Kinks singer Ray Davies and Python Terry Jones at birthday bash for SANE charity founder

A glittering gathering took place at the home of Highgate writer and founder of SANE, Marjorie Wallace, celebrating both her birthday and the ongoing recovery of her partner from a critical illness.

On Boxing Day Dr Tom Margerison, founder of New Scientist and London Weekend Television, was rushed to the Whittington Hospital where it was feared he would not recover from septicemia.

Ms Wallace and family gathered at his bedside over many tense days and all thoughts of birthday celebrations were abandoned.

But after Dr Margerison unexpectedly rallied, Marjorie’s friends marked her birthday in champagne style on Saturday with a stellar crowd – local, literary, medical and thespian.

Among the guests at her Bisham Gardens home were Monty Python’s Terry Jones, TV presenter Esther Rantzen, actress Shirley Anne Field, operatic soprano Joan Rodgers, author and former MEP Stanley Johnson and Kinks singer Ray Davies.

Ms Wallace’s son Sacha Skarbek, a two-time Ivor Novello winner, and his daughter Cora, four, also sang his recent hit, Wrecking Ball, followed by a singing and dancing act from Royal Free liver consultant Dr James Dooley, who performed Italian love songs.

“There were some dark days over Christmas and New Year with my partner’s critical illness,” said Ms Wallace.

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“In the past he’s always arranged very charming parties for me, so even though he was in hospital we decided to go ahead. I was extremely moved.

“We toasted Tom and he would have been proud.

“It was absolutely great to come home and find candles and flowers and open champagne with so many wonderful friends.”

Dr Margerison, who has advanced Parkinson’s Disease, continues to recover in hospital.