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Fancy lunch with Joan Collins? Take part in COVID-19 auction for NHS

Ever wondered how fabulous it would be to dine with Dame Joan Collins?

Well, now you can be in with a chance, as lunch with the star at swanky Mayfair hotel Claridge’s is among the lots going under the hammer to raise funds for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Not only that, but the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to be taken once social distancing is over – also includes guests Percy Gibson, Dame Joan’s husband, and actor Christopher Biggins, plus an overnight stay in a suite (stars not included for that part).

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The not-for-profit digital auction is being conducted by Bonhams, with pledges from some of the country’s leading actors, musicians and artists.

All proceeds will go towards the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, organisers have said, and the aim is to raise £100m.

In a video message, Dame Joan said: “As you know, the NHS is in urgent need of funds…

“In conjunction with Bonhams auction house, my husband Percy Gibson and myself, and Christopher Biggins, are offering ourselves as auction prizes for a lunch at Claridge’s after this whole thing has ended, so please bid a lot.”

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“And you can order whatever you want – it’s on us,” Gibson added.

Lots up for grabs include drinks with Jools Holland behind the scenes at one of his shows, a special families round of University Challenge, hosted by Jeremy Paxman through Zoom video conferencing, and a signed clapperboard from the James Bond No Time To Die set.

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Artworks by Anish Kapoor, Julian Opie and The Connor Brothers, and a visit to Grayson Perry’s studio, are also among the lots.

And Fans of Call The Midwife could get the opportunity to play a walk-on role in the popular period drama, before having lunch or tea with the cast.

Patrick Masson, Bonhams managing director for the UK and Europe, said: “The NHS staff and volunteers are heroes to us all.

“We at Bonhams are honoured to host this initiative and to donate the skills we have at our auction house to support those who are working so hard for us on the frontline.”

Money raised will go towards wellbeing packs for NHS staff and volunteers, including food and wash kits, as well as travel and accommodation expenses and other items requested to help workers and COVID-19 patients.

The auction is hosted at bonhams.com and runs for three weeks until 29 April.

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