Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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The Incident of

Sabrina's Speech at the Variety Club

10 April 1956

Don't confuse this event with the walkout at the Savoy on 27 September of the same year.

Sabrina was the guest of honour at the Savoy Luncheon at the Variety Club of Great Britain. She got headlines for actually speaking!

Sabrina - Variety Club Savoy Hotel 10 April 1956

The only woman guest at the Variety Club of Great Britain's luncheon at the Savoy hotel today was Sabrina, the girl who says little but 'looks a lot.'

Paul Popper Photo shows "Sabrina at the luncheon... and if you think the empty plate is a clue to Sabrina being on a diet, you're wrong. She was just missing the first course because it wasn't to her taste. Next to her is Nat Cohen , chief barker of the Variety Club, and on his right, Lord Mancroft , undersecretary of State for Home and Welsh Affairs."

According to Modern Man, Aug 56 , the event was announced: GREAT NEWS OF 1956— SABRINA SPEAKS! Then she stood up and announced to a hall full of men, "This is my maiden speech."

According to the Weekly Sporting Review : "At a Variety Club luncheon this dumb blonde astonished the listeners by making a well-worded speech and conducting herself with the dignity of a lady of high standing."

Another source reports:

SABRINA, the blonde who stayed silent on TV and let her curves make the impact on viewers, makes one of her few public speeches - at the Variety Club luncheon - at the Savoy Hotel, Strand, London, to-day (Tuesday). She was one of the guests of honour. At the luncheon, the variety Club received a further £332.10s. for its charitable work - a sum raised by the Dudley Hippodrome, Worcestershire.
April 10th 1956


And she got to have a bite to eat as well (caption dated 27 September 1956)...

The annual luncheon in honour of British women of the year tool place today at the Savoy Hotel The proceeds will be devoted to the Greater London Fund for the Blind. PHOTO SHOWS SABRINA the famous TV personality enjoying her lunch today.

Bulletin and Scots Pictorial, 11 April 1956, page 9

Sabrina Speaks at Last

SABRINA, the TV star, made her maiden speech yesterday in an unlikely partnership with Lord Mancroft, Joint Parliamentary Secretary of State.

In a black costume with plunging neckline the blonde phenomenon of show business was the only woman at a luncheon of the Variety Club of Great Britain in London, and Lord Bancroft described her "a rose among 176 thorns."

4 min Speech

Sabrina, in a 4min. speech, said ruefully: — "The only way to get publicity these days, is to get married or engaged."

She excused her short performance by explaining: — "Up to now I have been what men would call the ideal woman — seen and not heard."

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