Unlikely Duo Doing Their Bit; Rob Lee and David Gest in Charity Bid

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Byline: Sam Wonfor

WHEN it comes to the world of showbiz, there have been some strange pairings.

Who knew Steve Coogan would be Courtney Love's cup of tea, or that Jonathan Ross and Eminem would bond over a mutual love of comic books? Now another great partnership can be added to the list.

David Gest, the notorious stage producer who was best friends with Michael Jackson, married and divorced Liza Minnelli and won over the jungle-watching public during his time on I'm A Celebrity... and former Newcastle United footballer, Rob Lee. According to Mr Gest, who was on Tyneside yesterday to promote the musical extravaganza devoted to his life story at the Journal Tyne Theatre next month, the pair are "great buddies" and have decided to co-host a fundraising gala evening on September 30.

The evening, to be held at the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle, will aim to raise pounds 100,000 for the Northern branch of the Variety Club and promises to bring a host of stars, music and good food together with a boatload of pretty special memorabilia for an auction.

"My buddy Rob Lee, who is a legend up here, is hosting it with me," said David yesterday at the Vermont.

"I'm going to talk Rob into auctioning off a date. He doesn't know it yet. You can print it, he can read about it. The women love him. …