Yesterday I hosted an awards ceremony which wasn’t terribly easy.
An illustrious venue – The Houses of Parliament – might have added to the difficulty and the audience standing up is never helpful. But this wasn’t it either. It was because of the makeup of the audience and the nature of the event.
The client (so to speak) was the Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity that matches people with blood cancers and other blood disorders with potential life-saving bone marrow donors – and the awards were for the people within their broad organisation who have helped with their life saving work over the past year – including patients, parents, fundraisers, media, celebrities and the medics of course.
Reading the script before the event – it struck me immediately how different this event was going to be – and so unlike the awards ceremonies that I usually host – where I take an irreverent line in my gentle piss taking.
This would be an event with absolutely no piss taking and no laughs expected. So pressure off then? Actually, no, pressure very much on.
Because people being honoured were often gravely ill – or recovering from conditions and in three cases, had even passed away.
One little girl, Morgot Martini had passed just the day before. Her mum and dad, Vicki and Yaser were being honoured for their efforts to help Margot and other patients and they couldnâ€™t be present for obvious reasons. And making this announcement to a room full of invested people was not easy – and being the emotional type that I am – it was a bit of a challenge to keep it altogether.
Nowadays, pick up any newspaper or go on-line – and we are exposed to any number of stories of heartache which burst our bubbles and put our own problems in to perspective. I am disappointed that I have never managed to appear on shows like – Live at the Apollo but how big a problem is this really? Certainly, not a problem I would have shared with any of the parents that I chatted with yesterday after the event.
Like so charities – The Anthony Nolan do extraordinary work and I am pleased to be able to support them.
My next novel is called OPEN LINKS – which we will publish next month and I have given all the rights to the Anthony Nolan Trust – with all profits going to potentially be a match and save a life. It was a decision I made sometime last year as I was writing the book and yesterday, standing on stage, I knew that it was the right thing to do.