FUNDRAISING champion Stephen Picton is putting his own lyrics to a television theme tune after being granted permission by the original artist.
The 39-year-old is just over a month away from his final fundraising event in his mammoth charity challenge to raise £50,000 before he reaches 40.
Stephen, who lives near Blakelock Road, in Hartlepool, is working hard to put on a fantastic show to cap off his kind-hearted challenge.
Part of his plans were to put his own lyrics to a song called Maybe, the theme tune to the 1970s television show The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.
Stephen says he spent many an hour in his childhood watching the show and got in touch with the original writer of the song, Thom Pace, on Facebook.
The American star said he would be happy for Stephen to change the lyrics for a one-off performance.
Stephen, who works as a taxi driver in Hartlepool, said: “I used to watch the show all the time when I was a kid.
“I found Thom on Facebook, but before I asked him whether I could change the lyrics I did a bit of research to find out whether it was definitely his account and it wasn’t somebody just pretending to be him like you sometimes find on sites like that.
“One of his friends was Dan Haggerty who played James Capen Adams in the programme so I emailed him asking him whether that was the real Thom Pace, which he said it was.
“I then emailed Thom and he said he was quite happy for me to change the lyrics when I explained what it was for.
“It was mad talking to these people after watching them for so long on the television.”
Stephen has since been hard at work penning his own lyrics for the song, which he has changed to suit his charity challenges over the last two years.
He will perform the song on the night of his final charity event, at the Mayfair Centre, in Tees Road, Seaton Carew, on Thursday, March 31, from 7.30pm.
Tickets, priced at £5, are on sale now and can be bought from Alison McCabe Hairdressers, on the Headland, Streamline Taxis office, in Tower Street, The Glass Shop, in Lister Street, Owton Manor Resource Centre, in Kilmarnock Road, and North East Home Loans, in Park Road, all Hartlepool.
People can also buy tickets directly from Stephen.
He added: “We had 500 tickets on sale for the night and we have already sold 300.
“People have just been so eager to get a ticket and be part of the night.
“I have so many people getting in touch on Facebook and trying to find out how they get tickets.
“We will definitely reach the £6,000 target.”