Sarah Millican has raised cash as well as chuckles as the comedian launched an appeal to back the work of the Samaritans while out on tour.
Samaritans volunteers across the UK and Ireland are celebrating after South Shields TV personality and stand up Sarah helped them raise more than £180,000 to support their work.
The writer has just finished a year-long sell-out tour where she encouraged her audiences to make a donation to the charity through bucket collections after every single show.
The result is an astonishing £181,834.63, which will be shared across Samaritans’ 201 branches to help fund the work they do in their communities as they lend a listening ear to anyone who is going through a tough time.
It comes as she prepares to hold her annual #joinin event on Twitter on Christmas Day, where anyone in need of company and to be cheered up can take part and find friendship.
Sarah’s fans were all the more generous after hearing her own story of calling Samaritans when she hit rock bottom after the break-up of her first marriage.
She said: “I expected it to be like when you ring the bank with a bit of music and some options.
"Nope, they answer super-quietly and they just let you talk.
"And they’re there 24 hours a day every single day of the year for anyone who needs them.
“I’ve always known what smashers my audiences are, and they’ve done a great job yet again.
"Thank you, lovely people, for supporting Samaritans, such an incredible charity.”
Bob Howe has been a Samaritans volunteer for more than 18 years.
As well as answering calls, he’s put in a shift organising the bucket collections, 193 in all.
He said: “To Sarah and to every single person who donated after one of her shows, I want to say thank you, not just from Samaritans, but on behalf of future callers to us too.
“Life is tough, and anyone can feel overwhelmed. We listen and we don’t judge.
"I can say from experience that, whether it’s the middle of the night or the middle of the afternoon, if people share difficult thoughts or feelings with us, it can change their lives – they realise that they can carry on.
“Donations help to keep our branches running and our volunteers ready for that next call.”
Following her sold out tour of the UK and Ireland, she’s taking her Control Enthusiast show overseas in 2019.