Top actor backs Bromley Times' Toy Appeal
PUBLISHED: 12:41 10 November 2010
One of the nation's best-loved television coppers has become the latest celebrity to get behind the Times' fourth annual Christmas Toy Appeal.
Graham Cole, best known to fans as PC Stamp in the long-running cop drama The Bill, backed the campaign when he turned up at the Princess Royal University Hospital, in Farnborough, on Tuesday. He appeared for 25 years of the 26-year series axed by ITV earlier this year.
The Toy Appeal, launched by pop ace Peter Andre last week, aims to brighten up the festive season for hundreds of sick children forced to spend Christmas in hospital.
Mr Cole, who lives with his family near West Wickham, said: “I have spent a lot of time with distressed children with my work for Childline, and I know exactly how much this appeal means for children in hospital.
“When you’re away from home over Christmas doctors and nurses have to work really hard to keep everyone happy, so these toys will really help them too.”
The family man worked in hospital over Christmas as an orthopaedic technician before he became an actor. He added: “Giving presents is a most fantastic thing, and imagining the kids’ faces as they open their presents is the ultimate reward.”
Over the past three years generous readers have donated thousands of gifts to be distributed among poorly youngsters on the children’s wards at the PRUH, Queen Mary’s Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth, Woolwich, and Darent Valley in Dartford.
TV presenter Melinda Messenger also supported the campaign this week, adding: “I’m extremely happy to give my backing to the Times’ Toy Appeal.
“Christmas is a time where we should help out others, and donating a toy to the children on the ward at the Princess Royal is an easy way to help.”
Mr Cole, who will play Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Stag theatre, in Sevenoaks, in December, added: “The best thing about this appeal is that everyone who is helping will get an instant reward – by helping a kid at Christmas.”