The Harborough brother of late Hollywood star Alan Rickman is aiming to raise more cash for a vital cancer charity in 2021.
Michael Rickman, 73, has made the pledge to boost Pancreatic Cancer Action after the illness tragically killed the actor and artist Alan at the age of 69 in January 2016.
He is determined to act after raising a staggering £10,500 for the charity with his friends Gail Jones and Peter Hales when he staged a ball in Alan’s honour at the Big Barn in Ashley in November 2018.
Michael, who lives in Medbourne and was very close to brilliantly-gifted Die Hard and Harry Potter star Alan, said: “Pancreatic cancer is a vile disease.
“It was fantastic to generate so much money from our ball – and it’s great that people are still donating to the charity over two years on.”
The Harborough district councillor for the Nevill ward added: “This cancer is such a threat because you have no warning of it until it’s too late.
“Pancreatic cancer has taken the lives of so many well-known people in the arts – such as amazing actors John Hurt and Patrick Swayze.
“Our dad Bernard was just 40 when he died of this horrible cancer so our mum brought us all up on her own.
“I have lost four of my immediate family to this disease so this is extremely personal.
“So I will do all I can to support Pancreatic Cancer Action as they continue to carry out so much vital work and research into this killer.”
Epic fundraiser Michael, who’s also raked in an incredible £200,000 for Medbourne Sports Club over 13 years, is now hoping to stage more events next year to back the cancer charity.
“I just want to put this terrible year behind us and start again in the New Year.
“It must have been the worst year ever for people.
“I don’t think we’ll start to get back to anywhere near normal before Easter,” said the leading tennis coach and world-class racquet stringer.
“But all being well we’ll get the opportunity sooner or later to hold new events to raise more money for Pancreatic Cancer Action.
“I’m also hoping to re-launch our monthly lunch club for villagers here at our sports club in Medbourne.
“The get-togethers proved very popular after I started them with Gail Jones and we can’t wait to get started again.
“It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of loneliness in villages – and that’s clearly been made much worse by these pandemic lockdowns.
“It’s so important to bring people back together so that they can talk and laugh and socialise and simply catch up,” said Michael.
The Conservative councillor is also looking forward to his famous brother Alan’s 27 handwritten diaries being published in a single book in autumn 2022.
Hailed as “witty, gossipy and utterly candid”, Michael said about the mooted book: “This is a big move.
“Alan had a very dry sense of humour – which runs in the family – and he was very thoughtful and reflective.
“He was a very talented artist as well as an actor, attending the Royal Academy of Arts and Chelsea College of Arts.
“His diaries will have to be edited before being approved by his wife – she’s particularly interested in this book,” he said.
“I’ve also taken part in a Podcast dedicated to Alan and due to appear in January or February.
“I’ve contributed some personal memories of us growing up, along with my brother David.
“And other people who also knew him, such as actress Julie Stevenson, have also spoken on it about Alan.
“We got along very well, he used to come up from London to see me here in Medbourne for Christmas and go to the church here with me.
“Alan was a very special person and he’s still missed by a lot of people,” said Michael.
If you would like to find out more about the invaluable work that Pancreatic Cancer Action does, visit their website here: https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/