Lady Taverners tribute to Graham Norton
The Dorchester Hotel once again played host to one of the charity’s favourite annual events: the Lady Taverners Tribute Lunch, hosted by Judith Chalmers. At the lunch on 1 November, the fabulous Graham Norton was honoured for his highly successful and award-winning career.
Guests were treated to a champagne reception and a wonderful lunch prepared by Henry Brosi, award-winning executive chef, while being entertained by a host of television stars and specially-chosen musical performances. Fiddler Adam, one of Ireland’s leading musicians, played Judith and Graham in to the Ballroom to much joy and cheer.
Sir Cliff Richard was the first to offer a tribute via a lovely video message, followed by a letter from Paul O’Grady read out by Judy. The lead actors from Once, the musical, took to the stage and performed the beautiful duet Falling Slowly before Sandi Toksvig had guests in stiches in her inimitable, mischievous style. Lord Sugar followed with stories of his time on Graham’s show before Joan Collins, who dazzled the audience as a surprise latecomer, graced the stage with many a story to tell.
Up next was Alan Carr, whose natural warmth and humour brought a smile to everyone’s face. Nicholas Parsons, a long-time friend of Graham’s, gave a wonderful speech before Maria McErlane, Graham’s Radio 2 co-host, finished the tributes with a truly personal testimony to her dear friend.
At the end of the lunch, Graham addressed the guests in his ever-familiar way, bringing more laughter and entertainment to the already hugely successful day. We are truly grateful he agreed to be our very special guest.
We would like to thank our auctioneer Neil Durden-Smith, who did a sterling job raising a huge amount of money for the Lady Taverners. I would also like to thank Judy and the event committee, who all worked tirelessly to make the event such a huge success.
A special note of thanks must go to our headline sponsors, Raymond & Christel Stoner, our diamond supporter, Seabourn, and our champagne sponsor, Imagine Cruising. We are extremely grateful to them all for their generous support.
The Tribute Lunch raised £117,000, a record fundraising total that will go an incredibly long way to helping give children a sporting chance.
Dame Maureen Thomas
The Lord’s Taverners exists to enhance the prospects of disadvantaged and disabled young people using cricket and other forms of sport and recreation to engage with them.