Hardeep Singh Kohli waxes lyrical about Call My Wine Bluff | ActionAid UK

Hardeep Singh Kohli

Writer, comedian and television presenter

Hardeep Singh Kohli guest blogged through a fuzzy head last week after attending ActionAid’s Call My Wine Bluff.  Read his take on our popular annual celebrity fundraising event.

Comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli at ActionAid fundraiser Call My Wine Bluff 2014
Comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli expresses himself through song at Call My Wine Bluff 2014

Generally speaking, I don’t drink much alcohol. As a Punjabi Glaswegian I’m the one individual that drags the average consumption level right down. But I’m always happy to get some practice in, whilst holding dear the words of one Oscar Wilde

“Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness.”

Why I agreed to take part

Call My Wine Bluff seemed like a really good idea when I was first asked to do it all those months ago. I’ve admired ActionAid for ages and any charity event that suggests something so sensual to a gathered gaggle of gorgeous givers ought to be supported.

Besides, what’s funnier than a slightly overweight, tipsy brown man in a turquoise turban conducting a room full of the great and good through the middle (operatic) section of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? Exactly…

Dermot Murnaghan, Fay Ripley, Josie Lawrence and me

Our host, the ever excellent Dermot Murnaghan was at the helm of the evening’s proceedings. To my right, sat my fellow panel member, the hilarious Fay Ripley. How Fay fanned the frivolity and fun with her brilliant bluffs.

The last time I worked with Ms. Ripley we ate chicken testicles. We really did. This may be the reason why this is only the second time we’ve come together in public.

To my left, thrillingly, sat a hero of mine, Josie Lawrence, the quintessential queen of all that is comic and improvised. My admiration for her was already difficult to convey, and then she sung opera between mouthfuls of a rather challenging Italian red. What a woman…

It’s hard to judge when sat up on stage but it felt like such a lovely evening in a room full of fabulous folk.

As I surveyed the room, I was struck by the beautiful bonhomie, the gregarious generosity and most importantly, the considerable quality of female footwear.

Making a difference to the lives of young women and girls

These evenings, these events, change lives. That is undeniable. But tonight, of all nights, with the match funding component from the Government and the Call My Wine Bluff Million Pound target being smashed, it felt that a few more lives, a few more young girls and women will see a real change.

Now, excuse me while I stave off the potential hangover; I must swallow a bottle of water and two Ibuprofen. In Glasgow we call it “getting your retaliation in first…”

ActionAid is committed to helping women and girls break the cycle of poverty, to fulfil their potential, to earn a decent living and to live lives without fear.