Britain’s Got Talent creator, Simon Cowell, has agreed to waive his £1 million fee for starring in Marks & Spencer TV adverts in exchange for the retailer committing to support children’s charity Together for Short Lives.
The charity is expected to lose half of its annual income due to the coronavirus pandemic but will now benefit from a series of Marks & Spencer fundraising events over the year.
The charity offers care and support to children with life-threatening conditions and their families. In 2018-19 the charity saw a 59% rise in helpline calls from families needing assistance, and calls have doubled since lockdown began in March 2020.
According to the Mail Online: “Simon is delighted that Marks & Spencer and he were able to share a vision of how to support such a special charity that does such important work.”
The Marks & Spencer adverts, filmed in January and aired during the Britain’s Got Talent breaks, were called #MyMarksFave. In the Fruit Week episode Cowell and his co-stars tried the best of the Marks & Spencer summer range and voted for their favourite. In the Sausage Week the hot dogs and sausages led to a split decision when the judges for the best food option.
A source from the Daily Mirror added: ‘Simon was delighted when they agreed. It’s wonderful news for the charity.’”
It is not the first time Cowell has supported charities and, according to the Mail Online, the multi-millionaire has also given a six-figure sum to Shooting Stars Children’s Hospices. The English children’s hospice charity needs to raise £10m every year in order to maintain its function.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Cowell also split £820,000 between charities, Feeding America and Feeding Britain, and in May he and his partner, Lauren Silverman, donated £320,000 to a dog’s charity.
Cowell’s friend, Lizzie Cundy, revealed that the music mogul made the huge contribution to K9 friends of Barbados and praised his “overwhelming kindness”.
Earlier this year, Cundy posted a picture on her Instagram account showing Cowell and Silverman with the caption: “In deep chat.. an amazing night with my dear friend @simoncowell being so generous to our furry friends K9 Friends. What a lovely start to the year.”
The post announced the news of Cowell with his partner generously donating $400,000 to K9 friends of Barbados. The English television personality also donated £190,000 to the canine cause last year.
Mail Online stated that Cowell held an annual fundraising event in December 2019 at the Royal Westmoreland in Barbados but was forced to save the charity after the auction failed to raise enough money on the night.