HAVING previously run around Piccadilly Circus naked in aid of the charity, comedian Billy Connolly has said he is happy to be raising funds for Comic Relief again this year – this time without moving a muscle.
The comedian is a long-term supporter of the charity and is one of several stars who have been selected this year to be turned into special “donation statues” that will appear across the UK from today.
Shoppers at Intu Braehead shopping centre outside Glasgow will be able to donate £1 by tapping their bank card against Connolly’s pocket.
He said: “I’ve run around Piccadilly Circus naked and visited projects in Africa but they’ve never asked me to stand still and be quiet before. I’ve been supporting Comic Relief for many years and to have a statue made of me is truly an honour.” The statues are the invention of Comic Relief co-founder, film director Richard Curtis and the funds will be spent helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa.
Curtis said: “Since the beginning of Comic Relief I’ve asked talented and generous comedians to do strange things to raise money and this might be the oddest request yet. Huge thanks to all ten who agreed to let us turn them into a statue.
“As well as perfect selfie opportunities, just a simple tap on the pocket with a contactless card will give a £1 donation to help incredibly vulnerable people in the UK and across Africa.
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“We’ve come a long way in fundraising since 1988.”
Other comedians appearing as statues include Steve Coogan as his character Alan Partridge at Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich, and Sir David Jason as Only Fools and Horses’ Del Boy at the Cabot Circus centre in Bristol.
Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean will appear at Intu Eldon Square in Newcastle, while statues of both Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as Absolutely Fabulous’ Edina and Patsy can be found at Westfield London shopping centre. David Walliams’ statue will appear at Westfield Stratford City in London, while Dawn French will appear at Intu Milton Keynes.
Fellow Comic Relief co-founder Lenny Henry’s image will appear at Merry Hill, Birmingham; John Bishop will be at Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington, and Miranda Hart’s statue will appear at Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter. Red Nose Day takes place on Friday, 13 March.