COMEDY fans enjoyed two special surprises at this year’s Childish Things fundraising show for Helen & Douglas House.

The sixth annual comedy extravaganza for the East Oxford hospice took place at the New Theatre , in George Street, last night.

Topping the bill were Graham Norton, Rob Brydon and Rory Bremner.

But early in the show the audience were given their first shock when QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks regular Phill Jupitus walked on to the stage.

And after a storming set in the first half of the event, Rob Brydon returned to the stage in the guise of Bryn from hit BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey. He was joined unannounced by Ruth Jones as fellow character Nessa.

Speaking in the interval, Mr Brydon said: “I got involved with the charity via Jeremy Clarkson a few years ago with some events they were doing.

“I have been to visit and it’s not what you expect in terms of the atmosphere and I want to do whatever I can to help.”

Graham Norton has also been involved with Helen & Douglas House for some years, cutting the turf to mark the start of building work on Douglas House, but had never performed at Childish Things before.

He said: “I’m having a really good time. It’s a great audience and it’s all for such a good cause.”

Other acts taking to the stage included comedians Hal Cruttenden, Jason Manford, Tommy and the Weeks, and Jack Whitehall. Mr Cruttenden, who opened the show, said: “It’s such a warm audience. I thought it would be really hard, because I had to go on first but I really loved it. It’s one of the best causes I have ever done a benefit for.”

One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for singer songwriter Ally Craig, who is from Grove and goes to Douglas House.

He has performed at all the Childish Things shows.

And there were tears throughout the theatre when Oxford student acapella group Out Of the Blue gave an emotional performance of the lullaby Good Night My Angel.

The New Theatre donates the venue free of charges and gives profits from bar and ice cream sales to the charity.

A raffle was also held. It is hoped Saturday’s performance will raise at least £40,000 and bring the total raised by the six Childish Things shows to more than £200,000.

In the audience for the second time was Jon Crowley 52, from Abingdon, who said: “I absolutely loved it. I think it was brilliant.

"It’s amazing the stars they get and the people who are prepared to give their time for nothing.”