Famous names line up for charity ball

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 November 2010

John Cleese arrives for World Premiere of the new James Bond film 'Die Another Day' attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, at the Royal Albert Hall in central London Monday 18 November 2002. PA Photo: Yui Mok.

John Cleese arrives for World Premiere of the new James Bond film 'Die Another Day' attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, at the Royal Albert Hall in central London Monday 18 November 2002. PA Photo: Yui Mok.

Archant

ONE of Weston's most famous sons will be just one of many VIP guests set to attend the first major event on the new Grand Pier this weekend.

John Cleese will be joining 900 others at the Axentis Michael Memorial Ball on the resort’s famous landmark for the first time on Saturday.

The annual event, previously held in the Winter Gardens, is set to welcome guests to the pavilion’s main hall.

Other VIP guests lined up to attend the glittering charity bash include auctioneer and TV presenter Martin Roberts, cricketers Andy Caddick, Marcus Trescothick, Alfonso Thomas and Charles Willomeney and BBC’s Alex Lovell.

The Axentis Michael Memorial Ball helps North Somerset causes and has raised £350,000 to date, but this year organisers hope they will break the £500,000 barrier.

The event first started in 2004 and is held every two years in memory of hotelier Axentis Michael who died in 2003. Following his death the family set up the event.

Axentis’ son and pier co-owner Kerry Michael said: “This is the fourth Axentis Michael Memorial Ball we have organised and the biggest ever.

“We were restricted to 500 guests in the past, but this year we have 900 people attending.

“We have had some fantastic support and I cannot believe the generosity of all our friends and suppliers in these difficult economic times.

“Everyone has dug deep to provide something.”

Money raised at previous balls has gone to charities like Weston Hospicecare and Weston General Hospital’s Weston Super Kids Appeal.

The ball will set up during the day on Saturday, but 80 per cent of the rides and machines will be open as usual.

The pier will be fully operational again on Sunday.

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