Actor James Bye backs Ark Cancer Centre Charity fundraisers

He's become a household name – and now Basingstoke-born actor James Bye is hoping to help a local good cause by giving his high-profile backing to a team of cyclists supporting a cancer charity’s £5million fundraising campaign.

James, who plays Martin Fowler in the popular BBC soap EastEnders, is backing Team Champion The Wacky Riders – a 26-strong group of fundraisers who will be taking part in a London to Brighton bike ride in support of Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

James, 32, is a friend of Perry Champion, director of the Basingstoke-based construction industry-related Champion Group, who is the driving force behind the fundraising team.

Father-of-two James, who joined the cast of the award-winning drama in December 2014, hopes local people will get behind Perry and the team ahead of the Bike 4 Cancer event on Sunday, September 11.

James said: “When Perry told me about the charity and the cancer treatment centre project, it was clear that this is a very important fundraising campaign and a fantastic project.Cancer is sadly something that affects most families, and the new centre will clearly make a big, and positive, difference to people in the Basingstoke area.I wish Perry and the team all the best for the September 11 fundraising ride, and I hope that local people will give generously and show their support for them.”

James, who went to The Hurst school, in Baughurst, and Queen Mary’s College, in Basingstoke, still has family in the Basingstoke area and likes to come back here as much as his busy schedule allows.

He said: “The Basingstoke area is very close to my heart, and that is one of the reasons why I am pleased to support a good cause like Ark Cancer Centre Charity and the cancer treatment centre project which will deliver a positive benefit to local people.”

The cycling fundraisers have also received great backing from local businesses and individuals. In addition to the Champion Group itself, Loft Plan, John Reilly Civil Engineering Ltd, Chandler HP, Redrow Homes, and PB Edwards have all come on board with key sponsorship support.

Basingstoke-based Cotton Graphics, which is owned by former England and Hampshire cricketer Shaun Udal, is kindly supplying the riders’ shirts, and is putting the logos of the main sponsors on these.

Perry Champion said: “It’s great to have the support of James and the many businesses and individuals who have generously sponsored the team and made donations. We are all looking forward to the big day.”

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, added: “The charity is grateful to James for his show of support. Public backing for the charity and cancer treatment centre project continues to grow, and this latest high-profile recognition from James will help to increase awareness of both.The charity is also very grateful to all of the generous businesses and individual supporters who have got behind the Team Champion cyclists. The riders, sponsors and supporters are all helping to make a difference to the fundraising campaign.”

Anyone who wants to make a donation in support of the Team Champion riders can do so by going to

And anyone who wants to offer sponsorship support to the team can contact Perry Champion on

Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal will ensure a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in a calm and uplifting environment in the cancer treatment centre. Largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), the new centre is earmarked for a location in the Basingstoke and Deane area, and if the preferred site near to Junction 7 of the M3 is approved, it will be easily accessible to everyone in the HHFT region.









Members of Team Champion The Wacky Riders who will be cycling from London to Brighton in the Bike 4 Cancer event on Sunday, September 11.