Sean’s quest for 40 before 40

Ticked off: Sean Keefe navigated the Lancaster Canal on a pedalo as part of his list of 40 things to do for charity
Ticked off: Sean Keefe navigated the Lancaster Canal on a pedalo as part of his list of 40 things to do for charity
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Before turning 40, Sean Keefe had a countdown of missions he wanted to complete.

And he’s ticked off the final item on his list after appearing on one of television’s longest-running game shows.

Sean, a professional musician from Arkwright Road, Deepdale, Preston, turned the big 4-0 in June last year but decided to carry on his quest to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.

He said: “You can call it a mid-life crisis, if you like, but unlike most guys in that situation, I couldn’t afford to buy a Porsche, so I got to work thinking about all the things I’d always wanted to do, no matter how ridiculous.

“And as we’d just lost my gran and my auntie to cancer, we 
figured I’d get people to sponsor me and raise some money for Macmillan to give cancer a poke in the eye.”

In all, Sean made more than £1,000 for the charity by, among other things, learning to juggle, playing the strumstick, writing and performing a play, doing stand-up comedy show, spending a night in a haunted house and cycling from Edinburgh to Lancashire with nothing but a tent and guitar on his back before hopping into a pedalo to spend three days navigating the length of Lancaster Canal, playing a gig at 
every venue along the way.

And the final item on Sean’s list was completed last night when he appeared on Channel 4’s quiz Countdown.

Sean said: “It was a fantastic day. I was a little nervous as I got to meet one of my idols, the wonderful Helen Skelton, who I’ve such a huge crush on.

“All of the hosts and crew were really accommodating and very supportive of my exploits, to the degree that Rachel Riley and Susie Dent were arguing with the director to let me keep my cowboy hat on for filming?”

Also, a writer and poet, Sean ticked off another mission by releasing debut novel, Cliché, as a Kindle e-book which he describes as a real “labour of love” since starting 17 years ago.

Sadly, Sean didn’t manage to complete three of his tasks but promises there will be more madness in the future.

He said: “I never got to meet Stan Lee, the comic book genius, or Noddy Holder, and to date, I haven’t earned the love of a Good Woman and True, but who knows what’s waiting up the road?”

You can follow Sean’s exploits at

Sean’s definitive list

1: Learn to juggle. Properly. Old Blackfoot saying: Man Who Juggle Never Wake Up Alone.

2: Spend a night singing sea shanties on a boat.

3: Record, release and gig an album in which I don’t pay the guitar (unlikely).

4: Give up smoking for the final time.

5: Enjoy the benefits of an entire calendar month without alcohol. February seems like an ideal time to do this one (it’s the shortest month).

6: Invent an interestingly – flavoured new loaf of bread every week.

7: Go to an opera.

8: Appear on a TV quiz show.

9: Cycle the Trans Penine trail armed only with a tent.

10: Get a letter printed in the letters page of 2000ad weekly.

11: Learn to play an intriguing new instrument, and appear in the media doing so.

12: Write a short play, and perform it in public.

13: Earn the love of a good woman and true.

14: Shake the hand of Stan Lee.

15: Spend a weekend becoming more involved with the workings of the modern internal combustion engine.

16: Finally get the hell out of Dodge (I’ll tell you what this means when I do it).

17: Nip down to Ormskirk for a pint in The Railway with Andy Peet.

18: Attend a Gospel mass and testify like Reverend Toots.

19: Invent a new chord (tricky).

20: Go a Zumba workout group. 21: Offer to buy Noddy Holder a pint. Only a direct yes or no from the man himself will enable this to be crossed off the list.

22: Offer my services as a volunteer for something.

23: Deliver an apparently well – informed and lengthy opinion in the local paper on a subject I actually know sod all about.

24: Go to a bingo hall and play all night, repeatedly telling the ladies I’m sat next to that it’s my first time, just in case I actually do win big.

25: Achieve my ideal BMI and weight (in other words, get down from 13 to 11 stone).

26: Invent a new cocktail to rival the “Joan D’Arc” and champion it vehemently.

27: Appear on the radio in a non – music capacity.

28: Spend a night in a haunted house.

29: Play three gigs in three countries, in one day.

30: Appear as an extra in something.

31: Go back to Glastonbury village in a camper van, and spend a night on the Tor (used to do this a lot. Not when the festival’s on, though.

32: Beat Jimmy Whiteside at chess.

33: Perform a stand up comedy routine in front of a whole passel o’folk I don’t personally know.

34: Pedal the length of the Lancaster canal in a pedalo.

35: Enjoy a game of Wild Golf, preferably in a busy town centre.

36: Become a Published Poet

37: Invent something that’s never been invented before.

38: Perform some stand - up poetry.

39: Act as a lead role in something.

40: Write one great story and get it published.