Hugh Dennis goes back to school for music and comedy fundraiser
- Credit: Ray Amoah
There were grudges nursed, and confessions aired as celebrity former UCS pupils returned to raise funds in memory of an inspirational teacher.
Outnumbered and Mock the Week star Hugh Dennis compered April Foolery, which notched up £10,740 for the Lund Fund – giving creative opportunities to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"David Lund never taught me but it's his spirit that has brought us here," he said. "He was all about creativity, finding what people were good at and not thinking of kids as just a set of results."
Also donating their services were comic Simon Brodkin, who confessed he was expelled for "smoking weed" behind the Lund Theatre aged 13, and got to pick on his former chemistry teacher who was in the audience.
Adam Meggido co-creator of Olivier award-winning improvised musical Showstopper! performed a daft story about a sheep farmer – in the style of Hamilton – and showed us the exact spot where he decided to become an actor while starring in a school production of Cabaret.
Highgate comic Dennis shared embarrassing memories of school prize-giving when he chose The Reader's Digest Book of Home Improvement to be presented by ex Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Expressing regret that being head boy was disappointing because you could not give detentions ("If you found someone committing a misdemeanour you had to convince them 'by means of reasoned argument'."), he handed out raffle prizes and was confronted by a man still smarting at Dennis banning him from the lunch hall forty years earlier.
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The school's Jazz Ensemble performed in memory of David Lund, who taught at UCS from 1967-1996 and programmed cutting edge jazz and comedy concerts while encouraging pupils to explore their creative potential. Stephen Fry, who was offered an early career-boosting gig with comedy partner Hugh Laurie sent a video message of support.
Ex-pupil Matt Lane, CEO/artistic director of educational charity Eastside, is hoping to build on a £10,000 bequest by the Lund family – with Poetess Jess offering a flavour of the inspirational work she performs during spoken word workshops with disadvantaged pupils.
He said: "Our inaugural Lund Fund event was a huge success, and we hope to make it happen every year. Our great vision is to turn David Lund's original gift into £1 million so we can help thousands more disadvantaged young people with our creative programmes and celebrate David's legacy in a fitting way."