Giving away your possessions to a charity? Well, that’s life for Esther

�With countless years of tireless charity work behind her, Esther Rantzen rarely misses a chance to give something back.

So, when the celebrated broadcaster decided to downsize from her five-storey Hampstead home to a smaller flat nearby, she had little hesitation in donating her surplus goods to a good cause.

On the day of her move last Tuesday, she invited the British Heart Foundation’s free collection service to pick up a treasure trove of goods.

Her donations included sofas, chairs, tables, beds, a food blender, jewellery, a washing machine and a tumble dryer.

Some of the more unusual donations included her son’s bass guitar, a cocktail bar, hats she had worn to Ascot, a family portrait and a champagne bucket worth �1,000.

She recruited BHF to help with the clear-out because her late husband Desmond Wilcox died from heart disease in 2000 and was a supporter of the charity.

eBay auction

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The TV star, who is now 70, said: “I’ve downsized and obviously I had to lose a lot of things – some of which I was fond of and some which I was frankly glad to see the back of. What’s fantastic about the British Heart Foundation is that they will take electrical goods and furniture, as well as clothes and books. The British Heart Foundation is a charity Desmond was very keen on while he was alive and I am very keen on.”

The That’s Life presenter’s belongings, estimated to be worth about �2,500, will go on sale at BHF furniture and electric stores.

A selection of the more expensive items will also be auctioned off on eBay.

Jilly Gray, of the British Heart Foundation, added: “It was a really generous donation.

Heart monitors

‘‘Getting a few thousand pounds means we can buy 10 monitors for heart patients. So that puts into perspective the donation Esther gave.”

BHF now has 115 furniture and electrical stores across the country.

n Donors can book a free collection online at or by calling 0844 412 5000. All profits go towards fighting heart disease.