Celebs head for Norfolk Dog Day

Ian ClarkeA group of household names including an Army chief, actress, BBC chief news reporter, cartoonist and a TV weathergirl will be in attendance at the Norfolk Dog Day near Fakenham on August 9.Ian Clarke

It's a group of household names including an Army chief, actress, BBC chief news reporter, cartoonist and a TV weathergirl.

And visitors will be able to do some celebrity spotting as they lap up the atmosphere at the first Norfolk Dog Day on Sunday August 9, supported by EDP and Norwich-based Bidwells.

Organisers have brought together a high profile collection of judges for the various classes at the event at the picturesque Sennowe Park at Guist, near Fakenham.

The Dog Day - which is certain to be fun-filled - is raising money for the Help for Heroes charity, which supports servicemen and women injured in conflict.

There is a strong military theme to the judges and the patron for the dog day is black labrador Phylis, who belongs to General Sir Richard Dannatt - head of the British Army - and his wife Pippa, who have a home in Norfolk.

Sir Richard - a trustee of Help for Heroes - retires later this year and the event will be almost 40 years to the day since he started with the Army.

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He and Lady Dannatt also have two Norfolk terriers called Bumble and Hebe and they will judge the top dog of show category.

Kate Adie was BBC chief news reporter for 14 years and became one of the most recognisable faces on TV as she reported from a range of war zones around the world including the Gulf, former Yugoslavia, Albania, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

She has family who live in Norfolk and admits to being a big dog-lover and will judge the perkiest pup class.

Kate had a Manchester border terrier as a child, although she does not have a dog now because she travels so much.

"I think it's a good thing that Dog Day is raising money for a good cause and I believe it's going to be a fair amount of happy, yappy chaos!"

Bryn and Emma Parry co-founded Help for Heroes after being so moved by a visit to Selly Oak hospital to visit wounded soldiers in 2007.

It has raised �1m a month since it started and in their words is "making a real difference to the lives of some extraordinary young people."

The couple will judge the pins and paws class.

One servicemen who has had support from Help for Heroes is Ben Parkinson, who was injured in Afghnistan in September 2006 when the Land Rover he was travelling in drove over a 30-year-old Russian mine.

He spent 18 months having treatment at Headley Court and is learning to walk again using prosthetic limbs.

Ben - who will judge the love me love my dog class - wants to return to his regiment 7th Para Royal Horse Artillery as soon as he can.

Actress Kate Rabett - who has had roles including as a Bond girl in the Living Daylights and as Cissy Meldrum in the BBC sitcom You Rang M'Lord - has two dogs called Octavia and Boodle and will judge the designer dog class.

ITV weathergirl Becky Mantin - who grew up in Norfolk - will be judging the old age pooches category and pottery designer Emma Bridgewater - who has a tiny poodle called Panx - will have the final say in the must have mutt class.

Norfolk-based cartoonist Annie Tempest has a springer spaniel called Barney and she will judge the dog with the waggiest tail.

*See the EDP Norfolk magazine's August issue - out on Friday July 31 - which includes a fulll interview with Kate Adie.

t Norfolk Dog Day is at Sennowe Park - at Guist just off the A1067 Fakenham-Norwich road - on Sunday August 9

t Gates open at 10.30am

t Tickets are �4 adults in advance (�5 on the day); �2 children aged eight-16 (�3 on the day). Under eights are free.

t Parking is free

t Classes are: 12.30pm dog from the block; 1pm designer dog; 1.30pm must have mutt; 2pm old age pooches; 2.30pm perkiest pup; 3pm love me, love my dog; 3.30pm pine and paws; 4pm dog with waggiest tail.

t Each class winner will receive a rosette, bottle of champagne and prize. Also rosettes for seconds and thirds. Each winner will go to the 'dog of the day' competition.

t Entry is �2 per dog per class.

t Application forms can be downloaded from the website and tickets can be bought by sending a form along with an SAE and cheque payable to NDD - Help For Heroes to Norfolk Dog Day, c/o Bidwells, 16 Upper King Street, Norwich, NR3 1HA.

t Contact: 07827 864152 or e-mail info@norfolkdogday.co.uk.

t Website: www.norfolkdogday.co.uk.