Jamie Oliver and Melanie Sykes Paint It Orange

The Paint It Orange campaign gathers momentum with celebrity endorsement

Following the generous endorsement of the Paint It Orange campaign by thirty of the world’s greatest competition drivers, including Sebastians Vettel, Loeb & Ogier, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Mikko Hirvonen and Mark Webber, the campaign has moved beyond its immediate heartland with some of Britain’s best known and loved celebrities joining the cause to be photographed wearing the Paint It Orange t-shirt. The commemorative t-shirt is designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Richard Burns’ World Rally title, a milestone that will be reached during this week’s Wales Rally GB.

Ever-popular chef and food lobbyist James Trevor Oliver MBE has been an ever-present ratings success in UK television since bursting into living rooms as the Naked Chef in 1998. The eleven year face of Sainsburys and 2010 TED Prize recipient for “creating change on both the individual and governmental level” in relation to healthy eating, Jamie Oliver heads a wide repertoire of food causes and campaigns alongside television commissions, publishing and the ownership of the Fifteen & Jamie’s Italian chain of restaurants.

As the first female endorsee of the Paint It Orange campaign, Melanie Sykes is a long-standing supporter of the Richard Burns Foundation and an old friend of Richard’s who travelled to rallies to lend her support as his career was progressing. Mel’s emergence as a poster-girl for a reinvigorated Manchester chic in the 1990s was encapsulated in her appearance in the legendary Boddingtons’ beer advertisements, a cause célèbre which catapulted her into television as a host and presenter in programming as diverse as the BAFTAs, GMTV, Today with Des and Mel and Gene Detectives. She is a regular face on network television and has also worked across commercial and BBC radio with Heart, Galaxy, Radio 1 and Radio 2.

The assembled mass of stars proudly wearing their commemorative Richard Burns shirts can be seen on the Richard Burns Foundation website and its Facebook pages, with one new driver’s image released each day. The charity is promoting the sale of the commemorative t-shirts here and you too can rub shoulders with the stars by buying a shirt and posting your photo alongside the charity’s growing number of celebrity supporters.

Four short years after reaching one of the pinnacles of international motor racing, Richard lost his life to an aggressive form of brain cancer. All funds raised from the “Paint It Orange” campaign will help to address the startling lack of neurological provision in the UK. Neurological injury and illness is a bigger cause of serious disability in the UK than cancer, heart disease and diabetes put together. Over a million people – half of these children and young adults – suffer a head injury every year. Alongside neuro injury, neurological illness has an incredible diversity of manifestations, from foetal diseases such as Spina Bifida, through to conditions that afflict the young, such as Cerebral Palsy & Meningitis; the unrelenting assault from neuro conditions continues through adult life, with brain tumours about 30% as common as breast cancer. And neuro illness follows us into old age, with the widespread incidence of conditions ranging from Parkinson’s to Dementia & Alzheimer’s.

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