PICTURES: Celebrities get behind ‘thumbs down’ knife campaign spearheaded by Seven Kings man

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 August 2013 | UPDATED: 11:09 21 August 2013

Singer and presenter Cheryl Baker

Singer and presenter Cheryl Baker


With their thumbs down, hundreds of people from all walks of life have delivered a united message on knife crime.

Comedian Johnny VegasComedian Johnny Vegas

Spearheaded by a Seven Kings campaigner, his awareness drive has captured people’s imagination and united them in a single cause.

“Knife crime doesn’t just affect gangs, it affects every single one of us,” says Danny O’Brien, founder of Anti-Knife UK.

The 48-year-old of Cameron Road has mobilised Twitter followers and complete strangers to post a picture of themselves online with their thumbs down, as part of his Thumbs Down to Knife Crime campaign.

More than 800 such pictures have been posted on his Facebook campaign page since he dreamt up the idea – literally – in May.

Sue Holderness and  John Challis, better known as Marlene and Boycie from Only Fools and HorsesSue Holderness and John Challis, better known as Marlene and Boycie from Only Fools and Horses

“It [the idea] came to me in a dream,” said Danny.

“I never expected to get celebrities involved.”

Using Twitter to contact celebrities, Danny has managed to get a bucket-load to support the thumbs down campaign and send him their own pictures with their thumbs firmly pointing downwards.

They include comedian Johnny Vegas, weather presenter Sian Lloyd, and 80s popstar Chesney Hawkes.

Danny O'Brien started the "thumbs down to knife crime campaign" in MayDanny O'Brien started the "thumbs down to knife crime campaign" in May

“It’s an awareness campaign,” said Danny.

“I can’t stop knife crime. But with the campaign I can help make people think, ‘what’s that about?’”

He added: “A lot of kids look up to celebrities, some Leyton Orient footballers have even taken part [in the campaign].

“People want to get involved and highlight this.”

Danny founded Anti-Knife UK in 2008 and is hoping to start receiving funding as part of becoming officially recognised as a not-for-profit organisation.

He said: “It shows what a single person can do.

“If you’re focussed on something, you can achieve it.

“I want to get the message across that knife crime isn’t cool.

To find out more about the campaign, log on to Facebook and search for the “thumbs down to knife crime” group.

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