Dara Ó Briain helps raise £26,000 for cancer charity after appealing for lost toy

Comedian’s attempts to locate child’s monkey lead to surge in donations for fundraising page

Comedian and presenter Dara Ó  Briain in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Comedian and presenter Dara Ó Briain in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

 

Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain has helped to raise more than £26,000 (about €28,700) for a UK cancer charity after appealing for assistance in locating his three-year-old’s lost toy.

On August 6th, the comedian tweeted that his three-year-old’s “precious” scruffy toy monkey had been lost at some point while in Terminal Five in Heathrow Airport in London. He posted an image of the monkey and asked that whoever finds it gets in touch with him or gives it to the lost and found.

One Twitter user, Ian Wilson, responded by saying he could send Ó Briain a replacement toy monkey, which belongs to his own three-year-old son, Jamie.

In exchange, Wilson asked the comedian to share a fundraising page he had set up to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK, saying his wife Morag had recently died from the disease. On the page, Wilson said he was planning to run a 10km race in York to raise funds for the charity.

Ó Briain said this was fair, and retweeted Wilson’s post to his 2.5 million followers.

In the days following the comedian’s retweet, donations to the page surged, with the total money raised reportedly rising from 107 per cent to 232 per cent of the original £7,500 target. By Saturday afternoon, the total had reached £26,099, 347 per cent of the original target.

Meanwhile, on Friday Ó Briain reported that his three-year-old’s monkey had been located, tweeting a picture of the toy outside a lost and found in Heathrow and thanking everyone who had followed the story and donated to the fundraising page.