Show to top the lot from Denise

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

ROLL up, roll up! Denise Welch was the se­quin­festooned ring­mas­ter as she hosted her Cir­cus of Dreams ball for star guests in Manch­ester. And The Prin­ci­pal Ho­tel’s grand ball­room be­came a colour­ful big top to play host to the spec­tac­u­lar cir­cus-themed cel­e­bra­tions on Sat­ur­day night.

For­mer Corona­tion Street and Water­loo Road star Denise was cel­e­brat­ing the 17th year of her fundrais­ing ball in aid of Rochdale’s Gem Ap­peal char­ity which fundraises to help re­search into ge­netic dis­or­ders.

True to form, Denise made a spec­tac­u­lar grand en­trance to the event, strid­ing into the big top along­side a troupe of cir­cus per­form­ers, ac­ro­bats and fire­breathers, be­fore fire­works burst into life as she headed on to the stage.

Denise and her artist hus­band Lin­coln Town­ley were joined by a host of her co-stars past and present, in­clud­ing for­mer Corona­tion Street stars Shobna Gu­lati, Sher­rie Hew­son and Angie Lons­dale.

Shobna wore a cir­cus-print cock­tail dress to fit with the theme, and played along with one of the cir­cus per­form­ers dressed as a wind-up bal­le­rina for our pho­tos!

TV pre­sen­ter Kate Thorn­ton cut a glam­orous fig­ure in a full length sparkling gown, along­side ac­tress Julie Gra­ham.

Com­pere Jenny Pow­ell was also in strik­ing form as she took to the cir­cus ring – don­ning a red top hat and gloves as she in­tro­duced the night.

Jenny was swish­ing a black caped skirt on top of her stylish black and lace jump­suit as she was joined at the ball by her hand­some fi­ance Mar­tin.

And there were huge cel­e­bra­tions on the night when it was an­nounced that the fundrais­ing at Denise’s ball had helped the Gem Ap­peal to reach the im­pres­sive £3mil­lion milestone.

The char­ity was set up by in­spi­ra­tional mum Karen John­son, to help fund re­search into the rare ge­netic dis­or­ders her sons Si­mon and Mike were dy­ing from.

Sadly, Karen’s sons both died when they reached the age of 12, but tri­als of a treat­ment of en­zyme re­place­ment ther­apy have now be­come avail­able to oth­ers with promis­ing re­sults, and Karen con­tin­ues to tire­lessly fundraise to help other fam­i­lies.

The event in­cluded live per­for­mances from for­mer X Fac­tor star Misha B wear­ing a daz­zling red feath­ered dress, as well as tal­ented young singer Temiah Dean­sWelch – and the spec­tac­u­lar them­ing was cre­ated by the team at En­ter­tain­ment To­day events.

Ring­mas­ter Denise Welch, main pic­ture, with Kym Marsh, top left, Shobna Gu­lati, left and Misha B, below

French Mon­tana met the staff

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