Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria lights up Edinburgh
Hollywood star Eva Longoria lit up a glittering charity event in the Capital - as she pledged to return if it becomes an annual fixture.
The Desperate Housewives favourite was joined by stars from Outlander, Game of Thrones and King Arthur as the first ever Global Gift Gala unfolded at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Eastenders actress Patsy Palmer, and models and DJs Ashley James and Charlotte de Carle all performed DJ sets at the event.
However there was disappointment for Scottish film favourite James McAvoy’s fans when he pulled out the event at the eleventh hour - with organisers citing filming commitments.
The X-Men, Filth and Last King of Scotland star was expected to be honoured for his charitable work at the fundraising gala - the latest in a series of events staged around the world to raise funds for children, women and families who are in need.
Longoria, who flew into Edinburgh from Paris hours before gracing the red carpet, was making her first visit to Scotland.
She said: “I’m really excited about having a look around Edinburgh and meeting some of the people. I also like to go out for a run, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that.
“I’m such a history buff. I always look up countries before I visit them, so I want to check out the graveyards and the castle I’ve read about. I think I also have to have a dram of whisky. I need the full Scottish experience.”
Scottish children’s mental health charity Place2Be was one of the main beneficiaries of the event, along with Longoria’s own foundation, which aims to improve education and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for young women, and the Global Gift Foundation, which provides medical treatments and therapy for children affected by rare disease.
Longoria added: “I’d like to come back to Edinburgh again for another Global Gift Gala. Hopefully it will be a big success so we can continue having it here in future.
“The UK has always been a really big fan-base for Desperate Housewives so any time I get to go anywhere this side of the pond I get really excited.
“I would love it if it came back. I really miss that group of people - it was truly magic.
“I’d love to film something in Scotland in future.”
Among the other stars to appear on the red carpet before the gala were TV presenter Katie Piper, Outlander actor Scott Kyle, Craig McGinley, the rising Scottish star who appears in the new King Arthur blockbuster, and Laura Pradelska, whose acting credits include Game of Thrones.
Previous Global Gift Galas have already raised more than £2 million.
Nick Ede, the Edinburgh-born publicist and philanthropist who brought the event to the city, said: “I’ve been working with the Global Gift Foundation for around seven years and I just kept saying: ‘We’ve got to have this in Edinburgh.’
“The city hasn’t really seen an event like this before, hopefully be the first of many.”