A-L joins Theo Paphitis for a spot of tea


Two things shocked passers-by in Trafalgar Square last week. The first: a gigantic 8ft 4inch Red Nose Day-themed teapot; the second: a group of celebrities giving out tea!

The humongous teapot, which was placed on a 6ft plinth in the centre of Trafalgar Square for one day only by Red Nose Day official partner, Robert Dyas, was the scene for a celebrity-tea party with a twist. Theo Paphitis, Nick Moran, Lauren Goodger, Helen Lederer, Jake Wood, Paul Bradley and Matt Cardle were amongst the famous faces who handed out over 1000 cups of tea in the square to raise awareness for Red Nose Day.


We sent our #AListFashionpack Blogger Payzee Mahmod to have a nice hot cuppa and a good old chin-wag with the man himself, Theo Paphitis: 

Q: Theo are you genuinely a big tea drinker or a coffee lover? 
A: I am a tea first thing in the morning, it has to be a cup of tea. But I do have a coffee mid morning to pick me up but otherwise tea, mint tea. But otherwise builders tea in the morning.  
Q: Why did you want to get involved in comic relief and how much are you and the other celebs involved hoping to raise? 
A: Okay, number one I have been involved with Comic Relief for a very long time. I am also the Director of Comic Relief on the board.  I have been visiting lots of places around the world where I see the money, the great British public donate and spend making a real difference to people's lives, so it's a really easy charity to be involved in. My organisations, both Ryman and Robert are official partners, donate and we raise money, and raise millions and millions of pounds on behalf of Comic Relief over the past few years. 
My colleagues, not me my collegues I work with, they look forward to it every year, first sort of 4-6 weeks running up to Comic Relief,  is a key trading time for us but also a time where we can talk to people, interact with with people, you know be a little bit silly, get through this dark dismal, having fun, looking to spring, so it's a big part of the calendar for us. 
Q: What's the secret in brewing a good cuppa? 
A: Ok, nothing can brat fresh leaf tea, number one. I mean it can't do. In the absence of that is PG tips, good old PG Tips. 
Q: Your known for being one of the infamous dragons on 'Dragon's Den' – how important do you think it is for businesses to have invested ties with local community charities? 
A: No actually I am not known for being one of the infamous I am known for being the nice one, the infamous ones are the others. (Theo asks to sip some of my champagne, of course I say yes).
Invested ties, means everything. Both Ryman and Robert Dyas are convenient stores, in the high street. Our customers are our community and our communities are our customers, and our collegues that work there are a part of that community. So we really encourage that. We have trust funds where our colleagues if they want to raise money locally we will match whatever they raise upto a figure, so it involves the local community, hospitals, other charities, it's key it's real old fashioned community retailers, that's what it's about. 
Q: Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs and Mum's wanting to go in to business? 
A: yes, do it! Do it but do your homework first. Opdont jyst listen to the first person that says its a good idea, ask them why it's a good idea. Because people lie sometimes. And thirdly don't do it unless you are passionate about doing it because you won't succeed, so make sure you are passionate about what it is you are going to do and then you can bore your friends and family about it. 
Q:Celebrities do some crazy things for charity…are there any dares that are completely off limits for you? 

A: I've got to be honest with you the great thing about charities like Comic Relief when our colleagues get involved you've got this great excuse you sound your life in this narrow focused tracked life that we live in and all of a sudden you can start doing silly things, oh it's for charity, I feel really stupid for stupid for charity, well actually I'm always stupid all the time; but now I've got an excuse this great cause which says it's ok you can make me look stupid.

A normal-sized teapot which has Red Nose Day character The Snotty Professor embossed on the side, is now available to buy in all Robert Dyas stores and online at robertdyas.co.uk. Teapots cost just £4.99, with at least £2.25 going to Comic Relief. A trio of Rymanís Red Nose Day themed pens will also be available to buy from Robert Dyas for £1 with at least 70p going to Comic Relief.


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