“When Lord Ashcroft takes a shine to a girl he certainly lets the world know - as witnessed by 250 guests at a glittering dinner for the Sir Cliff Richard Foundation held at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday.

Flirtatious former Tory Party Treasurer Michael Ashcroft, who was once romantically entangled with the model Paula Hamilton, had agreed to underwrite the £70,000 cost of the dinner, on the condition that Sir Cliff secure the presence of Olivia Newton-John as guest of honour. After much pleading from her old chum Cliff, the gorgeous singer agreed to fly to London for the occasion where she was presented with a surprise Gold disc for her latest CD.

She then sat through the bidding at an auction, where one of the prizes was for the highest bidder to join Cliff and Olivia for dinner in Los Angeles.

Lord Ashcroft could barely hide his excitement as he leapt up to offer 10,000 pounds for the honour, adding that he would pay 12,500 pounds ‘If Cliff didn’t turn up’ As one guest noted ‘Ashcroft plainly has his eye on Olivia and was like the cat that got the cream. But his enthusiasm wasn’t shared by his wife Susie, who looked thunderous throughout the auction”

Note - Michael Ashcroft is a politician in the UK

The gold disc is for Olivia’s UK release of Definitive Collection greatest hits compilation