Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Nose Day

It's Red Nose Day in the UK today. The show is rocking on the BBC with comedy teams, finales of shows and visions of horror in African slums.

Considering how much money has already been pumped into Africa and numerous programmes to end sanitary issues in the slums without much effect, one can't help but wonder how much of the money raised will find its way into effective improvements and how much will slip away into pockets. Considering what luxury those African leaders live in, one can't help but think that perhaps some of the money spent on fleets of posh cars, mansions etc. could have been spent on improving conditions for the rest.

But anyway, last night I was watching the Red Nose Apprentice with eight celebrities trying to raise as much money as possible through putting on a fun fair. The teams:

The Boys

Alasdair Campbell
Piers Morgan
Ross Kemp
Rupert Everett
Danny Baker

The Girls

Cheryl Cole
Jo Brand
Maureen Lipman
Trinny Woodall
Karren Brady

Quite a selection. As it turned out, Rupert couldn't hack being in front of a camera without a script and flaked out. He was replaced by Tim Campbell, the first Apprentice winner.

As you may know, I'm involved in raising money for charity through an association Promo'Arts, so I was very interested to see how these guys went about it. To start with, they had nifty mobile phones which they used to good effect, calling pals to buy tickets at upwards of £100. Trinny had the best pal. She offered to buy the ticket for £150,000! As Cheryl Cole (a WAG and singer in 'Girls Aloud') noted, you can buy a house for that! She and Maureen were visibly stunned.

It was to be an evening for the rich and famous to come along, have a laugh, and empty their chequebooks. The men had put their heads together to offer the most creative and imaginative 'added value' including getting Tracey Emin to decorate the coconuts for the shy thus producing instant artworks which the celebs were happy to win at vast cost.

How much was raised? Over one million pounds! It just shows what you can do when you are a celebrity with a desire to help others. Bill Gates said "With great wealth comes great responsibility". It's not a view held by all unfortunately, but maybe events such as Red Nose Day help remind those who have acquired great financial privileges that helping others benefits everyone.

Red Nose Day

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