Press release

Award Winning actor Russell Tovey joins in SATs exam revision at Tottenham primary school’s breakfast club

Launches campaign to ensure no child sits morning exams on an empty stomach

London, 1st May 2019:   Actor Russell Tovey (Being Human, Gavin & Stacey, Quantico, The Great Celebrity Bake Off 2019) joined pupils at Risley Avenue Primary School in Tottenham for a healthy breakfast and exam revision ahead of SATs exams this month. 

Russell is supporting Magic Breakfast charity’s Magic SATs campaign, launching on 1st May, which is raising funds to ensure no child sits down to their morning exams on an empty stomach, too hungry to focus and unable to do their best.

As many as 1.8 million school age children are at risk of hunger in the UK1 and for too many, the first meal of the day is lunch.  Magic Breakfast provides nutritious breakfasts and expert support to schools where children arrive for their morning lessons too hungry to learn.

An independent evaluation by the Institute for Fiscal Studies2 found that pupils in Magic Breakfast’s partner schools boosted their reading, writing and maths skills by an average of two months’ additional progress per year, compared to pupils in schools with no such breakfast provision. 

Throughout May, individuals, corporates and restaurants will be fundraising in order to help Magic Breakfast end hunger as a barrier to education in UK schools.  They might be donating a meal for a meal, or having a go at a SATs paper, like Russell Tovey, or setting themselves a sponsored fitness challenge.  

The call will go out to text MAGICSATS to 70085 to donate £5 with the aim of raising £60,000 which equates to the cost of 200,000 breakfasts.

Alex Cunningham, CEO of Magic Breakfast, said: “We want all children to have the same chance to progress in their education and do well in their exams. A healthy school breakfast is a simple solution that has been proven to make a huge difference.”

Russell Tovey said that he had had an inspirational visit to Risley Avenue Primary School – “It’s great to see so many children enjoying a healthy breakfast to set them up for the morning ahead. Good luck to everyone taking exams this May!”.


1 Correlates of Food Insecurity Among Children Across the Globe, Innocenti Working Paper, UNICEF Office of Research, Florence




Notes to Editors 

About Russell Tovey

With an extensive background in film, television and theatre, Russell Tovey is best known for playing the leading role of George Sands in the BBC’s fantasy comedy series Being Human. Russell also starred in BBC’s comedy television series Him and Her, where he went on to win the 2012 Royal Television Society Award (RTS) for Best Comedy Performance. He can also be seen as character Budgie in Gavin & Stacy. His numerous television credits include BBC’s Doctor Who; critically acclaimed BBC TV mini-series Little Dorrit; Ashes to Ashes; Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive; Sherlock; Looking; The Night Manager; What Remains; The Job Lot and Quantico. Russell will next be seen in the BBC’s Drama series Years and Years written by Russell T. Davies, alongside Emma Thompson and Jessica Hynes.

After starring in Alan Bennett’s 2004 play The History Boys, both at the National Theatre and on Broadway, he reprised his role of ‘Rudge’ in the 2006 film adaptation directed by Nicholas Hytner. In 2008, Russell also appeared in The Sea at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and then in 2009 as Gary in A Miracle at London's Royal Court Theatre. He has also played the title role in Tintin at the Barbican and the role of Roger in His Dark Materials at The National Theatre. In 2017, Russel played the leading role of Joseph Pitt in critically acclaimed Angels in America at The National Theatre, preceding a Broadway transfer.

In late 2012 Russell starred alongside Sheridan Smith in the popular thriller, Tower Block. He can also be seen in period drama film Effie, opposite Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson and Julie Walters. Other notable film credits include Grabbers; Blackwood; The Lady in the Van; Mindhorn; The Pass; Hymm of Hate; and The Sea. Later this year, Russel will star alongside Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren in Bill Condon’s The Good Liar.

About Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast is a registered charity in the UK (number: 1102510 in England and SC048202 in Scotland) providing healthy breakfasts to over 40,300 children every school day as essential fuel for learning.

The charity works with schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK helping them to establish breakfast provision that targets every vulnerable child.  A hungry child cannot concentrate and will miss out on the most important lessons, taught in the morning, if not given anything to eat.

School breakfast provision has been shown to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children.  Independent research, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, found that primary schools that offered a free, nutritious Magic Breakfast boosted their pupils' reading, writing and maths results by an average of 2 months' progress over the course of a year. 

Magic Breakfast is supporting the provision of breakfasts to 480 partner schools - primary, secondary, SEN schools and Pupil Referral Units.

In March 2018 Magic Breakfast and Family Action were awarded a contract by the Department for Education to set up or improve breakfast provision in over 1,770 schools in disadvantaged areas of England. The two year investment is being funded through the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

Fundraising packs are available on the Magic Breakfast website.



Sophia Dettmer, Head of Communications, Magic Breakfast 

[email protected]

Tel: 07399 553154


Lauren Jenkins, Russell Tovey publicist

[email protected]

Tel: 020 7399 8686


PHOTOS: High Res images are available for publication, please contact Sophia Dettmer