Hudd auction nets charity boost

Treasured mementoes from the golden era of music hall went under the hammer as entertainer Roy Hudd sold personal possessions to raise money for a charity dear to his heart.

Treasured mementoes from the golden era of music hall went under the hammer as entertainer Roy Hudd sold personal possessions to raise money for a charity dear to his heart.

The popular comedian and actor moved to mid-Suffolk with wife Debbie five years ago, and is a regular visitor to Gaze's auction rooms in Diss where he was filmed on Friday for BBC TV series Cash in the Celebrity Attic.

Norfolk has been a popular leisure destination for the couple who love living in the area.

'We've had lots of holidays on the Broads and it's where we first looked, but there was nothing that we really wanted so we moved further down and saw where we are now living on the internet. We looked over it and I said: 'I could live here' after 10 minutes,' Mr Hudd explained.

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'I am a cockney born and bred and we love it in Suffolk, it's the first time we have had a garden. We moved from Clapham about five years ago and we furnished most of our cottage from Gaze's so they owe me a few bob as well,' he quipped.

Their home is near Needham Market, and his wife said moving to the region was 'the best thing we have ever done'.

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Mr Hudd took over the rostrum to auction memorabilia from Coronation Street, in which he appeared for two years as undertaker Archie Shuttleworth. The lot featured the latest signed group photograph of the cast which is rarely available, a hat belonging to butcher Fred Elliott (John Savident), and a blouse worn by Deidre's mother Blanche (Maggie Jones), and sold it for �190 to loud applause.

Auction-goers were in fits of laughter, as he took time out to regale them with anecdotes from the TV soap, including the time he fainted during one of his last scenes with John Savident who was supposed to be lying dead in a coffin - but scrambled out to get him a glass of water.

Music hall artefacts from Mr Hudd's personal collection attracted the greatest interest from bidders, including a walking stick belonging to the legendary Sir Harry Lauder which made �340. But it was personal items owned by another star, Marie-Lloyd, that he found it the most difficult to part with.

'I was very sorry to see Marie-Lloyd's make-up box go, and possibly most of all her cigarette holder as it's such an intimate little thing, and a chap sent it to me. His father was a waiter in the West End where Marie-Lloyd used to go and he picked up when she walked out and left it. When she came back and asked had if he's seen it he said 'no'. It's quite a story.

'She was a huge donator to charity and came from a real lowly family in the East End. She was a beautiful lady and would give kids money to buy boots.'

His celebrity items raised almost �2,000 in total for a leukaemia fund started by music hall star Bud Flanagan, whose son died from the illness aged 31, and far exceeded expectations. Prices ranged from �30 for a biscuit barrel to �420 for the make-up box.

'Five hundred pounds is what I wanted so I am absolutely bowled over,' added a jubilant Mr Hudd.

Cash in the Celebrity Attic presenter Gloria Hunniford has been to Norfolk before but it was her first time filming at the Diss auction rooms and sale ground, and she snapped up some bargains herself.

'I am extremely impressed. It is one of the best I have visited within this programme and Roy has had a marvellous result and got four times what he wanted. It's amazing,' she said.

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