Norwich brother and sister’s jazz night for breast cancer

A Norwich brother and sister whose lives have been touched by breast cancer have raised more than �60,000 for charity and hope to add to that with their latest jazz and cabaret evening.

Chris Bailey and his sister, Sally Ann Hook, will be staging their 10th annual Breakthrough Breast Cancer jazz and cabaret fundraising night at Norwich Playhouse on Sunday, September 16.

The event was conceived in tribute to their mother, who died of breast cancer in 1973 at the age of 35, when Mr Bailey was just 13.

Now 51, Mr Bailey, who lives off Hall Road in Norwich and runs his own events management company, said: 'When our mother developed breast cancer only about 5pc of sufferers survived; now the recovery rate is more like 75 to 80pc.

'Research charities like Breakthrough Breast Cancer have played a vital part in that improvement and their work relies heavily on the fundraising initiatives of groups and individuals – which is where we come in.'

His sister, a full-time foster carer from Norwich, has survived breast cancer twice and the pair first started fundraising in 1998, with a brunch jazz event held in Mrs Hook's garden which raised �800.

In the following years they held three fundraising balls, before deciding to hold their first evening of jazz and cabaret in 2003 and have gone on to hold one every year since.

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Among vocalists who played at the very first night are Louise Rutkowski and Robert Habermann, who will be returning this year for the event, which is being sponsored by Newsmakers PR for the eighth year running. Other performers include Earl Okin, Lee Gibson, Dominic Uppiah, The Voxettes and Gary Winter, stand-up comedian Olly Day, blues pianist James Goodwin, bass player Andy Doyle, guitarist Jasper Smith, pianist and vocalist Jonathan Gee, saxophonist Clive Hitchcock, trumpeter Ray Simmons and drummer Alex Best.

Another actor and entertainer who has accepted the invitation to take part is Richard Shelton – who starred in the West End production of The Rat Pack and was Dr Adam Forsythe in Emmerdale.

Tickets, which cost �17.50, are available on 01603 598 598, in person at the Theatre Royal box office, or online at

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