17/12/2010 – Channel 5 has commissioned Box Clever TV and Luminous Television to make a 10 part funded factual entertainment series celebrating 25 years of Starlight Children’s Foundation, the national charity that brightens the lives of sick children by granting once-in-a-lifetime wishes and providing entertainment in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK. The series goes to air in February 2011 with film favourite Bill Nighy amongst the charity ambassadors lined up to narrate the shows.
Starlight: For The Children will feature a mix of celebrities and extraordinary members of the public, including the charity’s own employees, doing all manner of good deeds in aid of the children they support. The series is being funded by Blockbuster Entertainment Ltd, one of the charity’s supporters, and will air in a week day slot in February.
Each 30 minute emotive episode will see inspirational children who are, or who have been, seriously ill having their wish of a lifetime granted. The series also features contributions from an array of celebrities volunteering their services and follows, fly-on-the-wall style, the everyday work of the Starlight team.
Celebrities lending their support to the charity for the series include Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby, David Coulthard, Buzz Aldrin, Masterchef’s John Torode and Greg Wallace, Sue Perkins, Pat Cash, Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers, Kim and Aggie and Sir Richard Branson, to name just a few.
The series was ordered by the channel’s Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, Daytime and Soaps, Greg Barnett, who says: “This is an exciting and inspiring commission for Channel 5 and comes at a time of the year when many may be motivated to help. I hope viewers will be moved by the touching insights we are given into the lives of all the people this charity supports.”
Series Producer Jessica Thomas adds: “Starlight Children’s Foundation is an amazing charity and it has been a great privilege to spend time with such inspirational and brave children. I am sure everyone watching this programme will be uplifted seeing the smiles Starlight brings to these children faces at what, for many, has been very testing times.”
Executive Producers are Jon Diamond and Steve Hodges for BoxClever TV and Cillian de Buitléar for Luminous Television.
Jon Diamond and Cillian de Buitléar said: “Jon Diamond has worked with the charity making short films for the families and discovered fantastic stories of great courage, bravery, dedication and hope. Working together with Cillian de Buitléar, they are delighted to have brought these emotional, uplifting and immensely watchable stories to a wider viewing public. This is the stuff of real reality TV.”
Blockbuster is further supporting the series with a unique marketing campaign that will roll out across all stores, which will include fundraising activities and promotion of the programme through bespoke trailers on Blockbuster TV and POS in store.
Bryn Owen, Head of Marketing at Blockbuster, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Starlight: For The Children following the work of a such a wonderful charity.”
Blockbuster is also sponsoring an online ‘wish of a lifetime’ competition which will run for the duration of the series. Wish of a lifetime prizes include, swimming with dolphins, a dream holiday, going to Disneyland and visiting Father Christmas in Lapland.
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.