been successful, but after seven years in remission Bailey’s cancer had returned and he needed a new treatment not available on the NHS.
The black tie charity event was to be held at historic Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire. Several EastEnders would be attending, including Patsy Palmer and Shona McGarty, and to top it all off Shane Ritchie was playing with his covers band.
As the event got into full swing we could see the charity staff were not having an easy time selling the raffle tickets so Adam and I left our main course, rolled our sleeves up and got amongst the punters.
One rather tipsy lady guest enquired how much the tickets were and when I replied ‘£10 for a strip’, she said ‘if you strip I’ll give you £50!’.
It all went very smoothly and young Bailey was there to say a big thank you for the support. Find out more via The Bailey Sarwa Appeal on Facebook.