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Rent-a-celeb: how to throw the ultimate ‘celebrity’ bash

How do you get Pat Sharp, the Chuckle Brothers and Chesney Hawkes to come to your party? Here’s a clue: pay them money

By Miriam Bouteba
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It’s amazing how many people have heard a variation on the following tale: your mate knows a guy who said that his cousin’s friend was once at a party where the host had booked the actual, real-life Pat Sharp. No, he didn’t have the mullet anymore, but he did lay on a basic version of ‘Fun House’ – and, OMG – the twins were in tow too.

But is there any truth to these stories? Can you get a bona fide ‘celebrity’ to party with you like it’s 1996? We entered the odd world of C-list celebrity agencies to find out more.

Shaun Williamson
Shaun Williamson

The all-round showman

Back in the ’90s he entertained millions playing hapless buffoon Barry on ‘Eastenders’. These days Sean Williamson will attend your party to deliver a humorous after-dinner speech based on his career to date. Because he likes to sing, he might even throw a song in as part of the package.

What’s the damage? £2,500 plus mileage and petrol. According to his agent he doesn’t have a specific rider, but would be happy to join you for dinner. Book at www.nmplive.co.uk.

Andi Peters
Andi Peters

The host with the most

From the Broom Cupboard to Saturday mornings with Emma Forbes, one way or another Andi Peters was probably a regular guest in your childhood home. Now you can get the – wait for it – live and kicking version to show up at your party. Peters will make a personal appearance and then host a game of your choosing. We were unable to confirm whether Ed the Duck comes as standard. 

What’s the damage? £6,000 plus VAT. Book at jrtalent.co.uk.

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Dick and Dom
Dick and Dom

The BOGOF

…or if you’re really into the Saturday TV thing, how about ‘comedy’ double act Dick and Dom? You get two of them for the price of one Andi Peters and their schtick is the same: they will make a personal appearance and host a game of your choice. Demand something better than ‘Bogies’.

What’s the damage? £6,000 plus VAT. Book at jrtalent.co.uk.

The Chuckle Brothers
The Chuckle Brothers

The dream duo

Then again, why hire Dick and Dom for six grand when you can get Paul and Barry Chuckle for just over half that? Your seven-year-old self would fall over with joy to know that Tinchy’s mates are willing to come to your birthday party, stage a ladder-based accident, perform a hilarious skit and then stay at the party to mingle afterwards. Gabrielle was right: dreams can come true.

What’s the damage? The pair of them will set you back a total of £3,500. Sounds like a good deal, but they will also require return travel and hotel accommodation with a minimum four-star rating. The may also require specific props – ladders, presumably. Book at www.nmplive.co.uk.

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Chesney Hawkes
Chesney Hawkes

The lavish pop star option

The one and only Chesney Hawkes will perform four to five live tracks (nope, we didn’t know that he had more than one song either) turning your party into a P-A-R-T-Y. Satisfied customers include Duncan Bannatyne, who booked Ches for his birthday party.

What’s the damage? With Chesney currently residing in LA (where else?), on top of his £6,000 fee you would also have to pay for his return flights from the US, plus his UK accommodation. Book at jrtalent.co.uk.

Dave Benson Phillips
Dave Benson Phillips

The jokey DJ

Until recently, Dave Benson Phillips used to be available for hire with a tank full of gunge, which he’d use to set up a smaller version of ‘Get Your Own Back’ in your house. Sadly it seems that his revenge days are behind him, but you can still get him to DJ your party. 

What’s the damage? About £1,000, plus a meal and refreshments. If it’s a long way from his home in Worthing he’ll need a hotel, otherwise the only additional fees are his travel costs. Bargain. Book at www.davebensonphillips.com.

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Pat Sharp
Pat Sharp

The funmeister himself

It’s our sad, solemn duty to report that the ‘Fun House’-at-your-house rumours are exactly that: rumours. However, the winner of the 1987 Smash Hits Worst Haircut Award will DJ ‘a cross section of party music’ and host a game. If you’re particularly industrious you could rig up your own obstacle course, complete with paddling pool and swinging ball. He’s still in contact with Melanie and Martina, so might be able to get them along, too – and who knows, maybe he’ll spin ‘It’s a Twin Thing’ as part of his set.

What’s the damage? £5,000 all in. Book at www.nmplive.co.uk.

Calum Best
Calum Best

The selfie meat

The red-tops’ favourite ‘love rat’, Calum Best, will spend two hours at your party, mixing and mingling, signing autographs and posing for photos. Look out, ladies.

What’s the damage? £2,500, plus return travel. Although he doesn’t have a specific rider, he may require ‘certain drinks’. Book at www.nmplive.co.uk.

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Paul Merson
Paul Merson

The lads’ choice

Ex-gunner Paul Merson will fulfil all your childhood fantasies, so long as they were concerned with having a kickabout with a Premier League footballer. The footie legend – who has 20 England caps – will warm up with you and your mates and play a match (for 90 or 60 mins depending on the size of your team and your athleticism). He’ll then need 20 minutes for a shower before you’re all in the bar for some post-match beers and banter.

What’s the damage? Three hours of sporting legend time will set you back £2,500, plus VAT and travel. Book at www.playwithalegend.com.

John Challis
John Challis

The super-cheap video message

If you’re after that big name but without the bucks, Boycie from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ (aka actor John Challis) will create a personal video message for the party people in your life. All you have to do is give him some details – name, hobbies, hometown, age, etc – when you make the booking. Other stars are available at www.celebvm.com, including Ben from A1, Adam Rickitt and now-a-three-piece East 17.

What’s the damage? Almost preposterously bargainous: a video will set you back just £25 and at least five percent will be donated to a charity of your choice. Cheers, Boycie!

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And if all else fails: the replica heart-throb

If you’ve splashed your budget on the catering (have you seen the price of vol-au-vents?) then a lookalike could be just the ticket. George Clooney-alike Gary Tate will come to your party after the guests have finished eating dinner, present flowers to the birthday girl or boy, pose for photos and mingle with the crowd. This is sure to impress your friends, especially the ones with really bad eyesight. 

What’s the damage? £350, which includes travel. Gary doesn’t have a rider, but the party planner has to provide the flowers. Book at www.fakefaces.co.uk.

All illustrations by Greg Bunbury.

Guestlist: sorted. Now book a venue

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