Colchester Bound

POP sensations The Saturdays wowed British troops, recently returned from Afghanistan, with a welcome home show to remember on Tuesday18th November 2008.

The five girls, with the top ten hits Up and If This Is Love already to their name, took to the stage at the Colchester Garrison dressed in Army combat jackets – and their performance had the 700-strong audience shouting for more.

The Saturdays were among The British Forces Foundation line-up which included EastEnders’ star and comedian Bobby Davro, Britain’s Got Talent runners-up Signature, and musical funnyman Kev Orkian. The show was compered by the Charity’s Founder and troops’ favourite, Jim Davidson OBE, and there were huge cheers as each of the acts paid tribute to the soldiers.

All the stars performed for free and the production costs of the show was paid for with donations from the public as a thank you to the Paras and all the other servicemen and women of 16 Air Assault Brigade, based at Colchester, for their work in Afghanistan and in recognition of the sacrifices that they made.

It was also The BFF’s 60th birthday gift to its Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment.

Brig Mark Carleton-Smith OBE, of Headquarters 16 Air Assault Brigade, said: "The acts hit the spot, everyone had a thoroughly entertaining evening and it was hugely appreciated by the troops.

"The work of the Foundation continues to provide vital support to the Armed Forces – it has never been more in demand and necessary. These turbulent times require extraordinary things of our troops, and the contribution of The BFF makes it all that little bit easier for us all."

Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Joe Coleman added: "Conventional funding does not exist within the military system to provide this type of professional and morale boosting entertainment, and that is why the work of the charitable foundation is so very important.

"We felt privileged that you were able to bring top quality entertainment to Colchester Garrison for so many soldiers who have just returned from a difficult tour in Afghanistan."

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