Surrey celebs help celebrate the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity's tenth birthday campaign

PUBLISHED: 07:58 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:40 20 February 2013

Surrey celebs help celebrate the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity's tenth birthday campaign

Surrey celebs help celebrate the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity's tenth birthday campaign

To celebrate the tenth birthday of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the hospital is asking people to 'donate' their birthdays to them.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2013

To celebrate the tenth birthday of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the hospital is asking people to donate their birthdays to them. To mark the launch of the campaign, of which Surrey Life is an official media partner, here we speak to a few well-known names across the county to find out how they normally like to spend their special day...

Jimmy Tarbuck, Comedian
Hometown: Kingston
Age: 72
Birthday: February6

Usually, I like to come down and read the paper at around 7am, and then after that, Id head off for a nice game of golf at either Coombe Hill or Wentworth. I have three golfing friends who I play with regularly and wed all enjoy a round together before tucking into a good lunch in the clubhouse. As my birthday is in February, wed probably choose a hearty winter soup with crusty bread, some nice cheese and a good bottle of red wine. By the afternoon, Id be ready for a nap, before having a delicious dinner at home, as my wife Pauline is a great cook, with all the family around me.

  • Jimmy Tarbuck will be touring in 2013 with the dates to be confirmed soon. Look out in Surrey Life for more details

Lionel Blair, Entertainer
Hometown: Banstead
Age: It depends how I feel when I wake up in the morning! When theres aches and pains, its 103; when the birds are singing its 42!
Birthday: December 12

I love to spend my birthday with all my loved ones. We always have family Sunday lunches anyway but with my birthday so close to Christmas, its very rewarding to have them all around. We can have up to 15 at times and Ill just sit back while they all talk, and think, well, isnt this wonderful. I like to think we look like one of those picture postcards with grandad observing everyone and thinking, wow, this is all because of me! Weve got a conservatory and my wife turned it into what looked like a disco this Christmas with all the tinsel and lights! In my business, I have toured the world and been in far off countries before on my birthday, but at this stage of life, home really is where the heart is.

  • Lionel Blair will be performing his Tap and Chat with Lionel Blair cabaret show in London and on cruise ships in 2013

Meg Gardiner, Author
Hometown: Cobham
Age: 55
Birthday: May 15

I normally spend my birthday working. And, as Im a writer, that means I get to spend the day doing what I love almost more than anything. Im incredibly lucky. The highlight of the day will be talking to my daughter and son in the States, as well as my mum, sisters and brother theyre in California, so its a treat to talk to them. To finish off the day in style, Ill go out to dinner my neighbourhood is bursting with great restaurants or, even better, my husband and younger son will cook a birthday feast. Yes, the men in my house are excellent cooks Im a lucky woman.

  • Meg Gardiner is the author of ten novels. Follow her on Twitter at @MegGardiner1

Andrea Mclean, TV presenter
Hometown: Ashtead
Age: 43
Birthday: October 5

I usually tend to be working on the day itself, but get woken by two very excited children at the crack of dawn! After making pancakes (this is a must for whoever the birthday person is), we go off to work and school for the day. The celebrations start once we are back home again, and we head out the door as a family to Smith & Western on Box Hill, or as it is affectionately known in our house, The Cowboy Restaurant! We don sparkly cowboy hats, sit in the jail, and chomp our way through ribs and chips, then dig in to the family-sized ice cream and cake sundae that arrives, complete with sparkler and enthusiastic singing by the staff. Once everyone feels full, slightly sick and over-tired, we head off back home. A perfect end to a perfect birthday!

  • Andrea McLean has her own range of jewellery in QVC called Diamonique by Andrea McLean. Follow her on Twitter at @andrea_mclean

Adele Parks, Author
Hometown: Guildford
Age: 43
Birthday: February 12

On my next birthday, which is coming up in just a few weeks time, Im going to see the internationally acclaimed actor James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, X-Men etc) in Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios in the West End, and I literally cant wait! The theatre is my usual birthday treat and, in fact, it has been ever since I was a teenager. Ill also be having cake for breakfast, as thats a tradition that my husband, son and I always strictly abide by for each of our birthdays!

  • Adele Parks is one of the best-selling authors of womens fiction in the UK. Find out more information by visiting her website at or follow her on Twitter: @adeleparks

Chesney Hawkes, Singer and songwriter
Hometown: Chertsey
Age: 41
Birthday: September 22

My ideal birthday would start with a kiss from my bride of nearly 16 years, Kristina. This would be followed by my beautiful kids, Casey, Jesse and Indiana, carefully walking in with a freshly made cup of black coffee and excited chatter about dads big day, then opening hand-made cards from each of them. If it wasnt a work day, we would definitely spend the whole day together, with maybe a pub lunch at one of our locals in Chertsey, a pint or two of a guest ale, then a slow and leisurely walk home through the park with the dog. A simple, easy day with my wonderful family in our stunning county of Surrey; thats my idea of a perfect birthday.

  • Chesney Hawkes is releasing his first album, Real Life Love, and single for seven years. To see the video for Caught up in Circles, visit the YouTube website at: or check out

Nicholas Owen, Newsreader and presenter
Hometown: Reigate
Age: 65
Birthday: February 10

I like to choose between two possible birthday treats. Some years, my wife Brenda and I will have lunch somewhere local, then a long walk, perhaps around Ranmore Common, where you can ramble up hill and down dale for miles without seeing another soul. And being mid-February (almost!), there are the first, heart-warming signs of spring. You might even spot a very early daffodil. And then other years, if our winter has been particularly depressing, a few days in the south of France should get some sunshine into the bones.

  • Catch Nicholas Owen every Saturday afternoon on Classic FM, 12noon-3pm

Michaela Strachan, TV presenter
Hometown: Esher (now Cape Town, SA)
Age: 46
Birthday: April 7

For me, birthdays are always a good excuse to get together with friends and do something fun. Im normally back home in sunny Cape Town, but this year Ill be in Kingston doing my childrens theatre show. I was brought up in Esher and spent a lot of time in Kingston as a child, so itll be a bit of a walk down memory lane for me. My seven-year-old son Ollie will be with me on the tour and most of my family still live close by to Kingston so itll be fab. Ill probably organise a brunch before the show for all my UK family and local friends itll be such a great excuse to have a big get-together on old turf! Maybe if I say its my birthday at the start of the show. theyll be a particularly fab audience in Kingston!

  • Michaela Strachans Really Wild Adventures comes to G Live, Guildford, on Thursday February 21 at 2pm and Kingstons Rose Theatre on Sunday April 7 at 3pm. See

Allan Pickett, TV chef
Hometown: Redhill
Age: 40
Birthday: June 12

We have a tradition in our house that whoever is having the birthday gets the full VIP treatment in bed, so my wife makes it really special by baking some croissants served with jam, English strawberries and great coffee. Its lovely to have breakfast with the children, as Ive normally left the house before they get up. We will then go and have a wander around Priory Park in Reigate, where they love being able to scoot around the lake. We will normally try and take a light picnic with us, full of seasonal vegetables and fruits. For dinner, we would normally be eating in one of the local pizza restaurants in Reigate. We will then venture home and get them ready for bed. After a quick bedtime story, my wife and I can settle down for a nice glass of wine and open any presents and cards that may have arrived during the day.

  • Allan Pickett is head chef at Plateau in Canary Wharf (see Follow him on Twitter: @plateaulondon and @chefallanp

Caroline Harrap, Editor, Surrey Life
Hometown: Reigate
Age: Will I get into trouble with the editor if I dont say?!
Birthday: November 4

As a rule, I invariably seem to be on deadline, but last year was that rare treat a birthday on a Sunday! And what a perfect day it was too even if it was pouring with rain and blowing a gale! A bracing winter walk across Reigate Heath, with my sister Lindsey and boxer dog Brin, was followed by big mugs of tea by the fire. Then, in the evening, we all went for dinner at The Dolphin in Betchworth a beautiful 17th century pub where their butternut squash roast was quite one of the best things I have ever tasted (not to mention the Chablis!).

  • Check out the Surrey Life magazine website at or follow us on Twitter: @SurreyLife

A decade of innovation at The Royal Marsden

OVER the last decade, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has raised 100 million to fund pioneering developments in cancer care. There will be even greater progress over the next ten years as treatment becomes ever more personalised. The donate your birthday campaign will help the Royal Marsden continue to invest in world class innovation for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere.

Supporters are invited to donate their birthdays to the Royal Marsden, and ask their friends and family to give gifts to the charity instead of buying them presents.

If you would like to donate your birthday, all you need to do is visit and pledge your 2013 birthday; then follow the instructions to set up a ten10 JustGiving page for your friends and family to use.

Then, if youre on Twitter, spread the word by posting the following Tweet around the time of your special day: Im using my bday to raise money for cancer patients! To give me a gift donate to @royalmarsden here

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