Soap’s bad boy turns good guy for charity

Mike Parr.
Mike Parr.
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A soap bad boy is swapping the village for the mountains as he undertakes a two week charity trek to Mount Everest base camp.

On October 13, Mike Parr, better know for his role as bad lad Ross Barton in Emmerdale, will join 40 other people from The Steve Prescott Foundation as they begin the ardouos journey.

Before he leaves the luxuries of home, which is a trendy apartment in the heart of Leeds city centre, behind though, he will be throwing a star-studded party in the city.

He will be joined by family, friends and fellow Emmerdale actors helping him to raise even more cash than he already has for the cause which Mike had no hesitation in getting involved in.

Mike told City Buzz: “I was at an awards night and the Steve Prescott Foundation were there.

“I’d had a few gin and tonics and they asked if it was something I would be interested in.

“I said absolutely and the challenge and the cause made it all the more appealing.

“I have never done anything this extreme, it is going to be a challenge but I am looking forward to getting to the end as a team.”

On October 7 he will be taking over Oracle Bar and Nightclub at Brewery Place for cocktails and a charity auction of prizes - from the world of showbiz and also the Leeds social scene.

It costs £5000 just to pay for his place on the expedition and he has already hit the £10,000 mark but wants to add more.

After a swanky cocktail and canape reception, the auction kicks off at 8.30pm, where the highest bidder will walk away with the enviable ‘Party with Parr’ package.

This includes accommodation in a five-star hotel, dinner in one of the city’s most exclusive restaurants and then a VIP booth at Oracle with complimentary drinks for up to four people – all in the company of the sexiest male in soap. as voted for at last year’s Inside Soap Awards.

Other prizes include a box at First Direct Arena for an event of the highest bidder’s choice, nights in hotels and meals at some of Leeds’ top restaurants.

And it is this kind of social life and variety of culture that surprised Mike the most when he arrived in Leeds three years ago as a jobbing actor from London.

He said: “It has been the craziest three years. Life changes so much when you get a job like this.

“When I came I think I was a bit of a snob because I had lived in London and I thought it was the best place. I got up here and was absolutely blown away by how small it is but by how much is going on.

“There is always a new restaurant or something new going on. I really like Leeds and would be happy to stay even if this job ended.

“Going back to London and paying £1200 a month for a little room does not appeal.”

To get involved, buy a ticket at just £10 via www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mike-parrs-charity-event-tickets-27731607986

All proceeds go to the charity set up in memory of St Helen’s rugby player Steve Prescott.

In 2006 he was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer and given months to live. He set up the foundation and raised half a million pounds. He died in 2013, aged 39. See www.steveprescottfoundation.co.uk for more details.