TV broadcaster and journalist, Piers Morgan, has generously donated £15,000 of his own money to bereaved children’s military charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, after he failed to answer the £32,000 question correctly when he played for the charity on ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
The quiz show, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, aired on Boxing Day, and saw Piers come face-to-face with his rival – the pair have a much-publicised feud, but they were in good spirits and Piers was passionate about raising funds for Scotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity close to his heart.
When Piers reached the £32,000 question, he didn’t know the answer and took a gamble, declaring that if he got the answer wrong, he’d ensure Scotty’s still received £16,000 to help them support children who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. When Jeremy revealed he was incorrect, Piers was openly disappointed, as his prize would go down to £1,000, but he has pledged to donate £15,000 of his own money, to make up the sum to £16,000.
Piers chose to play for Scotty’s Little Soldiers as his brother, Jeremy, is a serving Army Colonel with four children. Piers also knows first-hand what it is like to lose a parent at a young age, as he was just a baby himself when his father tragically died. His mother re-married and Piers has a very close relationship with his stepfather, Glynne Pughe-Morgan.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, a year after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Nikki saw the devastating impact on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
Scotty’s is always there for bereaved British Forces children and young people to remind them they are not alone. This includes offering wellbeing care and providing educational support and grants, respite breaks for families that need to get away, and gifts at extra difficult times of the year. Scotty’s also connects bereaved Forces families with others in the same situation by arranging events and activities to help them to feel part of a supportive community.
Ahead of appearing on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?, Piers said:
“I can’t think of a more deserving charity than Scotty’s. One of my brothers is a serving army colonel with four daughters, so I know only too well the enormous stresses and strains put on military families when their loved ones are serving their country in combat, and the huge relief when they return safe and well. But sadly, some heroes do not come home and Scotty’s does wonderful work in helping families left bereaved. I just hope I don’t let them down, and raise as much money as possible!”
After watching Piers on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Nikki Scott, Founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers said:
“It was amazing to sit and watch Piers on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and know that he was playing for Scotty’s. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole show. We are so honoured that Piers chose to support Scotty’s and it’s incredible that he has said he will donate £15,000 of his own money to the charity, on top of the £1,000 that he has won. £16,000 will make a huge difference to us as a charity and to the children we support. We can’t thank him enough.”
“Piers has helped us in so many ways. It’s not just about the money, one of the most important things for a charity is to raise awareness, so Piers’ support has really helped us to spread the word of the work we do. Sadly, there’s still lots of children out there who have lost a parent who served, and we want to be there for them. We really urge bereaved Forces families to contact us. We also hope others will be inspired to support Scotty’s, so we can continue to offer the best level of care to the children of our fallen heroes.”
Scotty’s delivers support to bereaved military children through four Family Programmes: SMILES (fun and community), SUPPORT (health and well-being), STRIDES (education and development) and SPRINGBOARD (19-25-year olds). On average it will cost around £1,200 to provide one young person with access to Scotty’s four Family Programmes during 2021*. The £16,000 from Piers will enable the charity to provide one year’s full support to 13 bereaved young people.
The average Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? prize win is £50,000, which would provide a year’s worth of support for 41 bereaved children. If you would like to help reach this target, which was set before knowing the outcome of the show, please go to www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk/millionaire