Philippines typhoon: UK donations top £39m

Comedian and actor Stephen Merchant was among the celebrities manning the DEC phone lines this evening. Pictures: Getty/PA
Comedian and actor Stephen Merchant was among the celebrities manning the DEC phone lines this evening. Pictures: Getty/PA
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A HOST of celebrities took to the phones at BT Tower in London in support of a donation campaign for the Philippines as it was revealed that the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal has raised nearly £40 million.

Amanda Holden, Richard Madeley and Frank Skinner were among the stars taking donations from callers for the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal.

The DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal has already reached £39m in donations, helping to fund crucial aid in some of the worst-hit parts of the islands.

Four million people have been forced to leave their homes since Typhoon Haiyan struck 10 days ago, while the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Holden said the horror of Typhoon Haiyan has had a big impact on her.

“I just think like most people when you’re watching the news it’s an absolutely horrific story.

“There’s so many innocent people...it’s really affected me.

“I feel I can’t go about my normal day, so I actually was saying to my husband at the weekend I feel like I wanted to get on a lorry and go there with the Red Cross.

“And then I got an email asking if I’d come and help today and I thought ‘that’s perfect’.”

Comedian Skinner said he viewed the telethon as his “chance to go and do something”.

“Well, I think most people at the moment that I’ve spoken to feel they want to do something about what’s happened in the Philippines, and so when I got an email two or three hours ago I thought this is my chance to go and do something, so here I am.

“I think there’s a real feeling when you see that kind of stuff and you want to help,” he said.

Other stars taking calls in the very noisy room at BT Tower included models Daisy Lowe and Poppy Delevingne, comedian Stephen Merchant, presenter Adrian Chiles, and Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt.

The DEC’s Norman McKinley on the way Scots can help Haiyan’s survivors