Supporters Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Scarlett Moffatt each turned quizmaster for the night to raise much-needed funds for the charity after it announced a predicted drop in income by as much as 45% due to the COVID-19 crisis. The money raised will be used to fund groundbreaking dementia research, which will help to bring about life-changing treatments sooner.
The trio hosted on The Virtual Pub Quiz YouTube channel – the lockdown phenomenon run by Jay Flynn from Lancashire that is bringing hundreds of thousands of keen quizzers together each week.
Alzheimer’s Research UK was The Virtual Pub Quiz’s charity partner for eight days last month. During that time, which included a co-hosted quiz from Stephen Fry and Jay, over £200,000 was raised.
And thanks to the success of the partnership and response from the quiz community, the charity was given its own Friday evening slot for three weeks, allowing some of its celebrity supporters to ‘take over’ the channel and host their own night to raise more funds for research.
Jonathan Ross, Scarlett Moffatt and a return from Stephen Fry helped bring the total, including Gift Aid, to just under £340,000. Of that, nearly £80,000 came via match-funding from some of the charity’s corporate partners. Mattioli Woods match-funded £50,000 during Stephen’s first co-hosted quiz, Schroders Personal Wealth made a £15,000 match-funding pledge for Jonathan’s quiz and the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation match-funded £20,000 for Scarlett’s evening.
Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are overwhelmed and thankful for the incredible support we received from Jay and his Virtual Pub Quiz. During these difficult times, we must do everything we can to continue making progress in dementia research. The fantastic amount we’ve raised through the quizzes will go a long way in helping to bring about the first life-changing treatment for dementia.
“We’d like to express how grateful we are to everyone who has made our partnership with The Virtual Pub Quiz such an enormous success – Stephen, Jonathan and Scarlett for being our quiz hosts, Jay for giving us the platform to reach so many people and of course our fantastic corporate partners, Mattioli Woods, Schroders Personal Wealth and Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation for match-funding some of these special nights.”
Jay Flynn, who has now helped raise over £500,000 for various good causes through his channel, said:
“I am so pleased that our partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK has had such a positive impact. The Virtual Pub Quiz community is so generous and it’s clear that the work of the charity is incredibly important to so many of them. A huge thank you to everyone who has made the partnership so special.”
Scarlett Moffatt, who rounded off the quiz series for Alzheimer’s Research UK on Friday, said:
“I’m so honoured to have been able to support Alzheimer’s Research UK by taking on the role of quizmaster for a takeover of The Virtual Pub Quiz. It was a brilliant evening and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! I’m absolutely blown away by how much we raised. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part and donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK, a cause very close to my heart.
“I’ve seen first-hand the devastation dementia causes, as this cruel condition took both my nanna and my grandma. So, I’m very passionate about trying to stop this from happening to other people, or at the least slow down the condition so people have longer to spend with their loved ones. Thanks to everyone who got involved in the quiz, we’re a step closer to finding a cure.”