Charity fears over sitcom

'It's only pretend,' viewers told

Charities are worried that new sitcom about an unscrupulous fundraiser will affect their revenues.

The BBC will stress that the good cause featured in Mr Charity is fiction every time the show goes out because organisations including Help the Aged and Help the Hospices are concerned that the show will reflect badly on their work and volunteers.

But star Stephen Tonkinson has been playing down the issue.

He admits the sitcom features "pretty sick humour at times", but added: "It's not meant to upset anyone.

"But Blackadder was always incredibly sick and people loved it."

He says his character, Graham Templeton, "will do anything distatesful and completely uncharitable to be a success".

" No matter how sick his ideas are, the revenue does come in, whether it be through emotional guilt or scaremongering.

"But he's the last person you need running a charity shop, like Basil Fawlty was the last person you needed running a hotel."

Mr Charity starts on BBC2 on November 12, as part of a new Monday-night comedy line-up that also includes Steve Coogan's new show Dr Terrible's House of Horrible.

Published: 28 Oct 2001

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