This month on the blog we’re revisiting an event last February. One of the Prince’s Trust charity’s most successful fundraising events of the year called Invest In Futures sponsored by Goldman Sachs. A star studded evening with a private show from the sensation that is Kylie Minogue, a speech from HRH Prince Charles, all hosted at one of London’s most fantastic venues, Old Billingsgate.Having started Scott Perry Magic with the support of the Prince’s Trust it’s always a delight to be contacted by them, and on this occasion it was for their biggest fundraising event of the year, Invest In futures. I received a brief for the event requesting my services for the drinks reception. Excited to deliver entertainment to guests of the event (predominantly in the finance industry) I arrive to Old Billingsgate and say hello to Prince’s Trust staff that I hadn’t seen for a while. On arrival the security asked for my credentials and as they looked through the guest list for my name I noticed there were two whole A4 pages for Kylie Minogue, half a page just for management then dancers, assistants etc. I had never considered the entourage for performers of that stature would be so large! Also, my name wasn’t on the guests list but you know, I’m a magician, so I fixed that.
Fast forward past the pleasantries and I find myself sat in the Prince’s Trust staff green room where reports come in that Fearne Cotton will no longer be able to attend the event. In this moment, in all seriousness I say “I will fill her seat during dinner”. The event organisers laugh and continue to address the situation. 10 minutes later a staff member returns and asks, “Scott, we would like to offer you Fearne’s seat, if you would like it?”. I graciously accepted, having previously thought I would just get to enjoy the beginning of the event, provide exquisite entertainment then depart. The event organiser said, and I may be paraphrasing slightly, “You thought you were joking but now you got what you asked for”. To which I replied, “I wasn’t joking”. It was a nice moment and a reminder that in life sometimes asking a simple question can change a situation.
The reception finished and guests are invited to take their seats for dinner. On my table to my right I have world champion boxer David Haye accompanied by guests, to my left renowned impressionist Jon Culshaw, across the table is musician Tinie Tempah with a beautiful plus one and then there were two seats yet to be filled. I was introduced as a Prince’s Trust supported business to the celebrity ambassadors who kindly donate their time to attend the event, not expecting what would happen next. Naturally, I was introduced as a professional magician and they instantly said “let’s see something”. I could not have predicted what would happen next and words will only fail me so take a moment to watch the video below and you can see for yourself.
What a great response to my work to kick off the dinner. We were all seated and HRH Prince Charles gave a speech about the success of the Prince’s Trust and the difference it makes to individuals lives, providing video footage and then a talk from a young lady who received support from the charity first hand. People were in tears. The accomplishments and impact of the Prince’s Trust are truly life changing. It was a personal achievement to be addressed and thanked by name during HRH’s speech.
During the dinner two people arrived to populate the empty seats. Apologising for lateness they took their seats. It was understandable since they just arrived back in the UK. I recognise the man but not the beautiful woman accompanying him. At the right moment I lean in to Jon Culshaw and ask, “Jon, do you know who they are?”, to which he responds, “oh, I believe that’s Boris Becker and his wife”. Bloody Boris Becker! One of the most famous tennis players in the world who I grew up watching. Feeling suitably embarrassed for not recognising him we all continued to enjoy the dinner service. All in all, the celebrity ambassadors at my table all seemed like genuinely nice people and were all happy to have a chat.
There are a few other noteworthy happenings that evening but perhaps best saved for another time. On the whole, it was, once again and amazing event hosted by the Prince’s Trust and over £2M was raised in 3 hours!