'I hope I don't offend anyone': Solent TV presenter to complete Italian Job tour dressed as video game hero Mario

Richard Stringer, Emma Youngman compete for the 'Fastest Lap, Mario Cart'. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Richard Stringer, Emma Youngman compete for the 'Fastest Lap, Mario Cart'. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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A TV presenter from outside Havant has combined his love of Mario Cart and the Italian Job to raise money for children across Portsmouth

Richard Stringer, a presenter for That's Solent TV,  hosted a retro video game day at Westborne Club, in Westborne, on Saturday as part of a fundraising project that will see him drive around Italy dressed as the video game character.

(L-R) Seb (6yrs) and Vinnie (7yrs) McMillan. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

(L-R) Seb (6yrs) and Vinnie (7yrs) McMillan. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

The 32 year old will be taking part in the Italian Job tour, now in its 30th year, which sees teams of classic Minis and vintage cars tour destinations from the 1969 film to raise money for charity.

Richard will be taking part in the tour for the third time - but this year in a Fiat 500.

He said: ''Sadly my Mini is now more rust than car - I say I have parts of a classic Mini.

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'I love the Italian Job film, and Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo was my favourite game growing up, and Mario is Italian - so it made sense to combine the two.

'I hope I don't offend anyone.'

Visitors to the retro gaming day were charged £5 to spend the day playing classic consoles provided by Portsmouth store Game Over, with all the money going to the tours' charity, Buttle UK.

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Richard, who has always lived in Westborne, said the charity could ensure 'all the money' he raised would go to children in need 'throughout the PO post code area.'

He said: 'The charity provides grants directly to children who need help - they support children who do not even have a proper bed to sleep on.'

Amanda Stringer, a committee member at the club and Richard's mum, said the community was 'very proud' of the video game fan.

She said: 'It's great to be helping the local community - both through the grants and giving kids in the area a fun day with the video games.'

Richard will set off for Italy from Portsmouth curry house Akash on Thursday October 19.