BB With Love 2023: Star studded charity show for mum will honour all hit by cancer, say showbiz family
and live on Freeview channel 276
BB With Love: Simply the Best 2023 – featuring Gok Wan, Billy Pearce, Hayley Tamaddon, stars of the West End, Broadway and more – is a third annual fund-raiser to celebrate the life of 61-year-old breast cancer victim Bev Croke, know as ‘Beautiful Bev’, or BB.
BUY TICKETS: For details about a £15 tickets flash sale for the BB With Love concert, taking place on Sunday, October 1, 2023, check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/frombbwithlove.
It will also star Bev’s West End singing sensation son Matt Croke, dance star daughter Rachel, who with her other son Sean and husband, Mick, launched the fundraising in 2021.
Along with golf days and other events they have already raised more than £100,000 for Weston Park Cancer Charity.
And although the family’s focus will be on Bev, the night is also for other families hit by cancer to remember their loved ones, says Matt.
Matt, a West End star in his own right for starring roles in Aladdin, Wicked and the upcoming I Should Be So Lucky, said: "The night is not only about being able to raise money and help as many people as possible, but me and Rachel, feel like we get a chance to celebrate our mum and give everybody else a chance to celebrate anybody that they've had in their life that has been affected by cancer as well."
"It's a night of massive celebration and love. It's a combination of love, support and raising money - it's just such an amazing night."
Also on the bill are comedy legend Billy Pearce, former Dancing On Ice champion, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and West End star Hayley Tamaddon, TV presenter Dr Ranj Singh, West End stars Layton Williams, Kerry Ellis, Melissa Jacques and George Ure, plus Sheffield’s own global singing sensation Holly Johnson.
Making the trip all the way from Canada for Simply The Best 2023 is soulful powerhouse vocalist Leah Allyce Canali.
Recently added is Shane Nolan, son of Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan, but now a name in his own right, from musicals with David Hasslehoff and the Osmond’s to touring up and down the country with his band.
Bev committed herself to helping others being treated for cancer and was a member of Sheffield Cancer Choir, who will give a special performance, alongside RMC Academy of Theatre – for whom Rachel is performance principal.
Manor Operatic Society, the BB With Love Orchestra and Pro Dance Squad will also entertain.
Matt said it was a thrill to be performing on stage again alongside his sister as he paid tribute to the galaxy of stars who are making time in busy schedules to be part of the show.
He said sharing the spotlight with Rachel: "Growing up, we trained, worked and danced together. We've done our own things. Now every year for the past three years, one of our favourite things is we get to perform together again. We really, really, really love doing it.”
He thanked showbiz friends for taking part and explained why they want to be part of such a special evening.
Matt said: "We've got some people that we've had over the past couple of years that are coming back - on the night they get a sense and a feeling that is so special to us and to them.
"Hayley Tamaddon, the TV and West End star, is really busy playing Miss Hedge in the touring version of the musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie, which she did it in the West End. But she's still making time to come along and be part of the night.
"We've got Billy Pearce. Kerry Ellis, other West End and Broadway stars, and new faces including Dr Ranj Singh, the TV presenter.
"We're also very excited that Layton Williams, who is a contestant on TV's Strictly Come Dancing, is also taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to come and join us.
"We've got Gok Wan hosting it again for us, which we're very grateful to him for as well.
"When we started it three years ago, obviously we were all just coming out of COVID, when singers and actors were kind of available and we were very, very fortunate to be able to get this kind of lineup.
"But obviously as each year goes by, the busier people are getting again, which is great. But when they say they're coming back or they're gonna put time aside in their schedule to be part of this for the first time, we're just so blown away and just feel the love and support by every one of them, because it's so close to mine and Rachel's heart, our families and anybody affected by cancer in any way."
Bev was part of Sheffield Cancer Choir, who will again be performing at the fundraiser, added Rachel.
She said: "They are joining us again, for the third year, which we're very excited about.
"Also joining us is Manor Operatic Society - the City Hall is their home, they do their famous panto there. We've been part of Manor Operatic Society since I was eight years old. So we've had that connection for 31 years, which is amazing. And for them to come onto the stage with us as well, is just fabulous. They have supported BB With Love from the start.
"Returning this year are our wonderful students from our dance school RMC Academy. They're very excited to be doing it again.”
Rachel said of her mum: " She was she was our biggest fan.
"She was there at every single performance, whether it was at Rotherham Civic when we were just kids, or hitting the West End. She was there at absolutely everything and she just loved it.
"And she'd go above and beyond for us, like she did for anyone that came into her life. She had the biggest heart."
Weston Park Cancer Charity enables life-saving research and clinical trials, enhances treatment for patients and loved ones, provides emotional and practical support for people living with and beyond cancer in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Make a donation to BB With Love at wpcc-in-memory.raisely.com/bb-with-love.
Weston Park Cancer Charity web: www.westonpark.org.uk.
X (formerly Twitter): @WestonParkCC