4 JUNE 2007

While British stars were turning out across the pond in London to support a fundraiser hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev, some of America's biggest names were looking equally stylish at a charity do in California. Among them were Grey's Anatomy stars Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo. The pair, who play sexy Dr Derek Shepherd and his hospital love interest Meredith Grey, have apparently decided it's time for their on-screen affair to take a more "healthy" tack.

The stunning actress, elegant in a bronze-hued satin gown, has a tempestuous relationship with Dr McDreamy on the small screen. Something which Patrick, who was accompanied to the Butterfly Ball homeless benefit by his beautiful wife Jillian, hopes will change in the next series.

"I would love for Derek and Meredith to have a healthy relationship," said the 41-year-old. "It got a little too depressing last year, and I think the writers need to lighten up and get back to the first season. That's what people want to see."

Ellen agrees the show could take a happier approach, and says it wouldn't lose any of the gripping edge that keeps audiences hooked. "I don't think you need sadness to have drama, she says, adding playfully: "My boyfriend and I are very happy and we still manage to be dramatic every day."

Also giving the bash a boost was Dreamgirls actress Jennifer Hudson, who showed off a new look with shoulder length curls. The bubby Oscar-winner met for afternoon tea in New York recently with Aretha Franklin, after being tipped to play the soul legend in the forthcoming musical of her life story, Aretha Franklin: From These Roots.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Looking dapper as ever, Patrick Dempsey - who plays the show's hunky Dr McDreamy - was accompanied to the ball by his wife JillianPhoto: © REX
Photo: © Alphapress.com
His on-screen love interest, Ellen Pompeo, cut a striking figure in bronze satinPhoto: © REX
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