Happy Friday dear readers. In a week where the world inched closer the precipice of war, finding any crumbs of comfort have been somewhat hard to find. This column doesn’t know about you reader, but it’d probably take a thousand hard Brexits over one cheeky incident of complete global annihilation.
Anyway, this week in charity sector satire: a Dogs Trust survey puts the Netflix and chill stereotype to bed; the force is strong with a number of fundraising Star Wars fans, and The Sun is attacking charities (kind of). Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
Netflix and shrill (barking)
First this week, we turn to unlikely charity/corporate partnerships with the news that the Dogs Trust has teamed up with television/movie streaming service and heartless multi-national corporation Netflix.
Why? Well, that’s something of a good question. According to the Dogs Trust, a “new survey by Netflix shows the majority of Brits (68 per cent) find pets to be the best binge partner” when it comes to settling in for a box set.
Indeed, such are Britons’ attachment to their furry friends they will often bump human companions “off the sofa” to make room for their pooch.
Diary can feel this. For Diary's significant other, while in some ways a perfect soul mate, has proven distressingly immune to the charms of some of Diary's favourite shows. A partner unable to operate a remote control - but which can be trained to find it anywhere in the house - would frankly be ideal.
While this is certainly an interesting and smart piece of awareness raising on the part of the Dogs Trust, Diary is sure you’ll agree dear reader that it has led to some truly, pawful puns.
“Alert the Puparazzi! Netflix and Woof is latest craze to take over your living room”.
Oh, dear. That punny headline is so bad it’s literally made Diary double over in pain. Unfortunately however, the Dogs Trust haven't stopped there.
“Whether you’re loyal to The Crown or know every lip-sync in Ru Paul’s Drag Race, there may be a binge buddy who is the paw-fect pal for you.
“If you’re looking for the perfect pooch, check out our rehoming pages, or head down to your nearest centre and grab a bone, some pup-corn and get ready to Netflix & Woof!”
*Angry mutt-ering about pup-corn*
Cringe inducing puns aside, Dogs Trust and Netflix have put together a really nice video of different dogs watching different Netflix programmes so, yeah, this column can just about forgive them the puns.
Also, not sure if Netflix intended it or not, but huge props for praising a cute Labrador’s inate ability for “sniffing out suspense” while watching clips from a show about notorious cocaine king-pin Pablo Escobar.
Tatooine this story on our hearts
To Barnardo’s now, and the news that “Star Wars fans from around the UK” have helped raise £250,000 in conjunction with Santander.
In a press release which is criminally bereft of any pictures or video evidence, it says that Star Wars fans have “grabbed their light sabers and showed off their best Jedi moves and Darth Vader voices” as part of the “Force for Good” campaign, backed by a pledge from Santander.
Even former F1 World Champion, and apparent closet Sith Lord, Jenson Button got in on the act, filming a clip with “fan favourite droid character” BB-8 and actor Warwick Davis.
Now, aside from the fact that this column isn’t entirely sure that anyone who says that BB-8 is their favourite Star Wars droid can truly be called “a fan” of the series (HAVE THEY NEVER EVEN HEARD OF R2D2?!) this is a truly great initiative.
For every Star Wars photo or clip uploaded to a dedicated campaign website (links to which haven’t been included which, again, is a travesty of justice) Santander donated £25 to a number of children’s charities, including Barnardo’s.
One chap, Simon Tilley from Caerphilly in Wales, who submitted a clip to the website has been given a “Star Wars inspired trip to Skellig in Ireland”. Not quite the frozen tundra of Hoth, or the baking sands of Tatooine, but Diary’s sure he enjoyed himself.
Also, if anyone knows the URL for the website with all the videos and pictures, please, PLEASE send them to Society Diary. PLEASE!
Finally this week, it is with a heavy heart that we must turn as one to the front page of The Sun, and the news that ITV paid a bunch of *celebrities* £10,000 a piece to strip off for charity.
Yes, The Sun reports that male celebrities including Ainsely Harriott (fair enough), James Argent (?), Jeff Brazier (??) and Ashley Banjo (…) pocketed around £10,000 a piece for appearing on ITV’s Full Monty fundraising night, while the charity in question only received around £4,000.
The Sun’s “TV insider” apparently told the paper that “Viewers were made to think the show was all about raising awareness and funds for testicular and prostate cancer” and have instead been thoroughly ripped off.
Diary would go so far as to say that ITV have really dropped the ball(s) on this one.
In the interests apparently of destroying the gender pay gap, The Sun says that female celebrities, including Coleen Nolan off of Loose Women and Megan McKenna (from TOWIE apparently) who appeared the following night, also received £10k each.
The Sun claims that ITV have since said “the shows were never positioned as charity fundraisers, however after last year’s performance we found some of the audience wanted to donate”.
So, all a bit of a storm in a… bra cup then? Perhaps, but at least The Sun are still outraged though, which is something.