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VIP TREATMENT FOR AUCTION WINNER

ONE visitor to this weekend's Royal International Air Tattoo certainly had a day to remember.

Bob Gentry, a technical media consultant from Fareham in Hampshire, enjoyed a day of VIP treatment after his wife Tilly Casson won the special Air Tattoo prize in Terry Wogan's Children in Need auction on BBC Radio 2 last November.

"Once I heard what the prize was about, I went on the internet to find out more about it," said Tilly. "The auction only had 15 minutes left, I wanted Bob to have it so much, and, of course, it is a great cause."

It didn't take long for Bob to discover that Tilly had bid a four-figure sum as he was listening to the Radio 2 show at the time. He said: "I go to airshows each year, but I haven't been to an Air Tattoo for 15 years. When I heard the radio show and listened to the prize, I thought that sounded great and then I realised Tilly had got the winning bid."

As well VIP treatment on both days of the show, Bob had been due to arrive in style in a veteran de Havilland Vampire jet flown by Coventry-based Classic Flight. Unfortunately the poor weather in Coventry meant that the flight to Fairford had to be cancelled.

Once Bob arrived at Fairford, however, the couple were treated a no-stone-unturned tour of the airshow, visiting Air Traffic Control and enjoying lunch in the Patron's Pavilion in the company of other special guests of the show.

"Despite the flight not happening, I had a fantastic day with Classic Aviation and the Air Tattoo has been fantastic," Bob said, adding that he was particularly impressed by the spectacle of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor appearing at the show this year.

The Air Tattoo has been supporting Children in Need and Terry's auction since 2006, helping to raise more than £100,000.

CAPTION: Bob and Tilly, with Pudsey, and RAF crewmen from the Hawk T-2.

July 7, 2012

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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