UK's Most-Loved Celebrities Join the Big Smile Tea Party

Sir Rod Stewart and Dame Joanna Lumley take part in teapot auction to raise funds for cleft charity Smile Train UK

Allison Hammond, Gino D'Acampo, Joanna Lumley, Mel Giedroyc, Lolly Adefope, and Helen Mirren

London, UK: Nine of the UK’s most-loved celebrities have signed and donated their favourite teapots to the world’s largest cleft charity, Smile Train UK, for an exciting auction celebrating the charity’s favourite annual flagship fundraiser, the Big Smile Tea Party.

The auction will go live on Thursday 30th March until Saturday 8th April. All proceeds will go to Smile Train UK – helping them to continue their life-changing work of providing free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children around the world.

Multi award-winning actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Joanna Lumley are among the celebrity faces who are supporting the campaign, along with British icon Sir Rod Stewart and his TV personality wife, Penny Lancaster.

Queen of breakfast TV and soon to be Great British Bake-Off host, Alison Hammond, and Britain’s favourite Italian chef, Gino D’Acampo, alongside comedians Mel Giedroyc and Lolly Adefope are also lending their support. Smile Train UK’s ambassadors and the nation’s favourite hand puppets Sooty & Sweep have also generously donated their favourite teapot.

To get the (tea) party started and bid for your favourite celebrity’s teapot, visit Smile Train’s eBay page.

As well as raising funds, the auction aims to inspire people across the country to dust off their tea pot and host their own tea party in this year’s Big Smile Tea Party fundraiser. Taking place throughout the month of April, the Big Smile Tea Party encourages friends, families, and colleagues to come together over a cuppa and a slice of cake, whilst raising vital funds for cleft-affected children.

Dame Joanna Lumley, says:

“Smile Train is such a wonderful charity who I’ve supported in the past and am delighted to be doing so again. Their Big Smile Tea Party is a lovely way to come together and raise funds which make a huge difference to children born with clefts all over the world. And what’s a tea party without a tea pot? So happy bidding to take your tea from a special one signed by me.”

Alison Hammond, says:

“Everyone knows I love a smile and a giggle, so Smile Train’s Big Smile Tea Party felt like a very ‘me’ campaign to take part in! I hope that whoever wins my teapot feels fabulous whilst enjoying a cuppa. And how about getting your bake on too!!”

Ian Vallance, Smile Train UK Director, says:

“We are so excited to be launching our ultimate tea party auction for this year’s Big Smile Tea Party. The generosity of our celebrity supporters blows us away, and we can’t wait to see how much we can raise this year.

“Every three minutes another baby is born with a cleft and so we are calling out to our loyal supporters to host a tea party, donate the cost of a cup of tea and help us provide free lifesaving surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children in need around the world.”

“And how impressed would your guests be if their tea was served in a celebrity signed tea pot!”

A cleft is the most common facial difference globally, affecting around 1 in 700 babies. In the UK, cleft surgery is carried out within the first 12 months of a baby’s life by the National Health Service (NHS). However, hundreds of thousands of children living in resource-poor communities worldwide do not have access to the life-saving cleft treatment they so desperately need.

Smile Train uses a unique and sustainable model of empowering local medical professionals with the tools they need to provide free surgeries and a full programme of comprehensive cleft care. For nearly 25 years,

Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for 1.5+ million children and will continue to do so until every cleft-affected individual has access to the care they deserve.

The Big Smile Tea Party campaign will be kicking off on Thursday 30th March and running throughout April. You can order your fundraising pack at Bid on your favourite celebrity’s teapots at:


Follow Smile Train UK on Twitter (@SmiletrainUK), Facebook (@SmileTrainUK), and Instagram (@SmileTrainUK) and use #BigSmileTeaParty

Notes to Editors:

About Smile Train

Smile Train is the largest cleft-focused charity, empowering local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally.

We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.

To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit Smile Train UK.

For more information, please contact the Smile Train UK press office by emailing or Emily Oliver