By Tina Calder
Photos by Fabrizio Belluschi
EMMERDALE star Chris Villiers was in Belfast today to promote a forthcoming charity event for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
And the actor, who plays solicitor Grayson Sinclair in the ITV soap, revealed he has a very personal reason why heâ€™s backing the charity.
Chris said: â€œI have a friend in London who has bone marrow cancer and everyone has come forward to try and find a match for him and they havenâ€™t found one yet.
â€œThe woman who built the bone marrow register – her daughter died because they never found a match but the register meant that her daughter always lived with hope, she didnâ€™t think of impending death.
â€œThey waited for ten years and she never gave up hope and it was thanks to the Anthony Nolan Trust that she had that hope.
â€œThen there are others like little Georgia Cocking who have found matches and they do get a chance.â€
Chris was at the Blackwood Golf Centre to promote the forthcoming Emmerdale Extravaganza, organised by Scottish company George Walker Events.
The event will see a cast of 40 Emmerdale stars get involved in a variety of events at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, followed by a glitzy dinner dance at the Culloden Hotel on Saturday June 7.
Speaking at the Culloden, who are one of the sponsors of the event, Chris said: â€œThis is a day out for the whole family from granddads to toddlers, grandmothers to teenagers. There will be something for everybody. People should get out of their beds and go to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, itâ€™s not just a long queue to go and get autographs signed from a cast member of Emmerdale.
â€œThere will be the opportunity to do that but thereâ€™s much more itâ€™s a day out for the whole family.
â€œThere will be everything from a 5 km run, 10 km bicycle race and abseil to 5-aside football, golf and the loopy aircraft challengeâ€.
Chris, who will be heading up a team in the golf challenge, also added that cast members will be taking part in all events and promised the day will be a â€œlot of funâ€.
The Anthony Nolan Trust takes back lives from leukaemia by managing and recruiting new donors to the UKâ€™s most successful bone marrow register as well as undertaking vital research leading to improvements in the effectiveness and safety of bone marrow transplants.
The Emmerdale Extravaganza is inviting people along to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum for fun, food, shopping, entertainment, air displays, fashion show and all the fun of the fair.
To book tickets or to register for the events log onto georgewalkerevents.co.uk or call 01506655361.