Brian Blessed takes on sponsored 24-hour silence challenge

Story and video from SWNS

Loud-mouthed actor Brian Blessed is to give us all some blessed relief - by doing a sponsored 24-hour silence.

Brian, 84, is famous for his booming voice and shouting his catchphrase 'Gordan's Alive!' - but will go quiet for a whole day for charity.

Blessed says he will be able to adopt peace and quiet after learning the art of silence in Nepal.

The TV, theatre and film star has attempted to summit Mount Everest three times and was even blessed by the Dalai Lama during one trip.

He is taking on the 24-hour sponsored silence in aid of PHASE Worldwide.

PHASE is a charity working to create opportunities in remote communities in Nepal by supporting health, education and livelihoods projects.

Blessed said despite what people may think he ‘loves to be silent’ and meditates twice a day.

But he admitted that he even ‘talks to the birds everyday’ so being silent for that long might be his ‘biggest challenge yet’.

Blessed said the day would be a good opportunity to reflect on Nepal the country he holds so dear.

Actor Brian Blessed after he is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Actor Brian Blessed after he is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

It is still recovering from the effects of the horror earthquake in April 2015, as well as being hit by the recent Indian coronavirus variant.

Blessed, who is undertaking his sponsored silence on Sunday 13 June, said: “For 24 hours, I will just shut up. It’ll do me good.

“It’ll help me enormously – and hopefully help the recipients of the charity enormously too.

“It’ll be a day of great achievement.”

Blessed's booming voice has been pivotal to his acting career, landing him roles as King Lear, Prince Vultan and most recently, Grampy Rabbit in Peppa Pig.

He said: “It does help having a big voice. I like having a big voice. I like the fact that I can sing.

“I’m known for my battle cry - ‘Gordon’s Alive!’ - and I’m known for my big voice, but I’m really quite a quiet man.

“I make a loud voice if I’m playing King Lear or something – but generally I do love silence.

“We do talk a lot of nonsense – and I’m one, I’m guilty of it!

“Therefore to be silent, it gives other aspects of your heart and soul and mind space to work.”

During his time trekking in Nepal in the 90s, the actor was blessed by the Dalai Lama, a pivotal and spiritual moment which opened his eyes to the benefits of being quiet.

“I spent about five days with the Dalai Lama,” Blessed said.

“So Brian Blessed, who is meant to be loud, was wonderfully quiet and still [for the first time].

“My favourite emotion is now silence and stillness.”

When asked if his wife, Hildegarde Neil, 81, would be relieved at the silence, Blessed agreed that ‘she loves quiet’ and would be looking forward to it.

“On certain occasions when I’m talking, she’ll say ‘you’re talking bollocks’ - which is always salutary to have,” Brian said.

“It’s a good balance to have.”

Blessed is embarking on the 24-hour sponsored silence in aid of PHASE Worldwide, the international development charity based in Bristol.

Their ‘Start Strong’ appeal will fund a project that supports women and their children in Nepal.

It will fund a three-year project, which will improve maternal healthcare and increase the availability of high value foods, ensuring that children in Far West Nepal are given a strong start to life.

The appeal is being backed by the UK Government, who will match all donations, allowing the charity to double their impact.

Speaking of his fundraiser, Blessed said: “I’m a beggar. When it comes to people sponsoring me, give as much money as you can!

“You’ve seen the suffering in the world, you see it all the time on the news.

“But in Kathmandu they went through the worst – everyone's forgotten the earthquake.

“They’re frightened, they’re brave. Help them, they need help. Help them, help them, help them.”