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All star cast in Gala fundraiser

Stars of stage and screen paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of Battle of Britain pilots in a royal charity gala at the RAF Club in Piccadilly.

Stars in Salute! was produced by Tom Miller and Martin Milnes, supported by the Memorial Trust’s Hon Secretary Patrick Tootal and Event Organiser Janet Tootal.

The exclusive and intimate performance, headlined by Academy Award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), was staged to raise funds towards the Trusts' The Next Sortie appeal, aimed at expanding Hunting Lodge to allow more Battle of Britain memorabilia to be displayed and exciting aerial dogfight simulators to be installed.

The fundraiser also featured veteran broadcaster Michael Aspel (This Is Your Life), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), stars of Midsomer Murders Annette Badland and Neil Dudgeon, Neil Pearson (Drop the Dead Donkey) and EastEnders legend Pam St Clement.

They were joined by Tyler Butterworth (The Darling Buds of May), Janet Dibley (EastEnders), Bruce Graham (Follies) and Tom Hopcroft (The Comedy About A Bank Robbery), plus a video contribution from Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses).

Patrick thanked the all-star cast for “bringing to life unforgettable stories of heroism and bravery from the Battle of Britain”. He added: “We are most grateful to these artistes, who are friends both old and new to the Trust.”

The production celebrated 30 years of the Trust as well as 20 years of patronage by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO. During the performance, tribute was paid to His Royal Highness by Janet Tootal.

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