When Vanessa bought Gaga’s glasses

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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A few weeks ago I received a telephone call from my friend American music mogul David Gest, inviting me to his private party at the Gilgamesh Restaurant in London’s trendy Camden Lock.

David had just finished a sell-out national tour with a host of soul legends including Candy Staton, Gwen Dickey, Sheila Ferguson and CeCe Peniston and to celebrate he was hosting an intimate all-ticket party with proceeds going to the Me&Dee charity.

Flattered, I duly accepted his invitation. But then David, in his cheeky hard-to-say-no-to way, said: ‘You will do the auction for me, won’t you?’

It wasn’t the first time, or probably the last, that he had got me hook, line and sinker in this way.

But whilst I would once again have to ‘sing for my supper’, David always invites some interesting people and knows how to throw a party!

My wife and I and our three children, Toni, Lena and Scott, drove up together and helped with organising the live auction lots and silent auction items before the guests arrived.

Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh and Ryan Thomas were there, as well as EastEnders Patsy Palmer, Sid Owen and Dean Gaffney.

Our favourite I’m A Celebrity contestant Phil Tufnell was also there on the next table with Lionel Blair.

Before the live performances from Candy Staton and co, I had to conduct the auction.

Amongst the lots on offer was a contract signed by both Michael Jackson and David Gest, a luxury four-night stay at The Bellagio, Las Vegas in a VIP suite (which was won by glamour model Jodie Marsh) and a pair of Lady GaGa’s sunglasses that were knocked down to determined bidder Vanessa Feltz.

After the auction it was time for some dancing before my daughters dragged me off to get pictures of them with their favourite soap stars .