‘Top drawer result!’ Griff Rhys Jones’ celebrity auction raises £146k for children’s hospices

Griff Rhys Jones got the rich and famous to donate to Celebrity Bottom Drawer. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Griff Rhys Jones got the rich and famous to donate to Celebrity Bottom Drawer. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

Griff Rhys Jones has raised £146,466 for a group of children’s hospices - including one in Ipswich - after selling off famous people’s belongings in his Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction.

Griff Rhys Jones sold his Montblanc pen the for Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EACH

Griff Rhys Jones sold his Montblanc pen the for Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EACH - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk comic decided to enlist his network of famous friends to help East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in place of his annual Christmas show at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre, which could not go ahead this year due to Covid-19.

With a web of contacts in showbusiness after 40 years in comedy, he managed to glean items from stars such as Alexander Armstrong, Ant and Dec, Ian Hislop, Joanna Lumley, Matt Lucas, Ralph Fiennes and Tom Hollander - to name just a few.

The auction - hosted for free by online auction experts Bid In - got off to a stunning start, raising £40,000 on its first day.

MORE: Celebrity Griff Rhys Jones starts quirky auction to help Ipswich children’s hospice

Dawn French's Rolex watch was auctioned off for Celebrity Bottom Drawer. Picture: EACH

Dawn French's Rolex watch was auctioned off for Celebrity Bottom Drawer. Picture: EACH - Credit: Archant

But the bids for the 200 lots kept rolling in, with the donations skyrocketing as people tried to get their bids in before the December 6 deadline for sought-after items such as a Tom Cruise clock, Sir Paul McCartney microphone and Ricky Gervais’ pair of shoes.

The sale raised £146,466 in total, which will go towards EACH’s vital services across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire - including at The Treehouse hospice in Ipswich.

Griff said: “It was a top drawer result for the bottom drawer auction, with wild and marvellous bidding right up to the end.

VIDEO: Griff Rhys Jones on why he’s launched an auction to support a hospice

Actor Tom Hollander gives Griff Rhys Jones his pants to sell as part of the comedian's auction for East Anglia's...

Actor Tom Hollander gives Griff Rhys Jones his pants to sell as part of the comedian's auction for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Picture: EACH - Credit: Archant

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“I want to thank everybody who donated their treasures, everybody who bid and all the back room folk who made it happen, and now how have quite a job ensuring that everything gets to the right place as quickly as possible.

“It’s a happier Christmas for EACH and the people they are there for.

“The bidding wars are a bit brutal, so I’d love to just say to everybody who missed their lot that if they would consider putting some of their underbid into a Christmas box for EACH it would make a huge difference.

“Sometimes there were nine or 10 bids on items. If you missed out, don’t let the hospices miss out. We really value your intent. You can still help.”

Cook Delia Smith donated a coat for the Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EAST ANGLIA'S CHILDREN'S HOSPICES

Cook Delia Smith donated a coat for the Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EAST ANGLIA'S CHILDREN'S HOSPICES - Credit: Archant

MORE: ‘It’s reduced me to tears’: Griff Rhys Jones on heartbreak of seeing families at children’s hospice

The five best-performing lots were:

? Night Mare, an original piece of artwork from Tracey Emin - £23,000

? Headcollar worn by Enable, signed by John Gosden and EACH ambassador Frankie Dettori - £10,500

Comedian Ricky Gervais donated a pair of shoes for the Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EAST ANGLIA'S CHILDREN'S...

Comedian Ricky Gervais donated a pair of shoes for the Celebrity Bottom Drawer auction. Picture: EAST ANGLIA'S CHILDREN'S HOSPICES - Credit: Archant

? Dawn French’s Datejust Rolex - £8,000

? Griff’s Montblanc pen - £7,000

? Coriolanus book signed by Ralph Fiennes and dedicated to the winner - £4,150

Becky Redbond, EACH events fundraising manager, said: “Once again, after another superb Christmas fundraising effort, raising more than ever before, we’d like to say a massive thank you to Griff.

Griff Rhys Jones: "East Anglias Childrens Hospices is the most direct and valuable charity I have ever been involved...

Griff Rhys Jones: "East Anglias Childrens Hospices is the most direct and valuable charity I have ever been involved with." Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

“Like all charities, it’s been a very tough year for EACH, but this certainly gives us a great and much-welcome boost at the end of it.”

Donations can still be made via www.celebritybottomdrawer.com

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