Comedy legend steps in to help publicise London bike shop Brixton Cycles' crowdfunder

Losing the shop would be 'upsetting' and 'wrong', says local patron Chris Morris, who urges 'do what you can'

Shop frontage of Brixton Cycles in London
(Image credit: Brixton Cycles)

Comedy legend Chris Morris has stepped in to help beleaguered London bike shop Brixton Cycles raise the money it needs to stay alive. He has not lost the news.

"The idea that this place won't be here for at least another 40 years is upsetting… it's wrong," said the Brass Eye and The Day Today star, on a self-filmed social media video.

The shop launched a crowdfunding campaign at the end of January after suffering its worst financial year in 20 years last year, compounded by a three-week power cut in November. It is hoping to raise £30,000 ($37,800) to make up for the loss of income during the cut, and says: "This would help us get through and bounce back."

At the time of writing it had raised more than two-thirds of the total – £22,636 ($25,538). That's a lot more than trenter percenter.

"It's a fantastic place," said Morris, who lives locally, and chooses his public appearances carefully. "It's a co-op, it's a community asset."

Morris also had his bike with him – as supplied by Brixton Cycles more than two decades previously.

"Twenty-seven years ago they built that," he said, gesturing towards a white, steel framed bike with mudguards, panniers, Brooks saddle and a D-lock attached to the frame.

"They've been looking after it ever since. Whenever I come to pick it up from a service it's so well tuned, it's like a musical instrument," he said.

As well as the satirical Brass Eye and The Day Today programmes, Morris also played a disgruntled farmer in the 'I'm Alan Partridge' series – which began life as a Day Today spin-off – and won a 'Best Newcomer' award at the British Comedy Awards in 1994 for the Day Today. More recently he wrote and directed two feature films – Four Lions (2009) and The Day Shall Come (2019).

"Please, do what you can," Morris urged viewers, "and if you already have, thank you."

The comedian is not the only famous name to frequent Brixton Cycles. Current national road champion Fred Wright is also a patron, and he shared the crowdfunder on Instagram.

"We have a real fight on our hands," shop director Lincoln Romain told Cycling Weekly   last week. "We have some tough days, weeks, months ahead. We’re just trying to get on as best we can. We’re not giving up.”

This is not Brixton Cycles's first crowdfunding campaign – in 2015 it raised more than £62,000 ($78,146) to enable it to move premises after its original building was sold for development.

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