"You might wonder what a Northern Irish Presbyterian is doing at a World Jewish Relief dinner, as indeed am I," joked actor James Nesbitt, as he helped Manchester WJR to raise over £100,000 from last Wednesday's event at the Radisson at Manchester Airport.
But the star of TV series Cold Feet and Murphy's Law went on to explain that visits to Georgia, Sudan and Zambia as a United Nations ambassador had given him a strong affinity with World Jewish Relief's welfare work. He further delighted an audience of around 200 by interspersing Irish wit with some Jewish jokes.
The airport venue eased the travel arrangements for Nesbitt, who flew in from Belfast, where he is filming Occupation, about British soldiers fighting in Iraq, for the BBC.
WJR's Manchester committee co-chairs Julia Harris and Gabrielle Adlestone were delighted with their guest speaker, reflecting: "He has a very good understanding of the people we are trying to help."