Man to change name to Willy Wonka - for charity

INSPIRED by one of his favourite films, a Suffolk father of two is bidding to legally change his name in order to raise vital funds for charity.

John Denton wants to raise �5,000 for Cancer Research UK and is ready to change his name by Deed Poll to Willy Wonka as soon as he hits his target.

Mr Denton, of Bevan Street West, Lowestoft, was inspired to start raising money for chairty after losing his mother, Jean, to liver cancer in 2003 after a two-and-a-half year battle against the disease.

Last year, his experience of cancer became even more personal when he found a lump in the back of his neck and was referred to a skin specialist at at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich.

He had the lump removed, together with another growth on the back of his shoulder, and now he is waiting for the results of tests on another lump which he recently found on his shin.

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He said: “These experiences have inspired me to try and raise money to help vital research. I had to wait until after Christmas for the results of my biopsies last autumn and although they were both benign, one of them showed warning signs of changing.”

He decided that changing his name would be a good way to raise money and, after speaking to several friends, decided that he will become Willy Wonka, named after the character from Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has been made into several popular films.

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“One of my friends suggested the name Willy Wonka and said it suited me, and other people agreed. I’m not sure whether to take it as a compliment or an insult because he’s quite a strange character, but I’m going to be called it for at least two years either way.

“The orignial 1970s version of the film was amazing, and it fed my childhood sense of wonder when I was growing up. The new Tim Burton version reignited my love for the film,” he said.

Mr Denton is also trying to get a replica of the suit worn by Johnny Depp in the 2005 film version so that once he has changed his name, he can take part in charity walks and events in character.

The legal Deed Poll service is being provided free of charge to help with the fundraising bid, and now Mr Denton has all the paperwork ready to be signed.

Jamie Jackson, chief executive of the Legal Deed Poll Service, said: “We get a lot of crazy name changes, but what John has set out to achieve is fantastic and we’re delighted to be able to help him raise money for Cancer Research UK.”

To donate to Mr Denton’s fundraising appeal, visit

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