A Droitwich man has publicly retracted his belief that ‘charity begins at home – namely 47 Blamire Gardens’ after a film crew, headed by Comic Relief front man Lenny Henry, arrived on his doorstep to help raise awareness of the conditions within the semi-detached maisonette.
‘I’d always been a firm believer that you should look to your own first,’ admitted 48 year-old roofing contractor Norman Dewhurst, ‘even if that did mean keeping a few extra bob in your back pocket instead of giving it to some starving kids – but I didn’t expect anyone to take me so bloody literally. I mean, one minute I’m sat with my feet up complaining about the price of petrol, the next I’m answering the door to that coloured fella from TISWAS.’
Comedian-turned-thespian Henry, who visited the property after hearing about Dewhurst’s remarks, confessed himself shocked at the conditions he found: ‘I was literally just about to board a plane for Nairobi to report on a project to house slum orphans when I heard of this desperate need for charity.‘ Lenny’s report, which will air on tonight’s Comic Relief extravaganza, highlights the plight of Mrs. Dewhurst: ‘This once-generous woman has been forced, through no fault of her own, to live under a barrage of almost constant complaining. It isn’t until you’ve heard the phrase ‘well they’re all bloody corrupt anyway’ for the thousandth time that you realise just how terrible life must be for this family.’
Dudley-born Henry admits that his expedition to Droitwich still haunts him: ‘When I got there I couldn’t believe the state of things – the constant tutting at every disaster on the news, the ‘well they’ve only got themselves to blame’ being parroted twenty-four-seven, the desperate need for a conservatory-style extension – this guy’s family have had to put up this for years – it makes the desperate scenes I have witnessed in Africa seem meaningless.’
Upon watching the film, a recalcitrant Dewhurst has agreed to mend his ways and, in an emotional ceremony, formally donated 78 pence – ‘all the change I had on me’ – to Comic Relief. ‘Donating to charity is extremely cathartic,’ he told journalists, ‘even more so in the knowledge that this money is going to a good cause – and if it stops Chris Moyles from broadcasting his bloody show non-stop from a tub of beans in my bathroom then I’ll make it up to a quid.’