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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Diva double buys up Bassey frocks
Dame Shirley and Julia Martin
Can you spot the difference?
A Shirley Bassey tribute artist was one of the top bidders at a charity auction of the singing star's dresses.

Julia Martin, from North Lincolnshire, spent 7,000 buying seven of the Welsh diva's most flamboyant stage outfits.

She now intends to use them in her own Dame Shirley tribute stage show after splashing out at the glittering evening at Christie's in London.

Ms Bassey hoped to raise 50,000 by auctioning off her 50 dresses - but ended up raising 250,000 for her favourite charities.

Her diva double, Ms Martin, spent the evening mixing with guests including broadcaster David Frost, fashion designer Isabelle Kristensen and rock star Bryan Adams.

When I finish my show most people come up and say where did you get the voice, the costumes... she is just an incredible person to portray.
Julia Martin
She told BBC Look North: "It was absolutely incredible - the chance of a lifetime.

"The people and the ambience made it like being at the Oscars. It was just incredible.

Ms Martin described her idol as "wonderful", adding: "Darling, we drank champagne all night.

"When I finish my show most people come up and say where did you get the voice, the costumes... she is just an incredible person to portray."

The money raised on Thursday night will be split between the Dame Shirley Bassey scholarship and two organisations in her birthplace of Cardiff - the Royal Welsh College of Music and the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital appeal.




SEE ALSO:
Bassey's dresses raise 250,000
19 Sep 03  |  Wales
Bassey gowns up for auction
12 Sep 03  |  Wales
In pictures: Bassey's dresses
11 Jul 03  |  Photo Gallery


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