15th March 2017

Batman and Robin set to take to the streets of London in aid of hospice

A London-based TV couple with Worcestershire connections will be fighting crime in their underpants at this year’s London Marathon.

David Clews and Stuart Murphy will be taking part in the famous race dressed as Batman and Robin, in a bid to raise more than £6000 for St Richard’s Hospice.

David – who was born and raised in Redditch – now lives in London working as a TV producer.  He created the award winning British documentary television programme Educating Essex, for which he was awarded a BAFTA.  His other accolades include an International Emmy award for Educating Yorkshire and – most recently – creating the BBC hit series, The Real Marigold Hotel.

His partner Stuart – who is originally from Leeds – has a similarly illustrious TV career, having launched and ran BBC3, then Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic.

David’s father was cared for at St Richard’s Hospice and since then he and his family – who still live in Astwood Bank in Redditch – have had a strong bond with the charity.

He explained : “My Dad was cared for at the hospice in August 2011.  He’d been suffering with cancer most of that year and was only at St Richard’s for three days, which was shockingly short, so it was all very quick in the end.

“The care Dad received over that short time was amazing.  The nurses and the doctors treated him brilliantly.  The truth of it is after three weeks in a hospital, coming to the beautiful peaceful surroundings of St Richard’s was such a lift for my Dad and for me, my Mum and family, and the fact that he could look out over a beautiful garden meant a lot.  On the Friday, because of the layout of the hospice we could move the bed to the garden. Being there for someone as they die is a frightening experience but having the staff there was a huge comfort, we felt safe with them immediately and they gave us space to have time together.”

Both David and Stuart are no strangers to marathon running; David has run three marathons, including London and New York; Stuart also completed the 2003 London Marathon.

Stuart said : “In the last 12 months we have ran the Great North Run as ourselves, the Great Birmingham Run – where we debuted our Batman and Robin outfits – and run in Lisbon and Barcelona.

“We are delighted to be able to help St Richard’s brilliant fundraising team, although after London we fully intend to do no exercise for the next 10 years!”

David concluded : “St Richard’s is an incredible place and me, my mum and sister will be forever grateful of the care my Dad received. Communities need places like St Richard’s which are little pieces of heaven on earth; none of us know when we will need them, but when we do we realise they are vital places that do very special work.”

Thirteen St Richard’s Hospice runners will be on the starting blocks this year, raising money for the hospice as well as achieving their personal ambitions of completing the famous marathon.

2017 runners Chris Little, Becky Fawkes and Anita Hennessey have secured places through St Richard’s Hospice’s five Golden Bond scheme places – along with David and Stuart – while Simon Bond, Debbie Bullingham, Dominique Edwards, Stephanie Holmes, Nicholas Herbert, Kimberly Bailes, Jo Brett, Freddie Neve and Mike Flatt have all secured independent places for the event.

The runners are now well into their physical and mental training schedule for the 26 mile 385 yard race, and will join thousands of fellow participants on the starting line in Greenwich Park on 23 April.

Ria Simons, Community Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said; “David and Stuart are an amazing duo to have on board as we strive to raise funds for our services at this year’s London Marathon.  David’s real life experience of the hospice is very humbling and we hope that by running the marathon, it will prove to be a fulfilling experience for both him, Stuart and all those with hospice places.”