Chorley man joining forces with celebrities and football legends for online charity comedy show

Celebrities, football legends and local performers are uniting online to entertain the masses for a good cause.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 9:14 pm
Rock and roll band The Firebirds from Bristol and Lockdown Laughs organiser Tony Cartwright (middle).

Chorley man Tony Cartwright is the brains behind the star-studded comedy showcase Lockdown Laughs, which will be screened on Facebook on Friday, May 1 at 9pm.

His goal is to help raise money for St Catherine’s and East Lancashire Hospices, as well as the Len Johnrose Trust.

Tony, who has had to cancel a charity football match planned for May, said: “The hospices are struggling because they can’t host any fundraising events.

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“They have nothing coming in. They’ve been forgotten about.

“It’d be really sad if some of these places had to disappear.”

And, he added: “They’re struggling to get PPE, so we need to raise awareness.

“They’re struggling for everything. Patients’ families can’t go in - it’s a very hard place to be right now.

Comedian Ola Labib will have audiences in stitches.

“I can’t go see my mum as she’s got COPD.

“So, I just want to do something to help. When we come out of this pandemic, we’ll still need back line support.”

Radio Lancashire DJ Steve Royle will delight with his juggling skills, former footballers will give talks while doing keepy-uppys while comedians like Ash Preston, Dave Bowden, Ola Labib and Nick Miller from Fungus and the Bogeyman will have bellies aching.

TV stars will include Billy Byer from DIY SOS fame while The Firebirds will rock computer screens and comedian Graeme Rayner will host and put the video together.

“All these people are behind us as we try to raise some money,” Tony added.

“I just want to do something to help and let people have a laugh.

“Comedy is very important right now. We need something that’s going to help brighten up people’s lives. It’s all depressing stuff right now.

“The show is not just about getting donations but helping to boost people’s well-being. We all need a good giggle.”

Tony hopes Lockdown Laughs will offer something for older people who might be lonely or anyone finding social media a difficult place to navigate.

“Social media can be a very negative place - some of the comments people write can be unbelievable. Many of the messages coming across have negative vibes,” he said.

“We want to help make things more positive for vulnerable people. I know some people must be struggling and by themselves.”

He hopes his starry crew will give the showcase an X-factor edge and help encourage people to come together.

Tony added: “Let’s try to get to a point where big celebrities who’ve done well in life want to give something back.”

Donations are welcome - pay as you feel.

Please see the video for details about how to make a donation.