The BMF has confirmed that a record sum of £71,531 was raised for charity during the Gala Dinner that concluded its All-Industry Conference in Budapest last weekend.

The total was even higher than the estimate given on the night. The money will be divided equally between Variety, the Children’s Charity, the charity of the Crystal Clear Group, and the Teenage Cancer Trust, the BMF’s charity of the year.

Conference delegates showed their generosity in many different ways throughout the evening. The highlight was a special auction where the star lot, a Fiat Abarth 595 Tourismo donated by the Crystal Clear Group, sold for £19,000.

Comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw, who has strong links with Variety, joined Conference host, Gethin Jones on stage to encourage every member of the audience to get involved. A silent auction of lots ranging from holidays to sporting memorabilia raised well over £30,000 and, after Paddy Ashdown’s speech earlier in the day, there was no surprise when someone bid £3,000 to lunch with him.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “We hoped to raise an exceptional sum for two very deserving charities and I am unbelievably proud of the industry for achieving even more than we ever imagined. I’m told that this is the highest sum our industry has raised for charity in a single night and I would like to thank everyone who contributed. I must also thank Martin Randall and the Crystal Clear Group whose donation of a limited edition car caught everyone’s imagination and made such a significant contribution to the evening’s overall fundraising.”

Martin Randall. Crystal Clear Group Chairman and Variety patron, said: “I can only echo John’s appreciation of our colleagues in the industry. Their amazing generosity has raised a huge amount of money and these valuable funds will help both charities continue to make a difference to the lives of the people they support.”

The BMF All-Industry Conference was attended by 430 people.