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So, superstar, will you come to my private party, dance with gran, sing Agadoo and dress as a chicken?

CELEBRITIES would do anything for a piece of the limelight - and a few thousand pounds. In fact, many even agree to dress as a chicken or sing the chart stinker Agadoo.

Lastweek,itemergedthatLulu collectedpounds 10,000forsinginga a few old hits at a birthday party for the kids of a wealthy Scots couple.

Sunday Mail investigators tested how far the famous would go to top up their wages.

And it seems that everyone, from Keith Chegwin and Bob Monkhouse to Carol Smillie and Ulrika Jonsson, has a price.

We called several London-based agents pretending to be acting for a fictitious Scots earl hosting a birthday bash for his 12-year-old son.

The theme was the new blockbuster animation film, Chicken Run. We asked if our star would dress as a chicken, entertain guests and sing the Black Lace hit, Agadoo.

Former GMTV star Keith 'Cheggers' Chegwin, the man who plunged to an all-time low when he appeared naked on primetime TV, must have seen the pounds signs flash in front of his eyes. For Cheggers, posing as a chicken was part of the fun... for pounds 7500.We called his agent, Tony Fox, posing as an aide for the fictitious Earl of Woolford in the Scottish Borders.

SM: "Hello, Mr Fox. I'm organising a special party next month for the Earl of Woolford's son. He's a big fan of Mr Chegwin and his father is keen on securing his services."

TF: "It's an usual request but I don't think there should be a problem provided he is free."

SM: "The other problem I am having is that the party is themed around the new Chicken Run movie. The Earl would like Mr Chegwin to dress up as a chicken and..."

TF: "If you want him to dress up as a chicken I'm sure it won't be a problem. Anything to make people happy. Keith is usually up for anything. Hang on and I'll check his diary. [the sound of rustling paper] Hold on, I think you are in luck, he is free."

SM: "Can you give me an idea how much his fee would be?"

TF: "Well, this is a bit out of the ordinary. He usually charges around pounds 7500 but I don't know whether that will change because of the nature of this job. Let me speak to him. I'll call you back."

Gameshow favourite Bob Monkhouse wanted a whopping pounds 18,000 just for turning up but wasn't keen on donning the feathers, according to agent Peter Pritchard.

SM: "The Earl is hoping that Mr Monkhouse would join in the theme of the party, dance with some of the guests and perhaps entertain them by dressing up as a chicken?"


PP: "Hum. He will only make an after- dinner speech with humour in it or do his cabaret act. I don't know about the dancing."

SM: "He wouldn't consider the outfit?"

PP: (long silence) "There is no way he would dress up as a chicken and I don't imagine he would want to get involved in an animation theme night. Sorry."

Changing Rooms hostess Carol Smillie's ice-cool agent didn't seem flustered by the strange request.

SM: "Would Ms Smillie be able to attend a private party for the Earl of Woolford's son and join in the fun of an animation theme night around the new film Chicken Run?"

Agent: "Carol does do some personal appearances, depending on how busy she is."

SM: "The Earl is hoping she might consider dressing up in a chicken costume."

Agent: "She would certainly have to check her diary. She doesn't have any weekdays available until the end of October and she won't work Saturdays and Sundays."

SM: "How much would Ms Smillie's fee be?"

Agent: "I don't go into that. It's at Carol's discretion what she would be prepared to do."

Ex-weathergirl Ullrika Jonsson's fee for turning up at a function is pounds 15,000. The pregnant beauty - who named the father in Hello! magazine for a five-figure sum - makes most of her income from personal appearances.

Meanwhile, with Cheggars almost a firm booking for the fictitious party of the year, we decided to see if once-famous pop duo Black Lace could perform their mega-hit.

Yes, for the paltry, or poultry, sum of pounds 2000, they would sing Agadoo at our chicken party.

Posh party planner Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon's half brother, has persuaded celebrities to attend private events for a fee.

Ever discreet, he won't name names but said: "It makes any otherwise boring party full of boring people much more interesting."

PR guru Max Clifford agreed: "This is happening more and more frequently.

"In this celebrity-obsessed society, if you have the money and can pay them to turn up at your private party, then everyone there will be impressed and will talk about it for weeks.

"I'll do it

Cheggers was just born to play a chicken and he's also a natural when it comes to personal appearances - at pounds 7500 a time


Sang her old hits for a wealthy couple at a children's party

FEE: pounds 10,000



Would turn up at a party but draws the line at a chicken suit

FEE: pounds 18,000


Her agent didn't rule anything out - even ruffled feathers

FEE: At her discretion


Makes most of her income now from personal appearances

FEE: pounds 15,000
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Hughes, Lorna
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 2, 2000
Previous Article:Cons get tips from TV crime.
Next Article:Tricks of the trade.

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