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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 08:45 GMT
Stars strip for charity calendar
Derek Brockway (picture from Friends of Autism Cymru)

Sports stars Robert Earnshaw and Jonathan Davies, as well as weatherman Derek Brockway, have stripped off for charity as part of a new calendar.

The celebrities are raising money for Autism Cymru, Wales' national charity for autism.

The 2005 calendar, together with an exhibition, is being launched in Cardiff on Wednesday.

TV presenters Amanda Protheroe Thomas, Iolo Williams, Rhodri Ogwen and former rugby star Ray Gravell also took part.

And Plaid politician Rhodri Glyn Thomas, DJ Zoe Hanson and Miss Wales Amy Guy are among those who have all got in on the act too.

Autism Cymru was set up in 2001 to help people with autism, which is a developmental disability affecting social skills.

Amanda Protheroe-Thomas (picture from Friends of Autism Cymru)
TV star Amanda Protheroe-Thomas agreed to help raise funds

Autistic spectrum disorders are estimated to affect around 18,000 children and adults in Wales.

Derek Brockway, more often spotted in front of a weather map, said he was always happy to support a charity.

"I was a bit hesitant at first because I have never stripped off in front of the camera before," he said.

"I was told Ray Gravell and Jonathan Davies had done it, so I thought, if they can do it, so can I.

"I actually found it quite liberating, but I obviously won't be making a habit of it."

Eirlys Eckley, from Friends of Autism Cymru, said the charity had been "completely overwhelmed at the generosity and support from celebrities and sponsors alike".

Autism Cymru Chief Executive Hugh Morgan said the calendar was "typical of Welsh creativity".

He added: "The money raised will make a real difference to service for those with autism in Wales.

"It should play a vital role in keeping autism firmly fixed in the public's gaze."

The calendar is being launched at the Capsule Gallery, Cardiff, on Wednesday, where the exhibition will run until 27 November.


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