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I’ve always been a bit of a misery when it comes to sponsored larks for charity. True, I ran a marathon and raised a few grand some years ago but running 26 miles is a serious – if ultimately pointless – activity. Indeed, one of the things that kept me going all the way to the line was avoiding the humiliation of being passed by a ten foot carrot or both halves of a pantomime horse.

I’ve always been a bit of a misery when it comes to sponsored larks for charity. True, I ran a marathon and raised a few grand some years ago but running 26 miles is a serious – if ultimately pointless – activity. Indeed, one of the things that kept me going all the way to the line was avoiding the humiliation of being passed by a ten foot carrot or both halves of a pantomime horse.

I tend to be in the camp of cynics who suspect celebrities perform charity gigs to help their image and that those folks who organise a sponsored car wash dressed up as Tarzan, bake the world longest almond slice or wear a ginger wig for a day are telling us less about their altruistic souls and more about their inane sense of humour. 

I remember laughing loudly at an Alexei Sayle gig when he said; 'you can do anything for bloody charity now. If Hitler had said the invasion of Poland was sponsored for Friends of the Earth we'd all have gone 'nice one Adolf''' (mind you, I'm sure I subsequently saw Alexei on Comic Relief).     

So how was I to respond when RSA colleagues told me they were signing up to Movember – the charity initiative which involves sponsored moustache-growing for a month?

Well, on reflection and notwithstanding my general reservations about this type of thing, I rather approve. For one thing it is fairly innocuous and unlike other charity high jinks there is no requirement for innocent bystanders to ‘get involved in the fun’. Also, I guess being willing to look silly is a strike against the vanity of modern society. Indeed, I quite like the ambiguity and scope for embarrassment that will have emerged by late November:

‘Steve, what a hero you are mate for growing that ridiculous mess on your lip. Go on, then, which charity should I donate to?’

‘Charity? What do you mean ‘charity’?’

So I’m going to donate and I’m using this post to encourage my readers to do so as well.

But I also know I could be walking into a trap. It’s all very well backing other people’s decision to be daft but what if any readers were to make their donation conditional on me – yes, me, Matthew Taylor (aka ‘the thinking woman’s crumpet’) - defacing my smooth and chiselled features?

Just in case anyone is thinking of setting me the challenge let me be clear I’m putting a £100 reserve on the auction of my boat race. After all, it won’t just be me that suffers from this abomination – think of my distraught fans.

As one of my Moral Maze fellow panellists commented when they caught me looking in the lift mirror at Broadcasting House – ‘ah yes Matthew, as we’ve always said, a perfect face for the radio’.

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