THIS year’s Blue Day now has ringing endorsement from stars of the stage.
Television funnyman Joe Pasquale has backed the annual charity fundraiser, along with Jesus of Nazareth star Robert Powell, Portsmouth-born Emma Barton – formerly Honey in EastEnders – and Tom Butcher, who has appeared in The Bill and Doctors.
The foursome are in the classic British comedy Doctor in the House, which last night started a week-long stint at the Kings Theatre in Albert Road.
They will don Pompey shirts and shake collection buckets during the interval of Friday’s show to raise money for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.
Now in its fourth year, the News-organised Blue Day aims to raise as much money as possible for the appeal, which was set up after avid Pompey fan Tom Prince died from teenage bone cancer osteosarcoma in 2004.
His family – mum Adele, dad Clinton and sister Emma – hope to raise £1m.
Joe Pasquale, a patron of 19 charities, stand-up comedian and winner of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2004, said: ‘It’s important all charities are catered for in this time of recession.
‘All charities need us – it’s a hard time and charities are the ones that suffer most of all. Give us much as you can as often as you can.’
Sandra Smith, of the Kings Theatre, said she was ‘thrilled’ the stars have given their approval to Blue Day.
She said: ‘I’m thrilled to bits because what they are doing is fantastic. We try to do what we can and we feel it is close to our hearts after young Chloe Challoner died after suffering from the same cancer earlier this year.’
Chloe, 10, of Leigh Park, died earlier this year. Stars if Cinderella, the Kings’ pantomime, performed at a gala night for her.
Tom’s sister Emma added: ‘It’s fantastic that the appeal has celebrity endorsement.
‘It’s great that they are going to be shaking buckets in front of the audience and hopefully they will be in a generous mood after watching a great show.
‘The Kings Theatre has been very supportive and it’s great to see they are on board and fundraising at the show.’
· To find out more about Blue Day and to download a poster check out our Blue Day section