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On stage heckle leads BBC star to lace up running shoes for charity

Stand-up comedian and Tourist Trap star, Leroy Brito, is used to being heckled while performing, it’s part of the job, but he had no idea what was in store at one of his recent Cardiff gigs.

Leroy was performing a skit about celebrating his upcoming milestone 40th birthday and announced to the crowd that he wanted to run a marathon to mark the occasion.

Then steps in appeal manager for St John Ambulance Cymru, Samantha Coles, who took a chance and heckled the BBC star, persuading him to put his best foot forward for the charity at the Virgin Money London Marathon this Sunday.

Samantha said: “I was out with a group of friends at a new comedy club in Cardiff when Leroy took to the stage. He mentioned wanting to run an overseas marathon to celebrate his big birthday, but lockdown was making it difficult, and I thought I would help him in his mission and offer him a place to run for St John Ambulance Cymru in the London Marathon.

“Working in fundraising you learn not to be shy, so I shouted my idea out from the audience. Leroy didn’t agree there and then but took the idea away and after chatting on social media and filling him in on the details of the place and fundraising target, he signed up and has been training hard and fundraising ever since.”

Leroy, who embarks on his Almost Famous tour later this year said: “It was a bit of a shock to be called out on stage but after chatting to Samantha and learning about the great work St John Ambulance Cymru do, I decided to take the plunge.

“The timing was perfect for a twelve-week training plan and training has been going really well. I’m not expecting a world record time but hopefully I’ll finish before they start to reopen the roads.”

You can support Leroy’s fundraising efforts by donating online: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeroyBrito