When Lisa Connell hit the local press last month we were impressed by her spirited determination and charitable entrepreneurship in the face of personal adversity. We caught up with her this weekend to find out how the fundraising's going, whether there's been any naughty business yet and just where should you take Barnet's finest once you've bid her up?
So, how’s the dating going?
Well its still in the early stages. I’ve managed to grab a date each week since the launch of the MySpace account and another candidate got taken out a couple of weeks ago to the theatre! We have raised a total of £777 so far. The preparations of the official site are coming along great and I hope to have the official launch in the last week of September. I was also approached by Phil Hall Associates, they are now my publicists, so things are definitely on the up! It’s all so very exciting. I’m overwhelmed with the general response that I'm getting.
What would your ideal London date involve?
Hmm that’s a good question. I’m very easy to please and I’ve not really had that much experience dating but I guess if I could choose I would opt for a day out rather than an evening at the cinema. My ideal date would probably be to be taken out for lunch followed by a trip to the London Dungeons - I love anything scary and I’ve been told it would be right up my street! Although I’ve lived in London all my life I’ve yet to experience any of the London attractions. The nearest I got was when I was running in the Great British 10K London Run and I got to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from a distance! So, I'd also like to do a London bus tour - you get to see everything in one hit and the history would intrigue me.
Have you or any of your fellow rent a daters had any inappropriate approaches so far?
No, thank god! All my fellow candidates have been given guidance on standard security measures and on the official site there will be terms and conditions allowing the candidate/bidder to pull out of the date should they feel that they are in any danger whatsoever. These are fun dates and all in the aid of charity. Anyone abusing these issues will be removed from the site.
How did celebrities Sophie Anderton & Aisleyne from Big Brother get involved?
I grew up with Aisleyne. We hadn’t seen each other for around 10 years as I moved away but she got in touch when she found out about my condition and since then we have been really good friends. Aisleyne’s uncle also suffers with a brain tumour so she was aware of the cause and kindly offered to go up for auction. Sophie is a good friend of a friend and so we often used to hear about each others stories but didn’t actually get a chance to meet up. When she heard about what I was doing she approached me and said that she would be to happy to help out by putting herself up for auction. I couldn't believe it! I was honoured that she wanted to take part.
How much do you think they’ll go for?
I wouldn’t have a clue!?! All I know is that any bid is a worthy bid so even if we made a £1 I'd be happy. It’s not just the money that counts. The main reason for my campaign is to raise awareness. Having Sophie and Aisleyne on the site is doing just that and I couldn’t be happier.
What will their minimum standard of date experience be? Could you take Sophie Anderton down the Mucky Pup for a pint and some crisps?
Unfortunately the auction winner doesn't get the opportunity to organise the date for a celebrity. It will be the agent who determines the location, date and time. All these details will be shown on the celebrity's profile alongside their auction. We are hoping that all the restaurants involved in the celebrity dates will donate a free meal and perhaps a bottle of wine. Fingers crossed they say yes - we all love freebies!
Share your most romantic London moment with us. Go on.
Romance? What’s that? Honestly I think I must have been going for the wrong guys. I’m still waiting that romantic date!
What you’ve achieved since your diagnosis is remarkable. This is your chance to gee up Londoners to help you achieve your £1m target. You have 100 words. GO!
I am making it my personal goal to raise over £1 Million Pounds for Brain Tumour UK. This money will go into the development of research, education and support for brain tumour sufferers like myself and raise awareness of both the cause and the symptoms experienced by brain tumour sufferers throughout the UK and worldwide. Help me to help others. Spread the word and help me make this happen.
And finally, have you ever been sick on the tube?
Not that I can remember. I’ve come very close though!
Image courtesy of Lisa Connell.