HE is the pop star and actor who stole the nation’s hearts on Pop Idol.

But there is one heart that is precious to Gareth Gates – his inspirational friend, single mum Cheryl Davies from Christchurch who has bravely battled cancer and is now spreading hope to others.

That is why the star is taking time out from his busy schedule to take to the stage at Cheryl’s Bournemouth fundraising ball Diamond and Ice, the flagship event for Macmillan Caring Locally, which will also raise money for those diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Gareth said: “I’ve known Cheryl for many years now. Cheryl continues to amaze me. Her drive and ambition through difficult times is hugely inspiring and no matter what she’s going through she always has this incredible smile on her face – it’s infectious!

“You just want to be around her – as she brightens up anyone’s day.”

As previously reported, the renowned event planner underwent cancer treatment which made her radioactive and unable to see her daughter.

However despite facing her darkest moments following surgery and weeks in isolation, she named her scar her ‘second smile.’ From that moment Cheryl was determined to embark on a selfless mission ‘to pay it forward’ by spreading happiness to others battling cancer through various charity projects and random acts of kindness.

Among those is raising vital funds for a state-of-the-art rebuild of the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital.

Gareth said: “When Cheryl mentioned the Second Smile Project, I just had to get involved. We’ve worked together on numerous events projects and her attention to detail is always on point. But it’s Cheryl’s passion to give back which is astounding – and I’m thrilled to be part of such a worthy cause.”

The 33-year-old said his friend Cheryl ‘certainly knows how to throw a party’ and his job for the night is to provide guests some ‘good fun entertainment!’

“I’ll be performing with my band and we play a range of party songs that guarantee getting people on the dance floor and having a good time! After belting out some ‘crowd pleasers’ I’ll then be mingling with guests and joining the party!

“The oncology and endocrinology team of surgeons, consultants and nurses at Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital successfully treated my friend and has given her life back and Cheryl is passionate about supporting not only the hospital to help thyroid cancer patients but also the Macmillan Unit who help so many people and I will do anything I can to raise money and awareness to keep units and projects like this going.

“The world is a better place for having Cheryl in it!”

Cheryl added: “A huge part of the ball for me was to have friends involved who have been with me on my cancer journey and Gareth was the obvious choice for me when it came to the entertainment.

“I’m a very lucky girl to have such a good friend in Gareth and I can’t wait to welcome him to the event in November. Everyone who has brought tickets are in for a fabulous evening.”

Limited tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available for the ball which takes place on November 24 at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth.

For more information go to diamondandice.co.uk