A new fund to support up-and-coming comedians affected by the coronavirus crisis raises £50k

The fund has been supported by a host of famous comedians

A new fund set up to support the loss of earnings for up-and-coming comedians as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis has reached its £50,000 target on day one.

As reported on Chortle, the fund was helped by support from some big-name comics including Richard Herring who donated £10,000 to the fund and Sara Pascoe who gave £5,000.

Friday Night Dinner star Tom Rosenthal added £2,000, joking that “Herring and Pascoe have made me look like a prick here”. Other donations came from the likes of Dawn French, Adam Kay, Robert Webb, Susan Calman, Jo Caulfield, Al Murray and Lee Mack. You can donate to the fund here. 

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Speaking about the importance of the fund for comedians who have lost earnings through the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Richard Herring said: “We need to raise a lot more to keep live comedy in business through this difficult time.

“Any working TV comics please consider giving a large amount to help our industry. Everyone else, every penny counts.”

Robert Webb
Robert Webb is one of the comedians who has donated to the fund. Credit: Getty

Sarah Henley, the founder of NextUp who has organised the fund, said:  “Comedians across the UK have lost their primary source of income due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

“It’s devastating to see venues closing down and live events being cancelled. If you value live comedy as much as we do at NextUp and respect the performers who dedicate their lives to bringing us laughter – let’s band together and #hecklethevirus.”

Comics who are struggling to pay bills as their live work is cancelled or postponed can apply to the fund for help and financial assistance.

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After breaking their initial £50,000 target, the fund has been raised to £100,000 now. The current money raised stands at just over £68,000.

NextUp added: “We are completely humbled to see so many of you supporting those comedians that have lost work over this difficult time. Together we will make sure the comedy industry prevails.”

It comes as the entertainment industry rallies to help those in the creative community who are affected by the continued losses brought by the coronavirus crisis.

Yesterday (March 20), Netflix launched a $100m relief fund for creatives whose work has been affected.

With hundreds of productions having postponed filming due to ongoing attempts at eliminating the spread of the virus, many in the film and television community have found themselves out of work.

In response, Netflix has launched a fund where the majority of the money will go to those affected by the collapse of Netflix’s own productions as the crisis escalates.

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