King of the jungle Christopher Biggins urges Manchester to give to children’s charities ‘now, more than ever’

By Danielle Mendel

Former ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ winner Christopher Biggins is urging the people of Manchester to give to children’s charities now more than ever.

The Oldham-born comedy actor will be hosting a Star Ball in Manchester this October to raise funds for the Hilton in the Community Foundation and the NSPCC.

Biggins has worked with HCF – a charity which aims to benefit children’s futures by improving access to education and investing in healthcare – for 13 years and is now a patron.

“The NSPCC is a wonderful charity,” he said. “It deserves all the money it can get.”

The 64-year-old TV personality also lashed out at child sex abusers, telling MM that the ‘scum’ should be executed for their crimes.

HCF grants help disadvantaged children across Europe but the money raised from the Star Ball will fund projects solely based in the North West.

This will include support for children whose parents suffer from drug and alcohol related problems.

Biggins hopes to top the £30,000 raised at last year’s Ball.

Michael Josephson, a patron of the NSPCC and Divisional Vice President of the North West, spoke of his delight to have support from both Biggins and the Hilton.

“When you have a celebrity like Christopher Biggins it raises awareness and the profile of the event,” he said.  “It is also great that the Hilton offered to support this charity at a time when money is needed more than ever.”

Biggins has made charity work a major part of his life and has supported a number of children’s charities throughout his career including Hope and KidsCan.

Biggins said: “I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve really been very lucky – done wonderful things, met wonderful people – so it’s lovely to be able to put back into charities.”

Priced at £85 a head, the Ball is expected to be a star-studded event, which will include a reception, dinner, an elusive cabaret and an auction hosted by Biggins.

An air of mystery surrounds who will attend the event, but celebrities are expected following the success of hosting Coronation Street stars last year.

Child abuse has had high profile coverage in the news recently, with reports of child abuse cases in Rochdale and Oxford, as well as ongoing allegations related to the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Both Mr Josephson and Biggins hope that people will be more aware of the need for charities such as the NSPCC.

“The high levels of child abuse reported in the news bring to light more than ever now how vital it is to raise funds for services,” said Mr Josephson.

Times are hard for charities at the moment, given the economic climate, but it is hoped that people will dig deep for the worthy cause.

“It is difficult nowadays because obviously we are in a recession and money is tight,” said Biggins. “But in my recollection of doing things before up in Manchester, people are very generous here.”

The 64-year-old spoke passionately about why people should donate to charities such as HCF and the NSPCC, even during hard times.

“There are so many children’s charities which need help and that is why it’s wonderful that we can help in our own little way to raise a lot of money,” he said.

“I think that even though we are in a recession, most people have a good life.

“Most people have a home, most people have warmth, most people are able to go on holiday, most people are able to go out for a meal, go to the theatre and the cinema, most people have a good lifestyle

“So what about putting a small amount, almost loose change that you have in your pocket, towards a night like this where you can help so many people?

“It doesn’t take much.”

The actor was also in Manchester filming Celebrities on Ice, which he hosted. 

Pictures courtesy of Pellier Photography, with thanks.

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