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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:54 GMT
Jeremy Beadle's biggest surprise
Jeremy Beadle
Jeremy Beadle: Charity is the rent we pay on earth
Jeremy Beadle may be best-known for his television pranks and merciless wind-ups, but he has been made an MBE for his charity work.

Beadle, 52, whose show filmed unwitting members of the public being led into complex japes, was honoured for his work with the Foundation for Children with Leukaemia, in Barnet, north London.

Beadle, who was born in Hackney, east London, tried his hand at rock music promotion after school, masterminding the 1974 Bickershaw Rock festival.

He also became the northern editor of listings magazine Time Out, but finally came into the public eye in 1981 as one of the original presenters of Game For a Laugh with Matthew Kelly, Sarah Kennedy and Henry Kelly.

Million-selling books

His hidden-camera programme, Beadle's About, later became one of ITV's top rating shows, as was You've Been Framed, featuring viewers' video howlers.

However, in the mid-1990s he was replaced as You've Been Framed host by Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley, and Beadle's About was axed because of falling ratings.

More recently, he has concentrated on corporate and fundraising events, although last year he also showed off his general knowledge by hosting Win Beadle's Money for Channel 5.

Beadle's charitable efforts have also included helping children with Poland's Syndrome, which he suffers from and which has left him with a withered right hand.

For many years he worked with American author Irving Wallace on seven million-selling reference books, including The People's Almanac and the Book of Lists.

He revealed to the press in 1998 that he had helped a friend dying of motor neurone disease to commit suicide.

The father-of-two's fortunes also took a downturn this year when a pantomime he starred in was cancelled after it sold just 13 tickets.

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See also:

29 Apr 99 | Entertainment
It's A Knockout returns
24 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Suicide campaigners back Beadle
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