A GALA concert to mark the 80th birthday of international elder statesman Mikhail Gorbachev and raise £5 million for children's charities will be held at London's Royal Albert Hall next March, it has been announced.
The concert and fund-raising campaign was launched by Mr Gorbachev's grand-daughters, Ksenia Gorbacheva and Anastasia Virganskaya, at a press conference at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, one of the most transformational figures of the 20th century and regarded globally as 'the man who changed the world', will turn 80 in March 2011.
Taking part in the fund-raising campaign and concert celebrations will be politicians and world leaders including former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
Also taking part will be former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and Friede Springer, of German publishing house Axel Springer, with more expected to add their support shortly.
And the first celebrities to lend their names and support to the campaign include stars such as Bono, Jose Carreras, Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley, Alan Rickman, songwriter and producer Magnus Fiennes, and his film director sister Martha Fiennes with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.
Ksenia Gorbacheva, speaking at the press conference in London, said: 'Mikhail Gorbachev is recognised around the world as one of the towering figures of 20th century.
'He truly is the man who changed the world, bringing the Cold War to an end and helping to bring democracy to Eastern Europe.
''m very proud to be able to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday with the world next year and honour his remarkable achievements.'
The concert, on March 30 2011, will be the culmination of a six month fund-raising drive to raise £5m for children's cancer charities in the UK and Russia.
It is being organised by Gorby 80 Ltd on behalf of the Gorbachev Foundation, the organisation established by the former Soviet leader to promote democracy and support humanitarian causes.
Tickets will be priced to suit every budget, beginning at £35 and rising to £100,000 for 33 exclusive boxes with dinner and specially commissioned Gorby 80 memorabilia.