Hello All,

We really need to thank some people, in fact, EVERYBODY who helped with the auction. So, take a deep breath…

Thanks to Jon Bignold and Gerry Lindfield who helped from the very start – we called them the ‘grown ups’. They were sensible and wise.

Televisions own Lee Jason for for being a stunningly brilliant auctioneer even though we only gave him information about the first 10 lots and then changed the order- ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you improv.

Paul Callaghan, Ste Partridge, Sarah Long and Marianne Smith for fine work showing off the fine art. Collo Coulton for getting the art there. Nick Machon and Jon Hall for sorting the PA. And Steve Williams’s family and their friends who travelled all the way from the Valleys to help out.

A HUGE thank you to ALL the artists, EVERYONE who put us in touch with them or grabbed the art themselves. EVERYONE in attendance for spending so much money and EVERYONE who couldn’t attend who placed commission bids. Commission bids really helped speed up the auction and raised the bar. You are all unbelievably brilliant and the night was only a success because of you.

A big shout goes out to the ex-BBC and Red Bee peeps both past and present too.

I also have to thank all of our better halves and close friends for putting up with the general chaos, endless favours and continual moaning they’ve had to put up with recently. We will spend time with you now. The rubbish will be taken out.

Bar all the aforementioned, the biggest thanks – from everyone – should go to the giant Welsh man Steve Williams himself. Steve started everything and ignored everyone, including myself, who said it was a very silly idea as we knew nothing about auctions. He was right, I was wrong (well, we still don’t know anything about auctions, but we didn’t completely screw it up) and that’s largely due to everyone who pitched in and helped out over the last couple of months. But thanks Steve for being a very tall Welsh man and a very good friend to many people including myself and Nial. It was his idea so a slap on the back and a firm gentlemanly handshake is in order – even though you have ruined the last few weeks of my life.

I’ve probably missed out a bunch of people. Especially if you were talking to Steve rather than myself so apologies and thanks! Steve is away right now but will thank you on his return.

If you still want to donate, you can and it will be added to the grand total which we’ll announce in a few weeks. Just PM me or Steve for details.

I’ll leave you with this little message from Sarah, Nial’s wife, intended for everyone and anyone who donated, contributed, attended, bid or rushed off to Argos for some extra lighting at the very last minute.

Anyway, here you go:

Amazing friends of Nial Brown – I feel compelled to make a bit of a speech because last night’s event was absolutely joyful, and will be unforgettable for us. It said something about Nial – he is after all insanely loveable – but it said considerably more about the incredible community of people Nial worked with, with the VT boys and girls at its centre, who are bound together by a tremendously happy and treasured shared history. Nial always knew how lucky he was to be part of that ‘real’ BBC family, which is why he has always been such a cheery chap. I hope you know Nial will work like a dog to make the most of every penny you donated towards his therapy, and to deserve your generosity. Nine months ago I listened to a neurosurgeon ask Nial to try to give him a sign, to say he still wanted him to save his life given the disabilities he was facing. Today I can’t believe we won’t eventually get Nial back into his element – he has made such progress through just relentlessly slogging away, as he knows so well how to do. We know it is a huge privilege to have the opportunities your fundraising has given him. Thank you. Please pass on this message. Nial and Sarah xxxx

So, well done everyone. As I said, I may have left a few people out, especially if you were dealing with Steve. He’ll give everyone a shout on his return.

So a slap on the back and a firm gentlemanly handshake for everyone. What a blinding result!

Cheers all.