Magalluf.—Ten years on and the much hyped Pirates Charity Celebrity Premiere did not disappoint. With exciting and humorous changes, the show as ever enthralled even those who had seen it repeatedly; drawing rapturous applause and smiling faces to match the Great Ormond Street flag.

Sitting amongst the GOSH families with children who had spent much of their short lives in hospital enduring gruelling treatment, I was able to see first hand the joy the event brought. The celebrities headed by EastEnders stars past and present: Barbara Windsor MBE, Steve McFaddon and Cheryl Fergison included former The Only Way is Essex girl Lydia Bright. Special guest appearances included Majorcan home owners Claire Sweeney, Jess Conrad and Suzi Quatro. “Let's chat now as I'm only here for the kids,” Cheryl Fergison, better know as Heather Trott in EastEnders, stated goodnaturedly. When we last chatted she had just been killed off in EastEnders and was still in shock. However, off screen she's still very much part of the team. Indeed at that moment her on-screen best buddy Shirley, played by Linda Henry was looking after her son. “Otherwise she'd be here,” she added. “Well there's life and laughter after EastEnders!” she announced brightly. “I've been doing some presenting on This Morning and Loose Women. I did Big Brother. That was fun. I didn't get involved with the nonsense; came out and got paid so that was good. Did a few cookery shows. That was interesting as I can't cook. Now about to do a second series of The Spa on Sky Living. But the biggest thing I can't tell you yet. All I can say it's going to be pretty big prime time viewing, and you're going to see a different side of me. I think it'll be a springboard to who knows what!” Legendry rock star of the 60's/70's Jess Conrad arrived, resplendent in a pristine white jacket to match his smile. “You broke my heart!” boomed Cheryl. It appears as a child star she had been amongst the children in the original Joseph while Jess was playing the title role. During one scene he would chose two random children to hold their hands. “You were my hero. Every performance I would secretly beg you to chose me. But you never did,” continued Cheryl not totally in jest. There were kisses and a late apology.

However, the moment the GOSH children and their families arrived Cheryl was off. Her antennae leading to Scott Brett, looking extremely nervous in a wheelchair. At 6 months Scott had needed a heart transplant, resulting in months in hospital. Last year the courageous child suffered a stroke that has left him with limited use of his left hand side and epilepsy. Yet with Cheryl's lively attention, by the intermission, Scott was out of his wheelchair, on the stage and smiling happily with the other children she had attracted.

Lydia Bright, pretty former star of The Only Way is Essex, was with sister Georgia. I remarked on her stunning dress; beautifully fitted cream with elegant appliquéd pattern of sequins. “It's our own design” she explained, as I quickly twigged the acting career was resting. They have a boutique in Loughton called Bella Sorella (unsurprisingly Italian for beautiful sister) where they design their own clothes. Certainly the stylish sisters were great adverts.

The ever gorgeous Claire Sweeney arrived looking radiant in orange on the arm of her handsome fiancé Daniel Riley. The former Brookside star admits to being a workaholic with a variety of roles on her CV including starring with Patrick Swayze in Guys and Dolls on the London stage. More stage roles and tours are in the diary. “We're getting married in the House of Lords in April,” she told me. They have much in common, both coming from the Liverpool area. “We met at a New Year's Eve party in a hotel in Southport and the rest is history,” they smiled contentedly.

If the age gap had ever been on their minds (Claire 41, Dan 27) they had only to look at Barbara Windsor entering the room with her young good-looking husband Scott Mitchell. (Coincidently, that makes Barbara a real Mrs Mitchell.)
Thirteen years on: Barbara and Scott, 27 years her junior, appear as relaxed and happy in each other's company as ever. I found Scott charming, polite and quietly supportive to his ever vivacious legendry wife. Belying the age gap, Barbara looks remarkably youthful. Indeed, with hair piled high in a fuchsia jacket over white trousers she appeared barely changed during her 60 year career. With family having homes on the island they are no strangers to Majorca.

With fellow “old trooper” Jess Conrad they were soon reminiscing how the business has changed and good roles difficult to come by. Indeed despite the eye-candy it was the “old troopers” who stirred the most impact.

THE 10th PIRATES CHARITY PREMIERE
During the show the children's faces were totally mesmerised, loving every minute. Now in its 28th year, the spectacle is constantly metamorphosing, never losing its ability to amaze and delight. I enjoyed seeing the charismatic Aron, formerly the gay Lord Mellion, now playing the more statesmanly Sir Henry Morgan. Aron's showmanship has always been outstanding. The split-second timing of the champion athletes appear more daring than ever. The superb choreography sharper and raunchier.

The auction raised much of the 30'000 euros (and still arriving) for GOSH with 1'300 euros alone being paid by Andrew Lamprell from Santa Ponsa for a specially signed Albert Square sign and a kiss from Barbara Windsor. Her big personality, wriggling her famous backside had seen the bidding soar.

As the GOSH children sleepily headed home, I asked what they thought of the show. “Amazing. Brilliant!” each replied animatedly.