A showbiz element has always been a feature of the Norwood dinner and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Simon Cowell headed a stellar cast.
The composer — who was interviewed about his career—saw the irony in Norwood inviting a “Tory peer to be the warm-up act for the leader of the Labour Party”.
Myleene Klass posed the questions, having informed the audience: “According to the Jewish Chronicle, I’m six per cent Jewish — you’re in safe hands.”
Lloyd Webber spoke about the importance of arts, also offering the London Palladium or the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a venue for “awards about [young] people who embrace trades…not necessarily about people who go to university”.
Simon Cowell, who was unable to attend, was interviewed by video link, explaining how he had become involved with Norwood. Discussing his background, he said: “My dad is Jewish. He never told me or my brother or his wife. It’s in my blood and drew me to the charity.”
He also recorded an introduction to the dinner appeal, made by Laura Nymark, whose son Shalev uses Norwood’s supported employment service.
Chris Evans compered the night and proposing the royal toast, Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis described Norwood as a communal “beacon”.
Sir Philip Green and Vanessa Feltz were also among the guests.