Date with Russell Tovey sells for £5,000 at THT’s Lighthouse Gala Auction

‘Being Human’ star Russell Tovey proved a hit with the ladies on Monday night, when artist Tracey Emin clubbed together with a fellow guest at a charity auction to raise an incredible £5,000 for a date with him. As the auction winner, Tracey and her co-bidder will be given a private tour of the Tate Modern with Russell, followed by dinner at one of the actor’s favourite West End restaurants. The date was one of the lots on offer at the Lighthouse Gala Auction at Christie’s in aid of HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).

The event, sponsored by Prudential plc, saw fierce competition for a range of ‘money can’t buy’ lots. A black cab tour of London with Ken Livingstone went for £1,600, while two supporting artiste roles in the next series of Downton Abbey were snapped up for £4,800. In between bidding, guests including Tamara Ecclestone, Richard O’Brien, Fawn James, and Patti Boyd were treated to Black Moth Truffle Vodka cocktails, champagne, and canapes.

In total the evening raised over £260,000 for THT, with every penny raised going towards services for people living with HIV.

An array of original artwork also went under the hammer. After fierce bidding, a monoprint by Tracey called ‘Suffer Love XXIII’ was snapped up for £9,000. An oil painting by Jack Vettriano raised £30,000, while a Francis Bacon print from the artist’s own studio went for £22,000. Other artwork included pieces by Bruce Weber, Shaun Brosnan, Antony Gormley, and Hunt Slonem.

Debbie Holmes, Director of Fundraising at Terrence Higgins Trust said “We’re delighted the auction was such a success. There was some fierce bidding going on and our supporters really dug deep. We’d like to thank everyone involved. The money raised will make a huge difference to our work, supporting people living with and affected by HIV.”


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