Gwyneth Paltrow ignored the icy weather conditions in New York last night to host a diamond charity auction.

The Oscar-winning actress explained that she wanted to attend the auction for Hope Lodge, which provides free housing for adults with cancer, as "it's a really good cause".

Her father, Bruce, died in 2002 from throat cancer.

"My life has been affected by cancer in so many different ways," she told USA Today.

"When my father had cancer, he found it so isolating. It's very difficult to empathise with it if you haven't gone through it."

Paltrow also admitted feeling under the weather but was determined to play host at it had "been planned for a long timeI couldn't take a sick day".

Fans of the actress, who has taken some time out from her job to spend time with her husband, the Coldplay singer Chris Martin, and their two children, will No Doubt be happy to hear that she will soon be back on the big screen.

She is appearing in The Good Night and is set to star in Iron Man; work which she claims makes her "more interesting as a wife and mother".

16/02/2007 16:20:40