OVER £200,000 has been raised for Alzheimer’s Research UK thanks to Stephen Fry and lockdown phenomenon The Virtual Pub Quiz.
On Thursday (14) the comic made a guest-host appearance on the popular online quiz, which attracted a peak audience of 180,000 households.
The former QI host recorded two rounds for the quiz in support of the UK’s leading dementia research charity, which became The Virtual Pub Quiz’s first charity partner since quizmaster Jay Flynn and his community raised over £165,000 for NHS Charities Together.
Quizzers were encouraged to donate to the charity after it announced a potential drop in support for its work by as much as 45% due to the COVID-19 crisis. And by the next day, over £150,000 had been donated by those taking part.
As a significant boost to the overall total, wealth management and employee benefits company Mattioli Woods announced during the quiz interval that they would increase their match-funding pledge from £15,000 to £50,000 because of the widespread support.
Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Thursday night’s quiz exceeded all expectations and provided some welcome relief from this difficult time we’re all facing. Not only have we raised an incredible amount at a time when critical progress in dementia research is at stake, but the community started a valuable conversation around dementia by sharing their own stories and experiences. It really was a special night for all involved.
“A massive thank you to everyone who helped make last night possible, including the wonderful Stephen Fry for co-hosting, our friends at Mattioli Woods for match-funding £50,000 of donations, Jay for giving us the platform to reach so many people and his community for being so generous. This support will enable our scientists to continue their vitally important search for life-changing treatments.”
Stephen Fry said: “It was an absolute honour for me to co-host Thursday night’s quiz in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK. I almost fell off my chair when I heard how much had been raised for this wonderful charity. Thank you to everyone who supported and gave so generously. It’s going to make such a difference.”
The Virtual Pub Quiz quizmaster, Jay Flynn, said: “When I started The Virtual Pub Quiz, I simply could not have imagined how it would evolve into what it is now. I couldn’t be prouder of the community – their generosity towards Alzheimer’s Research UK and willingness to be so open about their own experiences of dementia is so inspiring. Thank you to each and every one of you for creating a night to remember.”
Simon Gibson, Chief Investment Officer at Mattioli Woods, Alzheimer’s Research UK partners since 2019, said: “Dementia has a devastating impact, not only on the person affected, but also on their family and friends. It is heartbreaking when your own dad doesn’t recognise you.
“It’s so important to look after those with this condition now, making them as safe and happy as we can, but also to fund the pioneering research needed to find a cure. That is why we as a business support Alzheimer’s Research UK and were so happy to support Jay and this very special quiz night. I would personally like to thank everyone who took part and also all of those who have continued to donate, taking the total over £200,000 – not bad for a pub quiz, virtual or not!”
To boost funds further, Alzheimer’s Research UK will be doing a series of Friday night takeovers on Jay’s channel for three weeks from Friday, May 22. Each night will be hosted by one of the charity’s celebrity supporters, the names of which will be revealed shortly. Quizzes start from 8.15pm.
To watch Thursday night’s quiz back, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=
For anyone wanting to hold their own virtual quiz to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, visit www.themightyquiz.org