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Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Friday, 28 January 2011
Rhod Gilbert donates fee to cancer centre
by Linda Serck
BBC Berkshire reporter

Rhod Gilbert

Comedian Rhod Gilbert has donated his five-figure fee from a sell-out gig in Reading to a local cancer centre.

The Welsh funnyman made the pledge at the Hexagon theatre to apologise for rescheduling the gig from October to January in order to film a TV show.

Gilbert said he'd originally offered the audience their money back, but then later on decided it would be better to donate the cash to a local charity.

The donation is believed to be between £10,000 and £15,000.

Gilbert said he came up with the idea towards the end of the show.

I said: 'Do you work there?', and this very poignant sentence came back: 'No, they cured me'.
Rhod Gilbert

"There was a lot of banter and joking about the fact I'd rescheduled this gig and inconvenienced thousands of people, just because I was doing a TV show.

"So I said at the start, amongst the ribbing and good fun we were having, 'well you can all have your money back, alright, and then we're quits. No more heckling, leave me alone, stop giving me a hard time."

He added: "By the end it had been a good show, I think we'd made friends and bonded, and it just popped into my head that it seemed a better idea to make a real difference somewhere else."

Gilbert said he asked the audience for names of local charities, and a woman from the balcony shouted 'Berkshire Cancer Centre'.

"I said: 'Do you work there?', and this very poignant sentence came back: 'No, they cured me'.

"It was one of those American melodrama sentimental moments. Everybody wowed and cheered."

When asked if he would be coming back for another gig in Reading, Gilbert said: "Never again, it's too expensive!"

Mark Foulkes, acting operations manager at the centre, said: "I've been working in cancer care for 20-odd years and I've never had anything happen like this before.

"It's fantastic. He's incredibly generous, it's a considerable amount of money he's giving to us.

"He must have been feeling pretty apologetic".

Mr Foulkes said the money would enable the centre to improve patient facilities and update equipment.

He said: "All the money will be used directly to improve the care of cancer patients in Berkshire."

Rhod Gilbert is currently filming another series of the BBC2 show Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience.

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