Super Ténéré rider sets off on lap of UK to keep live shows on the road

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Yamaha Super Ténéré rider Jez Harvey has raised the curtain on a sponsored ride around the UK coastline in a bid to help struggling theatres hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Worthing-based Jez, 54, has worked in the industry for 20 years, delivering equipment and providing backstage support across the UK and Europe. He decided to use his time on furlough to support the future of the business.

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The ride, which was already on Jez’s bucket list, is in aid of the Theatres Trust, a charity dedicated to the survival of live venues. Having set off on Saturday, August 1, Jez says his journey is going to stretch over 5000 miles and he is hoping to complete the lap by Tuesday, August 25.

Jez is stopping at venues around the UK

“There are theatres out there that are going to be closing down,” Jez told MCN. “I want to help out in any way I can, that’s why I’m doing it.”

On top of taking donations from passers-by at each stop, the Yamaha rider has also set-up a Just Giving page and aims to raise almost £2000.

He explains: “My Just Giving page is set to £1750, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can smash that goal.

“Live theatre is completely different from seeing a film – you interact with the actors on stage and with the rest of the audience,” he continued. “I’ve got to do something to help.”

Chatting to MCN during the first week of his challenge, Jez said he is most looking forward to riding through Scotland, having previously visited the picturesque coastal roads in lorries as part of his work.

“I just love the scenery and the roads are smooth. I’ve done a lot of Scotland in the lorry and the A9 and A90 are beautiful.”

On top of helping his industry, Jez reckons the ride is doing him the power of good too, adding: “I’m normally away for six days a week. The last four months is the longest I’ve spent in my home and it’s slowly doing my head in!”