Video and photo gallery: An amazing £272,300 raised at GoGoGorillas! auction in Norwich

Jake Humphrey with auctioneer Mark Sarson at the GoGoGorillas final farewell at the Forum. Photo: Bill Smith Jake Humphrey with auctioneer Mark Sarson at the GoGoGorillas final farewell at the Forum. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, October 4, 2013
10:02 AM

After a summer spent lighting up the city of Norwich the colourful troop of gorillas bid a glittering farewell by raising £272,300 at the GoGoGorillas! charity auction.

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Jake Humphrey at the GoGoGorillas auction at the Forum. Photo: Bill SmithJake Humphrey at the GoGoGorillas auction at the Forum. Photo: Bill Smith

Top earners at the event included Freddie Radio Go Go Gorilla, representing Freddie Mercury, who went for a massive £20,000 and Mr Carrow which sold for £17,000. Another favourite, the Alan Partridge gorilla, made £5,000.

• Click here to re-live the auction as it happened

Auctioneer Mike Sarson at the GoGoGorillas auction at the Forum. Photo: Bill SmithAuctioneer Mike Sarson at the GoGoGorillas auction at the Forum. Photo: Bill Smith

Carl Moore, a lifelong Norwich City fan from Lowestoft, outbid the club’s chief executive David McNally for Mr Carrow. “I was going to have it whatever happened and to make it even better I was bidding against David McNally. That was the absolute ultimate. I’m really pleased that I got the piece I wanted.”

All proceeds are being donated to Norfolk charity Break and wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation.

The colourful primates which decorated the city’s streets from June to September and gained a huge following of fans during the 11-week trail, were together for one final time last night for the grand finale of the GoGoGorillas! project.

About 500 people packed into the Forum in Norwich for the auction, all eager to see how much money the celebrity apes would make for 
children’s charity Break – which organised GoGoGorillas! with Wild in Art – and the Born Free Foundation.

Norfolk TV presenter and Break patron Jake Humphrey was the host for the evening, and he paid tribute to the amazing success of GoGoGorillas!

He said: “I remember when I first started talking to Break about this and they were saying they were going to fill the streets of Norwich with gorillas and it was going to be a really special couple of months.

“At no time did I really cotton on to just how big it would become and how much it would mean to people.

“To think that over one million people have done the trail and seen the gorillas and enjoyed them – it’s just been bigger and more impressive that I could ever have imagined.”

He said after so many people had enjoyed the trail the auction was a chance for people to give something back to Break.

Jake said he had enjoyed doing the trail with his family. “My wife, of course, had to have the obligatory photo of the one with my face on it which was a bit embarrassing!”

He said it was great that people had had so much pride in the gorilla trail and that 2013 would be remembered as a special summer for Norwich – and he joked that next he would like to see a trail of 65 16ft statues of Stephen Fry in Norwich or have Alan Partridges on the steps of City Hall.

As bidding got under way, one by one Bling Kong, Batgrill, The Ape’d Crusader, Optimus Primate, Alan and the rest of the gang took centre stage as they were auctioned off by TW Gaze auctioneer Mike Sarson.

Martin Green, project manager for GoGoGorillas! said: “It’s absolutely amazing. We could not have anticipated the generosity of people. It’s going to change what Break does. This had offered a really big chunk of money to change young people’s lives.

“This is two years of hard work. Thank you so much to everyone.”

Norfolk TV presenter and Break patron Jake Humphrey was the host for the evening, and he paid tribute to the amazing success of GoGoGorillas! “Just like the rest of the GoGoGorillas! project this has exceeded all expectations. It shows just how much the GoGoGorillas! mean to people.”

He said it was especially interesting was how much all the gorillas with Norfolk scenes on them went for and that it showed how proud people are of Norfolk.

“It was a really special night,” he said, adding that had bought the Lilly Gorilly gorilla.

“This shows that with with big thinking a charity the size of Break can make a real difference.

The main thing I really want is for this entire GoGoGorillas! Project to make Break even more well known and talked about across the county.”

GoGoGorillas! started about two years ago and was achieved by an array of artists, businesses, organisations and other members of the community working together.

22 comments

  • Che Bramley: Putting your theory into practice if tickets were to be sold at £2 each there would need to be 136150 sold to raise the same amount of money as the auction. Given that the population of Norfolk is 865300, that would mean that 1 in every 6.35 man, woman or child would need to buy a ticket to raise the same funds. Now given that some of these people can't afford to buy food then it's likely that the tickets would be bought by the idle rich anyway. In the worst circumstance the poor will gamble their kids food away to try to win a painted primate. Your argument is flawed. Your attitude cannot be quantified yet alone justified.

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    NigelS

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • skoalbandit read my comments again, cause clearly you have failed to take the contents in properly ! Yes the event was for Charity, but it was the way the Cahrity Hosted this event. Ie people had to pay for tickets and it was all done as a Private invite only event behind closed curtains, which meant and entire PUBLIC Building was closed off. I have said how funds could have been raised in a much fairer way by selling raffle tickets, did you miss that bit then Skoalbandit ? Clearly you did ! Also take a serious look at where some of the bidders come from, Solicitors, Accountants, and many people I have spoken to have instantly said some people have bid for items for Charity, but nothing more than items for investment. And for the record my comments are aimed at a Local Event, not Football. Seems some people always have to turn comments into something they are not. Which ironically makes me now do the same. Skoalbandit you are being shown the Red Card ! :)

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

  • NigelS there maybe a valid point in the number of people needed to buy a raffle ticket to raise the same amount from last night. I have no issue over the cause of the Charity just the way it was handled in an auction where people paid for tickets, security was hired, a public building closed for the evening, transportation of Gorillas to the successful bidders homes or offices. I wonder how much that event cost on those alone as well as the hospitality of Champagne and other event staff cost being there. Many people spend over £5 a week on National Lottery tickets so I am sure the idea of even £2 a ticket from each person would not have been a realistic option for this Charity. Maybe just an idea for any Charity who does a similar thing again, by all means do a split 50 percent of items are raffled by ticket sales and the remainder by auction, but not behind a closed Curtains for Private event. The Gorillas were seen all over the City by the Public and should have been auctioned in a more public way.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Senseless, negative and spiteful post from Che. Unfortunately this site is habitually used by people who put a negative spin on every story, How can raising money for a worthwhile charity be construed in such a fashion?

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    Abraham

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • An event where just over £272,000 was raised in the so called name of chairy, while there are hundred if not thousands of normal everyday families who struggle to put food on the table. The result young children dying or admitted to hospital cause they are simply under nourished. Maybe next time there is an event like this items need to be raffle based at say £2 a ticket so everyone from any class in society has an equal chance, not for some private company to have a gorilla behind closed doors. If everyone resident of Norwich gave £2 for a raffle ticket the they would have raised far more than what those in black suits did. Maybe they need to look at themselves and the world they live in. Clearly money speaks money, shame on the all that attended tonight !

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Well £273,000 is a great result. The Gromits in Bristol raised that amount as they had famous people paint them Peter Blake, Quentin Blake, Pixar and some chump from 1D to name a few. However, the Norwich gorillas had local artists and school kids to paint them. I'm certainly not knocking them as I think it gave them more personality. Plus I guess there will always people who mock and knock down all the good work charities do.

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    nobbly1

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Well said. Only me. Break operates with 13 members on the board of directors, 2 founding members, 1 chief executive and two divisional directors. Some charities do use 65% and more to administer their charities.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • nobby1 and Abraham, yes it was for Charity but you clearly have failed that while this charity gets support there were children with hardly any food on the tables of many families in this own country. If I had an objection to this charity then my idea of a fair for all £2 ticket would not have been in my mind anyway. The ticket idea would have been accessible to all, and which lets face it would have raised more for charity if everyone in Norwich brought one. Also the likes that attended last night yes support Charity but are also there so network and create business opportunities, once the event was over it would be back to their Greedy lives ripping off Normal people who struggle day in day out.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • The bidders weren't there to show their wealth they were there to attend a charity auction and raise some money. There are plenty of things that I cannot afford but others can, we make the best out of what we have and opportunities that come our way, please don't judge people who can afford more than you or I. What would you do with a gorilla if you won it in a raffle? chances are you would put it on eBay and hope for a very high selling price which isn't much different to what happened last night is it! But the money would go in your pocket and not to good causes.

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Ingo: Why is it such a radical concept that people who are employed to the work which keeps charities functioning should be paid? After all we all go to work to put the food on our tables and keep the roof over our heads. Better to be paid by a company that gives towards the public good rather than one that keeps its riches to itself? You misunderstand employee and volunteer. They are two separate things.

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    NigelS

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Lovely idea in principle Che, but if you seriously think every single man, woman and child within the city would voluntarily stump up even £2 for anything then I'd like to offer you BIshop Bridge for sale. £272,000's a very laudable sum and not to be sniffed at, but in comparison the auction of Gromit Unleashed figures in Bristol last night raised £2,357,000 for the Children's Hospital there. Cracking good job!

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    Long John Hill

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • I suggest Che writes to some of the top football clubs and tells them the money they are paying their stars could feed and put clothes on the backs of whole African villages. I don't see the anger at people who can afford things, Not everyone at the auction were greedy and rip people off. Be happy with what you have and if you want more, get a job, better job, start a business, become famous but don't winge cos they can and you can't. And if it all about the gorillas and jealousy, get a life!

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Capacity at the Forum is finite and only so many people can be allowed in (fire risk and all that) at any time. Therefore there is little option other than to ticket this event and make a bit extra for the charity whilst doing so. The general public has had since the weekend to go and see all the gorillas together in the Forum as well as all summer to see them outside. I really don't see that the general public has been deprived at all. Most of us don't have £2000 upwards to spend on one of the painted primates after all.

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Abraham - that's because everyone is entitled to express their view even if it isn't the same as yours! Most of us probably don't agree with Che's view, but he or she has as much right to state them here as you do. Your own comments add nothing to the debate. Nobby - same applies to you, Che's comments are not pointless just because we disagree and it is very dangerous to shut people up because of what they think.

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    Only Me

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • That is an amazing amount to raise but I am with Ingo on this. I am not sure that the charity concerned is spending its money as well as it could. I worked as a volunteer for Break for 15 years and wasn't happy with some of the ways they wasted money. Also I was under the impression that families who had a disabled child and had a holiday with Break got it free. I was amazed when I spoke to one parent and she told me that they had to pay a very large amount for a holiday in Sheringham. Too much of the money is going on Directors, officials and high salaries. I also know a member of staff who worked at a Break home and they regularly turned away donations of brand new (sealed) bedding from retiring guest house owners because Break said they wouldn't match the décor.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Ingo: It may come as a surprise to you to learn that a charity needs to be run and run well in order to operate. The people who do this have to be skilled and are employed. At the end of the day need they need to earn a living for the same reasons as all of us. Is it not better to work for an employer who does good than a large corporate banks that solely looks after its own interests?

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Che. Don't be put down by those who might have a different opinion to yours, and might tell you to shut up. Maybe they should take their own advise. I can understand what you were getting at. It's a bit like one may ask why Britain spends so much on foreign aid, yet there is an increase in the number of children attending British schools who go to school hungry. nobbly1, etc, have probably got a perfectly good explanation for this, which is totally opposite of mind, and what would their argument be, "SHUT UP".

    Report this comment

    COLD

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • The gorillas brought a lot of fun and enjoyment into a city that basically puts on the same events, year after year, and they have generated a lot of interest, so anything that it positive for Norwich, and if it can help out some charities at the same time must be good. With anything, you won't please all of the people all of the time, but it seemed there were many more positives than negatives, and maybe Norwich might learn by any negatives for another day. I would have much preferred to have seen a few more different concepts of the gorilla forms, taking them into abstraction, interactivity, and kinematic forms, but that's just me. Obviously, many would disagree and just tell me to shut up, because they know no better.

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    COLD

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • It doesn't take much to look at Break's recent Annual Report and get a few facts before people start spitting negative comments. Break has 13 Trustees, and how much are they remunerated for governing the Charity... £nil. Only one employee earned £60k+ in an organisation with over 250 staff. For the positive impact the Charity has on many families in THIS region, I would say that is money well spent - but that is my opinion.

    Report this comment

    MoanMoanMoan

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • @che bramley two words from me to you SHUT UP!!! It was all about raising money for charity, not to see whose wallet was biggest etc. £272,000 is a huge amount of money to be raised both by businesses and members of the public who attended the charity gala last night. People like you really nark me off with these pointless comments and attacks.

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    nobbly1

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Che, sorry but you are talking complete nonsense. How many children have been admitted to hospital in the past year, say, due to being under nourished? Please enlighten us as this seems to be where your argument orginates.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • Mellow_Yellow. Just look at a few recent news reports about the increase in children arriving at school hungry, with the information coming from the teachers. That might be a good start.

    Report this comment

    COLD

    Friday, October 4, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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