14 NOVEMBER 2007

"We believe in raising money and having a good time while we do it," proclaimed Richard Branson as he took to the stage at his Toronto charity gala. And the British business mogul was true to his word, having lined up a host of quality star performers to entertain the 850 guests attending in the name of a good cause.

Taking centre stage at the inaugural Midnight Magic gala – which the 57-year-old Virgin boss plans to hold in the Canadian city each year - were British music legend Elvis Costello, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese and US magician Criss Angel – Cameron Diaz's former flame.

The quality line-up helped raise around $1.3 million for Richard's Heaven's Angels campaign, which sends health-care workers on motorbikes into remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa to deliver critical medicines and supplies.

Among the crowd at the $10,000-a-table bash were Scottish design duo Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. Already famous faces in the UK after fronting a slew of interior design programmes, the pair are currently making waves on Canadian soil with their new TV show Colin & Justin's Home Heist.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
To entertain the crowds at his charity gala, the business tycoon enlisted the star support of burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, British musician Elvis Costello and magician Criss AngelPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
"We believe in raising money and having a good time while we do it," said Richard, who was generating funds for a campaign to deliver critical medicines and supplies to a remote parts of Africa by motorbikePhoto: © Getty Images
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