6 August 2007
Mr. Men & Little Miss Celebrity Podcasts to Raise Money for Variety Club
– Six of UK’s favourite celebrities read seven of their favourite stories
– £1.50 per story with 100% of donation going to Variety Club
London, 06 August 2007:
It’s the hottest new celebrity trend: Joanna Lumley loves Sunshine, Tony Robinson is all into Tickles and Neil Fox is all about Magic. It’s not a new therapy, however; it’s the much loved Mr Men and Little Miss stories told by celebrities for you to download as podcasts in a fund-raising scheme for children’s charity Variety Club.
From today everyone can download readings from six of the UK’s best-loved celebrities who’ve come together to record their favourite Mr. Men and Little Miss stories. The line up is:
Mr. Tickle – read by Blackadder and Time Team’s Tony Robinson
Little Miss Sunshine – read by the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley
Mr Strong – read by GMTV’s Ben Shephard
Little Miss Splendid – read by Wendy Richard OBE
Mr. Small – read by DJ and Presenter Neil Fox
Little Miss Magic – of course, read by Magic 105.4’s Neil Fox
Mr. Daydream – read by Life on Mars’ John Simm
All seven Mr. Men and Little Miss stories will be available to download from the Variety Club website,www.varietyclub.org.uk/mrmen. Each podcast costs £1.50 to download or £5.00 for all seven, with 100% of the donation going to Variety Club to help underprivileged children through the charity’s ongoing campaigns.
Life long Variety Club supporter Wendy Richard OBE said at her podcast recording:
“I was delighted to be asked to read a Little Miss story for the celebrity podcast. It is a great way to raise money for the invaluable work Variety Club does to help underprivileged children have a better quality of life.”
DJ and presenter Neil Fox from Magic 105.4 said at his recording:
“I am so excited to be able to help out this wonderful charity and in such a fun way! A bedtime story with my children is always my favourite part of the day and Scarlet and Jack picked out Mr. Small and Little Miss Magic for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as the Fox family does.”
This is the first time that Variety Club has produced a podcast as a fundraising activity. Users can visit the Variety Club website, download their favourite celebrity Mr. Men or Little Miss story in their chosen format, by making a small donation, and then listen to and enjoy the stories again and again on their computer or mp3 player.
Commenting on the project, Russ Kane, Variety Club Chief Barker said:
“We are very excited to extend our partnership with the Mr. Men and Little Miss in this innovative project. We believe it’s the first time a charity has ever used podcasts as a fundraising mechanic. The internet is an incredible source of information and communication, and these podcasts are a great new way to help raise money for underprivileged children through a multimedia experience you can share with your family at home – time and time again.”
John Collins, Senior Marketing Manager for Chorion, the licensing company for Mr. Men & Little Miss property added:
“The Mr. Men & Little Miss books are where the magic began for the iconic characters and it seems only right to celebrate them with a range of celebrity podcasts to bring the fun and laughter of Mr. Men & Little Miss to a new generation of fans. We hope everyone enjoys these special podcasts – I know the celebrities had great fun bringing the characters to life.”
Variety Club has worked with Mr. Men and Little Miss since July 2006 to support its Gold Heart Appeal and for this August and September in WH Smith and Thomas Cook shops across the UK, Gold Hearts are on sale with a Mr. Men & Little Miss soft toy for £3.00.
Mr. Men & Little Miss Celebrity podcasts are available now by visiting www.varietyclub.org.uk/mrmen. One story is £.1.50 or £5.00 for the set.
About Variety Club:
Variety Club, formed in 1949, has raised more than £170 million and made a real difference to children’s lives throughout the UK:
· Mr. Men & Little Miss Gold Hearts come with a soft toy and are available to buy for £3 from branches of WH Smiths throughout August and September (2007)
· Raising £3 million to build and improve the Variety Club Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital in London
· Donating £250,000 for St George’s Hospital in Tooting to help open a new intensive care ward.
· Raising funds for more than 4,000 Sunshine Coaches
· 3,000 Easy Riders electric wheelchairs
· Every Christmas the Variety Club gives over 3,000 toys to children who would otherwise have no present of any kind.
· The Variety Club entertains more than 100,000 youngsters each year at a wide range of exciting venues.
About Mr. Men & Little Miss
· Book sales: 100+ million books sold in over 30 countries. Five million copies are sold worldwide annually.
· Licensees: Over 80 worldwide licensees.
· Sales: Roger Hargreaves was the second biggest selling children’s author in the UK in 2006 (Nielsen BookScan Data 2006)
· Awareness: Mr. Men has achieved 71% of total brand awareness in the UK, placing it 3rd out of 33 top children’s brands (Source: Omnimas Tracking. 26th – 31st May 2006)