THE co-founder of Comic Relief has called Emsworth ‘the greatest small town in Britain’ as it gears up for a weekend of community fundraising.
The accolade was given by comedy screenwriter Richard Curtis and his wife Emma Freud.
He founded Comic Relief along with Lenny Henry in 1985.
And from today until Sunday the partnership of Wemsfest and Emsworth Business Association, have lined up events that involve schoolchildren, businesses and community groups.
Giant 1m red noses will be put up around the town with a chance for people to buy them too.
Ms Freud said: ‘I’ve just been shown your website, and it has made my heart soar.
‘What an amazing series of events, what a brilliantly imaginative programme, what an astonishing fundraising initiative. You seem to be the greatest small town in Britain.
‘On behalf of me and Richard, we salute, thank and applaud you.’
Businesses have gone as far as to rename themselves during the festival – Fat Olives restaurant will be known as Red Olives and The Blue Bell pub will become The Blue Nose.
A silent disco will be held in the town’s main square, which will be closed off to traffic, and people will hear music through headphones and a silent comedy film will be projected as well.
And that’s not all, people will be tickled red across the whole of south-east Hampshire as it takes part in Red Nose Day.
The bow of HMS Victory, the HMS Warrior figurehead at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and The Yomper at the Royal Marines Museum, Eastney, will get the Red Nose treatment in support of Comic Relief.
Lance Corporal Cassidy, who was surprised outside HMS Victory, will be taking to the dancefloor this evening and tomorrow, as he was selected to take part in The People’s Strictly.
Elsewhere Miltoncross Academy in Portsmouth will be hosting an ‘I’m A Teacher...Get Me Out of Here’ fundraiser and Sainsbury’s stores are asking people to make their faces funny for the day.
More Comic Relief events
- Fareham Leisure Centre, Park Lane, is hosting a charity danceathon tomorrow from 11.30am to 1.30pm. The two-hour extravaganza will incorporate a mixture of dances styles and music, including traditional Latin American Zumba and the latest club beats.
Fancy dress and red noses are encouraged.
- Portsmouth Watersports Centre, Eastern Road, Portsmouth, is hosting activities. It’s £5 to enter with all money going to Comic Relief.
People can have a go at paddle boarding and climbing.
- Emsworth Square will be hosting a range of events, including people dressing up and a Red Nose foodbank outside the Co-op store.
From 10am to midday there is a Young Gigglers Market where local schoolchildren are selling their wares to raise money.