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February 18, 2008 - Press release from Bray Leino:


So the story begins...
So the story begins...

Farmer and musician Alex James, is the first of a number of celebrities to put pen to paper to launch a special children’s storybook in support of a new charity directory enquiries number, 118 520, supporting the NSPCC.

If every one of the 378 million calls to directory enquiry services every year were made to 118 520 instead of other 118 numbers or free directory enquiry services, the public could help raise more than 34 million pounds for the NSPCC.

To help promote the new 118 520 number and raise as much money for the charity as possible, each celebrity will be tasked with writing 10 lines of the ‘Once Upon A Time’ enchanted tale before passing it on to the next in line.

Alex has taken inspiration from the classic Blur favourite, ‘Country House’, and his favourite childhood tale, ‘The Secret Garden’, to create the magical world where the story begins.

Alex tells the tale of a very big house in the country, inhabited by a wealthy Duke. The house has cellars full of wheels of the finest cheese; no doubt inspired by ‘Little Wallop’ the cheese Alex produces on his farm in the Cotswolds. Alex’s passion for space is also brought to life within the story; he has given the Duke a huge telescope positioned within the very highest turret in the house so he can enjoy the Andromeda galaxy.

Alex’s contribution ends with the arrival of four children at the very big house; an influence from one of his favourite childhood authors, Enid Blyton. It will be up to Radio One DJ Sara Cox to decide their fate, and develop the story further, as she completes the second contribution for what is set to be one of the most exciting stories ever written.

Other celebrities who have already committed to put pen to paper to support the 118 520 story include sports legend Linford Christie, musician KT Tunstall  and fashion designer Henry Holland.

The priceless 118 520 tale is expected to be completed by October and will be unveiled at an exclusive story-telling event where it will be auctioned to raise funds for the NSPCC after its first ever public reading.

Alex James said; “I am delighted to be the first author of the 118 520 story book. I try to read my sons a story every night so this is an opportunity I just couldn’t say no to! I hope this book encourages many people to call 118520 and raise funds for the NSPCC.”

Nine pence from every call made to 118 520 will be donated entirely to the NSPCC – the highest donation being made from any 118 number to a single charity.

So why not make a real difference every time you ring directory enquiries by making 118 520 your number of choice – use it, save it and pass it on!

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