Les Dennis and Judith Chalmers launch new Nell Gwynn IPA fundraising beer at Lauderdale House

Comedian Les Dennis and TV presenter Judith Chalmers helped to launch a specially brewed beer as part of a campaign to save Highgate’s Lauderdale House yesterday.

The first few pints of the new citrus infused Nell Gwynn beer - named after the former orange-seller and mistress of King Charles II, who lived at Lauderdale in the mid-1600s - were served at the Grade-II listed arts and education centre in Waterlow Park.

Mr Dennis made a speech before guests sampled the new orange IPA.

A donation of 10p from every pint sold at The Bull pub, which brewed the beer, will go towards the £1.8million Lauderdale Transformed project to restore parts the historic house and create a new glass-fronted workshop with views across the park.

Director at Lauderdale House, Katherine Ives, said: “It was a lovely evening and, as well as having fun, we were able to tell people about Lauderdale Transformed.

“Les Dennis was charming and made a speech.

“We worked out we’d need to sell 5.5million pints of the beer to hit our remaining target of £550,000 - which the Bull said they are happy to brew!”

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About 60 people attended the event, including former Wish You Were Here? TV presenter Judith Chalmers, whose husband is friends with one of the staff members at the centre.