Video: Soul legend Alexander O’Neal to play Press Ball

SUFFOLK: Organisers of Suffolk’s glittering fundraiser of the year today revealed an international star as their headline act for the 2011 event.

Top US soul singer Alexander O’Neal, who rose to fame with hits such as Criticize, will be the star performer at next year’s Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

The 57-year-old, who took part in Wife Swap UK in 2008, is best known for his 1987 album, Hearsay.

Organiser Mick Parker, of Parker Communications, said: “He’s based in America so to get him here is a major coup.

“He’s very popular with the Ipswich public and we’re delighted he is now on board. It will be a very exciting evening at a venue we have not used before now – the Corn Exchange.”

More than 300 guests are expected at the Ipswich venue for the ball, now in its 15th year.

The glitzy event, which will raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (CFT) and other local charities, will be jointly staged by The Evening Star and Ipswich Borough Council.

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This year’s event raised more than �15,000. CFT was given a cheque for �12,500, while �3,000 has been given to St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

There were a number of fundraising highlights from the 2010 ball, including an 18-carat rose and white gold diamond ring, which fetched a staggering �650.

An Ipswich Town FC executive box raised �650 and a holiday cottage on the Scottish island of Jura pulled in �750.

The 2011 Press Ball is being staged on Friday, June 17.

For tickets, please contact the mayor’s secretary Christine Christensen on 01473 432641.

n To watch videos of Alexander O’Neal’s hits, go to

n Have you benefited from Press Ball funds? Are you looking forward to next year’s event? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

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