NINETEEN months ago, two days before Christmas, Pete Matthews’ son Milo was born five weeks early, weighing just 5lb 10oz.

Things took a turn for the worse when the baby suffered a collapsed lung and both mother and son were looked after for 10 days in Poole Hospital Neo Natal Unit.

After much hard work and dedication by staff at the unit, Pete, wife Claire and daughter Annie were allowed to take the new arrival back home.

Variety performer and comedy juggler Pete was so humbled by the dedication the staff at the unit showed to Milo that he felt compelled to repay them in his own way.

“They were brilliant, just fantastic, and I wanted to do something,” recalled Pete.

“I wanted to give them everything I owned.”

He decided to put his combination of variety skills and contacts in the entertainment world to good use and put on a show – The Big Big Variety Show.

On Saturday Pete stages his second major variety show at the Pier Theatre to raise money for the unit that helped save his son’s life.

Friends and professional entertainers were more than happy to take part for free.

“It’s a great show for a great cause and we really hope to fill the theatre once again this year.

“Every penny that comes through the door goes direct to the charity and the performers take part for free,” Pete said.

Speaking of last year’s show, Pete says: “The response I had was unbelievable, and the event was brilliant.

“So brilliant, in fact, that I wanted to do it again this year and make it even better.”

Pete has achieved his aim with a bigger line-up of acts taking to the stage at the Pier Theatre, Bournemouth.

The one-night event will include comedy, music, magic, singing and a 24-piece orchestra.

Pete himself is included in the line-up. He is one of the UK’s premier comedy jugglers who has travelled the world on some of the most prestigious cruise ships for the past 13 years. He was also the youngest person to perform at London’s Covent Garden and has worked with artists like Joe Pasquale and Paul O’Grady, and on TV shows including Barrymore, You Bet! and Noel’s House Party.

West End singer and actress Petrina Johnson, who has appeared in television series including BBC’s Showstoppers, is also on the bill.

Other top performers include comedian Phil Butler, a regular at Jongleurs and The Comedy Club, Elton John impersonator Jonathan Kane, magician Steven Garcia, world-class jugglers Sam Veale and Dan the Hat and impressionist Tony Rudd.

The Duchess of York has provided memorabilia to be auctioned off, and Premier League giants Spurs have also contributed a signed team shirt which will go to the highest bidder.

• The Big Big Variety Show 2 is at the Pier Theatre on Saturday, 7.30pm. For tickets call 01202 306126.