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Comedy star Bob Mortimer’s generous donation to Welsh charity fundraiser

20 Oct 2022 5 minute read
Bob Mortimer (Credit: BBC)

Comedy legend Bob Mortimer has helped get a Welsh charity initiative off the ground with a generous donation.

The much loved star of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing and one half of comic trailblazers Reeves and Mortimer, has helped with a fundraising campaign by Welsh podcast stars Elis James, Mike Bubbins and Steffan Garrero.

The fundraiser in association with Save a Life Cymru and the hugely successful Socially Distant Sports Bar podcast (also known as Distant Pod) aims to raise money to buy defibrillators for sports clubs in Wales.

The idea came about after Elis, Mike and Steff were recording a recent episode of Distant Pod.

“We were talking about David Ginola on the pod one week, about how he’d had his life saved on the pitch and how important CPR and having a defibrillator near sports grounds is,” said Steff.

“Mike said we should fund one for a sports club in Wales that couldn’t afford one, so that started the whole process off.”

The Distant Pod team – Steffan Garrero, Mike Bubbins, Elis James (Credit: Andy Lane)

They were then contacted by Save a Life Cymru, which was established in 2019 by Welsh Government to raise awareness of what to do if an out of hospital cardiac arrest happens, increase the number of people who are willing to give CPR a go and also increase the public’s understanding of defibrillators.

“Save a Life Cymru contacted us to give us some expert help and advice on how we can buy defibs and crucially how they can be maintained so that they are functional when they’re needed,” added Steff. “The other important point for us is that wherever we put the defib it is outside a building rather than inside – so we need to provide a secure box for it to live in as well. That way it doesn’t matter what the time of day is, it’s going to be available to the whole community.”

Mike Bubbins, Richard Herring, Elis James and Steffan Garrero at the RHLSTP recording (Credit: Richard Herring)

When the Socially Distant Sports Bar team were invited to appear at a recording Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, they were on the bill the same evening as Bob Mortimer – and that’s when fundraising efforts took a big step forward.

The comedy star had a triple heart bypass operation seven years ago after he was diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and in the interview with Herring revealed he hadn’t been well recently after being admitted to hospital while filming Gone Fishing.

“Richard had heard us talking on Distant Pod about using our fee from doing his podcast to help part fund a defibrillator and while we were on stage he told us he loved the idea and would double our fee,” said Steff. “Then Bob Mortimer got in touch the next day to say that he was donating his fee to us so that we could put even more toward defibs.”

For Steff it was a huge thrill to meet two of his comedy heroes – and their generous donations to the defibrillator campaign only added to his admiration.

“Bob and Rich are two of my biggest comedy heroes so just meeting them and chatting was a real pleasure. To find out that they’re both brilliant humans as well was such a great moment. Without them donating the money we’d have been waiting for another few months to get this project off the ground – now we have a meeting next week to sort it!”

For the future expect even moire fundraising efforts from the Distant Pod team, who have already shown their generosity by becoming shirt sponsors for several youth rugby and football teams around Wales.

“We’ve asked our listeners to send us sports clubs that would benefit from a defibrillator and we’ve had hundreds of replies on our socials,” said Steff. “So I think that after this first donation we might try to raise some more money via some Distant Pod merch to try to help out more clubs and communities around the country.

“It would be great if the Welsh Govt, The FAW, The WRU and Sport Wales could meet up with us and we could come up with something bigger that will help on a much wider scale.”

You can listen to Elis, Mike and Steff being interviewed by Richard Herring HERE and also Bob Mortimer’s interview HERE

Find out more about the Socially Distant Sports Bar HERE

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1 year ago

Love Bob, top man.

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