Griff Rhys Jones has visited the children’s EACH Treehouse in Ipswich after announcing he will be bringing big names including Stephen Fry and Eddy Izzard to the Regent theatre to fundraise for the charity.

Rhys Jones, who lives in Suffolk, said many of his celebrity friends will stay with him after the show titled ‘Happy Christmas Ipswich 2’.

%image(14374715, type="article-full", alt="Griff Rhys Jones in the gardens of the Treehouse in Ipswich - he has described it as a "really impressive place"")

Today’s visit was the first time the comedian has visited the Treehouse since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and he described it as an “really impressive place".


He said: “I love it because in a funny way people think of a hospices as being slightly scary but the great thing is the whole place is not really about death, it is about life. It is about people getting the most out of life whatever the circumstances."

%image(15118814, type="article-full", alt="Erin Sadler having fun with the nurses at the EACH Treehouse in Ipswich - the 'Happy Christmas Ipswich 2' show will help then fund the vital work they do with families")

"That's what really fills it full of hope, and it is about love and courage - those things are really written all over this Treehouse and it is a great joy to come here."

The star first got involved fundraising for EACH five years ago, starting with smaller shows: "I said we shouldn't be doing little shows we should be doing big shows."

After a successful Christmas show in 2019, and a brief break due to Covid, Rhys Jones is excited to be bringing university friends Clive Anderson and Stephen Fry to Ipswich.

He added: "We've got really experienced comedians coming like Eddy Izzard, If I had known Eddy was coming we would have booked the stadium rather than the Regent theatre."

After they competed against each other on ITV cookery show 'Cooking with the Stars', Rhys Jones joked that he might have a cook off with Johnny Vegas on the Regent stage.

%image(15118815, type="article-full", alt="Griff Rhys Jones will be bringing Eddy Izzard, Stephen Fry and Johnny Vegas to the Ipswich Regent this Christmas")

Speaking about a difficult year for EACH and all charities, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rhys Jones said it was important that stars do their bit.

He said: "The ordinary people of East Anglia put their hands in their pockets for the charity, this is a chance for the big names to show they care as well".

%image(15118816, type="article-full", alt="Helen (left) with her daughter Erin, seven, who met Griff Rhys Jones at the EACH Treehouse on his visit")

Helen Sadler, whose daughter Erin, seven, has been supported by EACH during the pandemic said: "Happy Christmas Ipswich sounds like a very special event and, from my point of view, I’ll always do anything I can to promote EACH fundraisers.

“It’s important to me and my way of repaying the people who have helped and supported Erin."