Sunday, 20 November 2011

Abused and Ill kids unite to put an end to ‘Children in Need’

A spokesman for a coalition of children’s charities has released a statement earlier today asking, on behalf of its members, for the end of fundraising appeal Children in Need. Organizer Phillip Jeffries told reporters today; “For too long we have endured this annual festival of cruelty. We need to put an end to it. If that requires a termination of donations to children’s charities then that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.”

The annual fundraising telethon is considered both a venerable television tradition and one of the most prominent fundraising opportunities for a host of British charities but is also, according to Jeffries, “an entertainment black hole from which no laughter can escape. It has gone on long enough, and if thousands of children have to die or remain in abusive households to keep the BBC newsreaders from dressing up like ladies and singing Lady Gaga songs all night, then guess what? Those children will die martyrs.”

Never Again.

According to the charity coalition it was the Eastenders cast’s medley of Queen hits that prompted the statement. The musical number, which saw Adam Woodyatt aping Freddie Mercury in the video for ‘I want to break free’ complete with ‘comedy’ transvestite garb was, in Jeffries words “the last straw”. “It was at that moment that I realized that I had sat in the sidelines doing nothing for too long. To see something like that and to realize that thousands, maybe millions of people across the land were suffering and in pain, watching the same thing, it was a wake up call. This has to end.”

Despite the fact that the charity event regularly raises record breaking amounts of money for causes such as children’s hospices, cancer research and aid for victims of domestic violence many at-risk children have added their voices to the call for the ban on the days-long event. Cancer sufferer Tillie Piddleton, 13, says “I may be riddled with cancer but I’m willing to take one for the team if it stops Jon Snow dressing up like a cat and rapping with Martin Clunes. I’d rather see my white blood cell count drop some more than watch this hodge podge of reheated wacky crap. It just feels like adding insult to injury.”

The 2011 Children in Need, which Jeffries hopes will be the last has featured allegedly offensive sketches such as the cast of Hollyoaks recreating scenes from The Pianist, Gok Wan dressing up dogs,The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar manning a Tesco’s checkout and pop sensations The Saturdays being forced to eat their own collective weight in offal. “This cannot be allowed” claims Jeffries, “And it’s not like you can avoid it, it’s right there, all night, covering the BBC schedule like a big, awkward tarp so you end up watching it anyway then feeling bad every ten minutes when they show a short film about some little girl with ME who’s trapped down a well or something. No, we have to fight against this abomination.”

BBC bosses and Children in Need organizers have not responded to the group so far, but the vocal group’s protest is gaining momentum and supporters, with three million names attached to their petition; a list that includes several famous entertainers and journalists who claim to be sick of having to put on a daft costume and jig about like a prick every year just to prove that they don’t want to watch young people die.

Felix Prenderghast
Senior Features Correspondent

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