Joe Wilkinson fronts ‘inspiring’ good news bulletin

Comedian Joe Wilkinson has said his weekly round-up of feelgood stories prove there are “lots of lights at the end of the tunnel”.

The stand-up comedian, 45, is working with The National Lottery to launch the Good News Bulletin, featuring people and projects from across the UK who have used National Lottery funding to combat the impact of Covid-19.

Among those featured in the YouTube series is Little Village, which provides clothes, toys and equipment to children up to the age of five, and Cinemagic, which hosts online film activities and workshops to keep children in Belfast entertained during lockdown.

Wilkinson told the PA news agency: “There are some wonderful people doing wonderful stuff. There are lots of lights at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s reminding people that they are not on their own. Communities are really rallying round and it’s inspiring.”

He added: “I’m not even that bothered about making people laugh. I just really want them to engage and remember that there is good stuff happening.

“That’s what I felt when I watched the videos for some of the projects.

“Honestly, it doesn’t need me. I’m happy to be involved but the stories are there. I’m just a little bit of fluff in the way of the good stuff – a bit of nonsense.”

For the first episode, which is available now, Wilkinson filmed himself “social distancing” in a field near his home in Brighton.

The comedian said he was especially touched by learning about the Team Jak Foundation, which supports young people with cancer.

He said: “I was aware before that stuff couldn’t be put on hold.

“You might not be able to go to the dentist but there are people in the middle of really big moments in their life and they can’t press pause on it.

“So the fact that all this is going on and people are still making time to make sure these people are supported – that felt like a really special one.”

A number of celebrity guests will appear throughout the series, which launches as The National Lottery announces its search for nominees for the 2020 National Lottery Awards.

The National Lottery has made up to £600 million available to help communities throughout the UK amid the outbreak.

The Good News Bulletin airs weekly on The National Lottery Good Causes YouTube channel.