Painter Richard Gawthorpe is well known for raising huge sums for Kirkwood Hospice. Press reporter David Miller meets another Mirfield resident with similar ambitions..
COMIC Max Lemon is a man of many faces – from Irish rock ’n’ roller Paddy O’Haley to a camp Viking called Ivan.
He is performing shows, including one at St Mary’s Social Club in Batley in August, as he seeks to raise £100,000 for Kirkwood Hospice over the next two years.
Max is the alter ego of salesman Peter Morgan – who brought him out of retirement in honour of his late wife Jackie.
The former carer, 68, died in October last year from bladder cancer. She was cared for at Kirkwood Hospice, which receives only 15 per cent of its funding from the NHS.
The rest of its multi-million pound budget comes through fundraising, with Mirfield playing a big role towards that.
Richard Gawthorpe has raised more than £300,000 over the years and Peter hopes Max Lemon can help him reach six figures.
Peter said: “For me, Kirkwood Hospice offered a lifeboat to a drowning man. The whole experience was one of quality care.
“And it wasn't just the nurses. From the consultants to the cleaners, the care was unbelievable.”
Peter’s first fundraiser was a 15,000ft tandem skydive last month which is set to raise more than £1,700.
He has now brought Max Lemon back for a series of dates two years after giving up to care for Jackie.
Some are sold out but there are tickets left for three shows, including at St Mary’s Social Club on Melton Street, Batley, on Friday, August 28.
The others are Thornhill Edge WMC on Saturday, September 12, and Old Bank WMC in Mirfield on Friday, December 11.
Peter described his act as in the style of Steve Coogan, who also has alter egos like Alan Partridge.
Peter turned to showbiz as a duo with comedy partner Alan Lyons, whom he met at Dewsbury Squash Club in the 1980s.
They did shows for striking miners and on the northern club circuit before Peter went solo in 1989.
The Max Lemon Variety Show features characters like the sequined donkey-jacket wearing O’Haley, plus magic and music.
Peter said: “I can’t do impressions for the life in me but I can do dialects and funny characters. I’m not a blue comedian but I’m certainly cheeky.”
Tickets cost between £5 and £10 from the respective venues.