Richard Curtis Says David Tennant Appeal Inspired His Malaria Drama

Richard Curtis has told the Radio Times that he was inspired in part by David Tennant's trip to Uganda for Comic Relief when he wrote the powerful drama Mary And Martha that aired on BBC One tonight. The film explored the campaign of two women, played by Brenda Blethyn and Hilary Swank, whose lives are both devastated by malaria, a preventable disease that kills more than 500,000 people a year. David Tennant witnessed first hand the horrifying effects of the disease when he visited Africa for the 2011 Red Nose Day appeal.

Richard Curtis said of David's appeal: "It’s hard to forget the look on David Tennant’s face on Red Nose Day 2011 when he wanders around Mbale Hospital in Uganda with a list of children’s names, reading out what disease they’ve got: “Aswena – malaria. Stephen – malaria. Peter, Shikebu, another Peter – all with malaria. Gracious – diabetes, caused by malaria.” Then David turns to the camera and talks about the people who don’t give money on Red Nose Night and begs the viewers not to be “that person”."

Watch David's appeal film here:

From the Red Nose Day website

British actor David Tennant was shocked when he visited Mbale hospital in Uganda where children were being treated for malaria.

The Red Nose Day supporter said, “Nothing can truly prepare you for the rows of beds crammed with three, or four sick children to a faded mattress.

“Everywhere I looked, children were desperately sick and there were queues of worried mothers with babies lining the corridors, waiting to be seen.

“It was like a tidal wave that didn’t stop. More just kept coming, and the incredible doctors and nurses were working flat out to save them.

“I remember doctors fighting to save Isma, a boy who had cerebral malaria. It’s one of the most dangerous types because it affects the brain and the symptoms are worse. His little body went into shock because of blood poisoning caused by an explosion of malarial parasites.

“It was agonizing to know that something like a mosquito net might have saved Isma. That’s why it is so important that the public support Red Nose Day to continue the fight against malaria.

"Projects funded through Comic Relief bring simple and effective solutions like early diagnosis kits which cost just 80p, and life-saving mosquito nets which cost just £5. We cannot let this continue. Please dig deep and support Red Nose Day."

With the right support and resources, malaria can be prevented quite easily and cheaply enabling thousands of lives to be saved. Visit the Red Nose Day website to find out how you can help. This year's Red Nose Day takes place on Friday 15th March 2013.


  1. When David was on the brink of crying,I actually started to cry.


Post a Comment