The charity has established an honorary committee of ambassadors to help promote its annual fundraising event. They include Alastair Campbell, Piers Morgan, Sir Nicholas Lloyd, Mark Bolland, Kelvin McKenzie, Guy Black and last year’s host Jeremy Vine.
The BMW Group will also use the event to raise awareness of Mini’s 50th anniversary among a high profile audience of senior journalists and PROs. It has donated a special edition Mini Cooper Mayfair car as the star prize for the auction, which will be conducted by James Braxton of BBC’s Bargain Hunt.
The all-girl opera group Passionata will perform at the black-tie event, which is hosted by BBC presenter Kate Silverton.
Organisers have chosen ‘austerity’ as this year’s theme. Ball invitations will take the form of a post-war ration book, promotional posters will reflect the style of official Government announcements of the late 1940s and early 1950s, and the programme will resemble an official beige Whitehall document from ‘the Man from the Ministry’.
Daily Mail transport editor and charity trustee Ray Massey said it was decided early on that the ball would take place despite the recession. He said of the theme: ‘We took our cue from the earlier austerity years of the late 1940s and 1950s and how Britain got through it with a sensible, no nonsense, chin-up attitude.’ But he added that despite this theme, the Ball's standards would not slip. 'It's still black tie and posh frocks, even if it's make-do and mend.'