Celebrities may be accustomed to red carpet appearances, but recently canines in need of forever homes had the chance to lap up the limelight as they posed with high-profile pals to all with paws at the fifth annual Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Collars & Coats Gala Ball.
Among the glitterati who were greeted at Evolution in Battersea Park by the charity’s dog ‘guard of honor’– 50 Rovers who currently reside at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home– were actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame; international supermodel (and Battersea ambassador) David Gandy; Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and So You Think You Can Dance judge Arlene Phillips; celebrity hair stylist Nicky Clarke (who helped to ‘tame the tresses’ of the tail-waggers in attendance); sports legend Gary Linekar; Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey; famed fashion journalist Hilary Alexander; His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent and Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, who presided over the fundraising fete; and the evening’s hosts, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home celebrity ambassadors Paul O’Grady (For the Love of Dogs) and Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.
Talking to reporters on the red carpet, David Gandy stated: “Dogs are my love and that’s what we’re all here for tonight on this wonderful occasion. It’s nice to celebrate and raise awareness for the incredible work Battersea does. I flew from LA to London today especially for tonight.”
Moved by the sight of dogs enjoying a moment in the spotlight, hair stylist to the stars Nicky Clarke stated: “It’s amazing what Battersea do. The doggy guard of honour was amazing. It really pulls on your heartstrings to see puppies like Sammy who arrived at the charity after being found in a cardboard box.”
TV presenter Paul O’Grady, who welcomed one of the charity’s puppies into his heart and home after filming the first season of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, told the press: “It’s really touching to see the care and commitment shown by Battersea staff and volunteers to the dogs and cats in the Home. The danger with me is that I get very fond of the dogs and try and steal them. Tonight I really fell in love with nine year old Staffie Patch on the red carpet.”
The “Hollywoof”-themed happening included posters of Battersea pooches and staff paying homage to Tinseltown’s most famous Fido-centric flicks ranging from Lady & the Tramp (seen in the photo to the left, recreated by Bull Terriers Frank and Roxy) to The Wizard of Oz. The venue’s vintage vibe continued with a performance by tribute band The Rat Pack, and the soulful sounds of American singer Jocelyn Brown and operatic rock quartet Passionata also provided the soundtrack to the stylish soiree.
Raising funds for the paws cause, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood stepped on stage for the evening’s fundraising auction, which featured an all-expenses paid, once in a life time opportunity to attend the red carpet premiere of Al Pacino’s next film Wild Salome in New York, including an exclusive meet and greet with Al Pacino himself; an experience day at Gaydon for six people, where James Bond’s favourite car Aston Martin is manufactured; and celebrity dog walks with such stars as Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, supermodel David Gandy, Mollie King from the girl group The Saturdays, and many more.
Battersea Chief Executive Claire Horton says: “Our Vintage Hollywood themed Collars & Coats Ball was an unforgettable night, bringing together glitz, glamour, much-loved celebrities and of course the true stars of the show, our very special Battersea dogs who greeted our guests on the red carpet. Collars & Coats is Battersea’s biggest fundraiser and this year’s spectacular event delivered one of our best shows yet and helped us raise essential funds for the thousands of animals that come through our doors every year.”
For more information regarding Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which provided comfort, care and the hope for a better tomorrow to more than 9,000 companion animals in 2012:
- visit www.battersea.org.uk
Photo Credit: Battersea Dogs and Cats Home