A Midland children’s hospice is £30,000 richer thanks to comedian Lee Mack’s triumph in a celebrity version of a TV quiz show.
The comedian played in the Christmas special of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? where he was partnered by Des O’Connor. He was playing for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent, after hearing about five-year-old Ruby Owen, who is being cared for at its Treetops Hospice, after her cancer returned.
Together, Lee and Des scooped £150,000 with a quarter, £37,500, donated to each of their respective charities. The Would I Lie To You? panellist told the hospice: "It’s clear you’re all doing a wonderful job, so it was nice to help out in a small way, I’m just glad Des O’Connor is brainier than me."
In the easy first rounds on the multiple choice quiz, the duo correctly answered that Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday in 2012, that kissing traditionally occurs under mistletoe, and that Bradley Wiggins was crowned BBC Sports Personality Of The Year for 2012.
As the questions got harder they answered that the Pope uses the Twitter account @pontifex, and that the onion is not related to the Brussels sprout. They used their 50/50 lifeline to get rid of two of the possible four answers on the £50,000 question of ‘What does the statue of Lady Justice on top of the Old Bailey hold in her right hand?’ then correctly chose sword.
They used their phone a friend to help answer the question: ‘The Milky Way is classified as what type of galaxy’ before plumping for spiral and discarding irregular, elliptical, and pyramidal,
To get to £150,000 Lee and Des correctly answered that in the village of Meriden, an ancient stone monument is thought to mark the centre of England. They declined to answer the £250,000 question about camels for fear of getting it wrong and losing money.
The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice provides specialist care and support services to children with shortened life expectancy and their families.
Ruby’s family, who are fundraising for the hospice, said: "We don’t know where we would be without the love, comfort and support of the hospice. The care that Ruby is receiving here is amazing. Words can’t describe it."
Ruby was first diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in 2009, but travelled to America for proton therapy. Her cancer has since returned and her family say that nothing can be done for her this time. Donations can be made in her name to support the hospice at www.justgiving.com/rubymayowen.