Actress Jenny Agutter has stressed the importance of the Boycott Your Bed fundraising challenge in a year where charities have “really suffered”.
The Call The Midwife and Railway Children star, 68, is among a number of famous faces sleeping in unusual places on Friday night to raise money for vulnerable young people across the UK.
She will be taking to a partially covered treehouse in the garden of her home in Cornwall, but says she will move inside to the floor of her bathroom if it rains heavily.
Friday’s fundraiser will also feature a schedule of online entertainment including magician Dynamo, Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice and Luba Mushtuk, TV presenter Laura Hamilton and DJ Charlotte de Carle.
Agutter told the PA new agency: “The fact is this is one of many events that Action For Children might have done with groups of people, which you can’t do.
“All those fundraising events are about gathering people together for an event of some sort. So they have really suffered.
“The charities have very much suffered and Action For Children has suffered because of that and then all the people they help have run into the problems they do without the support.
Agutter said that despite the challenges of the pandemic people had still been “extraordinarily generous”.
She added: “I think people have been very aware of those who have less and they have taken the opportunities to give and have given a lot.
“And this is another opportunity to enjoy something, to celebrate what they can do, and give to those who don’t have.”
Agutter recently wrapped production on the sequel to beloved 1970 film The Railway Children, in which she reprises the role of Roberta “Bobbie” Waterbury.
The original film, directed by Lionel Jeffries, told the story of a mother and her three children who move to the Yorkshire countryside after their father is falsely imprisoned, and was based on a book written by author E Nesbit.
Agutter said she thought Nesbit would approve of the sequel.
“It is really about the return of the railway children but these are the new railway children,” she said.
“These are the children of the 1940s – during the Second World War. So it is a whole new story.”
“But what it does is it pays tribute to Lionel Jeffries’ film and E Nesbit’s lovely story which has been in print since it came out in 1905.
“I think Nesbit would rather like the idea that the grandchildren of Bobbie were present in another story of the railway children in the 1940s, because she loved the idea of time travel and that someone could inhabit different times.
“And in a way she is inhabiting another time because it is very much with her sense of children’s adventures.”
More information is available at boycottyourbed.co.uk