The charitable side of ... Leo Sayer

Indira Das-Gupta

His chart-topping single is no one-man band, but it proves that the show must go on for the charitably inclined perm.

Until last week some might have argued that Leo Sayer was almost in need of alms himself. He reportedly faced bankruptcy and felt so neglected by the British music industry that he had emigrated to Australia.

But seven days is a long time in music, and now the man once known as 'the prince of perms' has topped the charts for the first time in 29 years with a remix of Thunder in My Heart, produced by DJ Meck.

Even when his future looked far less rosy, Sayer managed to put his own woes behind him to support Anti-Slavery International. He attended the charity's annual ball every year from when he was first invited in 1999 until his move down under last year.

David Ould, director of Anti-Slavery International, says: "We always have an auction at the ball and Leo would always get on someone's table and sing a song in exchange for a donation. He would always raise between £500 and £1,000."

Sayer eventually became a patron of the ball in 2003, but Ould refuses to comment on whether he has made any personal donations to the charity.

On Sayer's website there is also a link to Amnesty International accompanied by the immortal words: "So many wrongs are righted by this organisation. They need our support."

But the singer's charitable activities are not confined to the UK. Last week he opened a centre in Sydney for children with behavioural and learning difficulties. At the opening he confessed that his financial problems started because his dyslexia meant he couldn't count his royalties.

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