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Thanks a million

May 7, 2013

Mike Theodoulou, committee member for the Big Lottery Fund in Wales, on the impact of the TV series The Secret Millions.  The £10 million partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Channel 4 highlighted radical ideas for tackling some of Britain’s big issues.

Mike Theodoulou with celebrity stylist Gok Wan during filming

Mike Theodoulou with celebrity stylist Gok Wan during filming

To me The Secret Millions has been a total joy from day one. I was fortunate to be involved with the project right from the start and was bowled over by the number and the quality of the applicants we had to interview so that we could arrive at the final five.Having just watched the final programme I think we made the right choices and that Channel 4 dealt with each issue, each episode with sensitivity and honesty and produced good television in the bargain.

To us at The Big Lottery Fund this was about more than good TV. This project was important for three main reasons.
Firstly, the issues to be addressed where chosen by the public. It is important to us that we encourage public involvement in our work, after all the National Lottery belongs to the people.

Secondly, this was a great opportunity for us to show the British public a little bit of what the Big Lottery Fund does, how we use their money and what sort of projects we support. On a personal note, it was also an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of taking the odd calculated risk with some proposals – for if we do not take some risk we will never change lives.

Finally, we value every chance to highlight key social issues and increase awareness of some of the challenges we face as a society and if we can do this in a way that helps those community organisations who work hard to make a difference by giving them exposure then it is worth doing.
The feedback I have received after each programme has been fantastic and watching these programmes has made me feel very proud of the work that The Big Lottery Fund does, and, more importantly, I know that everyone who works for the organisation and all those who have had projects funded by BIG have shared in this pride.

If you missed The Secret Millions on Channel 4 then try and catch it on 4oD. It’s worth the watch.

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