As promised, I am writing about very special events and people as I approach my final week working for this amazing Charity. This week it is the turn to remember three events – and some very special people. It all starts with a 19 year old called Will Pope.  A virus brought Will close to death. Harefield specialists, and in particular the transplant team brought Will back to fantastic health – it did not happen overnight – it was a long, and at times terrifying journey. But Will is now a fit and well young man, ready to lead the rest of his life. This leads us to his remarkable parents – Rosie and Philip Pope. Not content to simply say thank you for saving their son, they embarked on an ambition like no other. 

Their working lives and their friendships had brought them into an extraordinary network of famous faces; mostly comedians but also artists, producers, and more. Rosie and Philip persuaded these A list stars to give their time and talent not once, not twice, but three times at ever increasingly large venues to raise funds for the Charity, and the all-important production team.

The show was brilliantly hosted each time by Clive Anderson, who has done so much for the charity. My memory of the first 100 Hearts (2015) at LSO St Luke’s includes Rob Brydon dressed as Elvis, completely bringing the house down. And a very special friend, producer John Lloyd, taking to the stage to announce his way of saying thank you for having Will Pope alive and well by kicking off an amazing pledge moment which went on to raise over £100,000 for the organ care system - the machine in the news today for, quite literally, bringing hearts back to life and allowing more transplants in children. This was not the gift of a squillionaire, this was an ordinary man, just wanting to make a difference.  

100 Hearts 2 (2017) was amazing at the Adelphi. This time my memories include Rowan Atkinson, Michael McIntyre and a special favourite of mine, Helen Atkinson Wood – a talented and gentle lady who just seems to make a room a warmer place. 

And so on to 100 Hearts 3 (2019) where every seat in the iconic London Palladium theatre was full. Our guests included HRH Duke of Wessex, London’s Lord Lieutenant Sir Kenneth Olisa and some of our closest and most generous donors. Dara O’Briain, Greg Davies, Harry Enfield, Rachel Parris and many others wowed our audience.  

How on earth did our Charity manage to be part of these amazing events – and raise eye watering sums of money? Rosie and Philip Pope brought the stars, the inspiration and the ambition. The Charity team, especially Ashley Westpfel, and Rafaella Notarianni worked behind the scenes (as did Rosie and Philip of course). And what did you do? If you came, you had some unbelievable experiences, you supported our cause through tickets, donations, and sponsorship, without which these events could not have happened.

Thank you, Rosie and Philip, I do not have adequate words to truly express our gratitude, for the support, the funds raised, the experiences and the memories.