Couple’s bid for TV charity cash

(L-R) Presenter Gethin Jones, Dawn and Ian McManus and contestant Daniel Drinkwater
(L-R) Presenter Gethin Jones, Dawn and Ian McManus and contestant Daniel Drinkwater

A COUPLE who have been an inspiration to creative children after tragically losing their talented son have been given a TV treat.

Dawn and Ian McManus will appear on ITV’s Holding Out For a Hero on Sunday after being nominated by thankful parents of youngsters the couple have helped through their Red Dreams charity.

An ITV film crew visited the Hartlepool organisation’s Whitby Street South unit under the premise that they were doing a documentary back in July before it was revealed the charity was going to feature on the prime-time quiz show with the chance to win thousands of pounds.

Dawn told the Mail: “I think just about everyone knew except us. We found out at the last minute and only a week later we were in London being filmed. It was crazy.

“It has been a bit nerve-wrecking but very exciting at the same time.”

The organisation was set up by Dawn and Ian after their only child Kyle died suddenly aged just 17 from a brain haemmorhage in April 2007.

The talented teenager, who was a pupil at Manor College of Technology, was a big fan of the arts. So his parents set up Red Dreams in his memory to promote young talent by helping them get their work in the public eye and providing classes on everything from singing to film editing.

The dedicated duo spend seven days a week at the unit helping youngsters, so parents Louise Harvey, Terry Nixon, Denise Murphy and Sarah Tudor got together and nominated them for the TV recognition.

Dawn, 40, and Ian, 41, will feature on the 7pm show, which is hosted by Gethin Jones, alongside Red Dreams volunteer and trustee Daniel Drinkwater, 29.

The graphic designer and lead singer of local band LSD was put forward as the quiz player and will answer a series of questions to try and bank the charity thousands of pound.

While Dawn and Ian, who live in Lennox Walk, Hartlepool, remain tight-lipped about the outcome, they can reveal they walked away with at least £3,000 as no charity leaves empty-handed.

Ian added: “We can’t thank Daniel, the volunteers, Gethin and the production crew enough for their kindness while we were in London filming.

“They were fantastic, and true ambassadors for the creative arts and young people from the North- East.”

Dawn, Ian, volunteers and friends are all set to gather in Seaton Carew Cricket Club on Sunday to watch the show on the big screen.