Rachel Riley among stars going ‘undercover’ in covert poppy appeal campaign
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Rachel Riley among stars going ‘undercover’ in covert poppy appeal campaign

The Countdown star joins Poppy Appeal collectors 'to shine a spotlight on our armed forces who sacrifice so much to serve our country'

Royal British Legion/PA Wire
Royal British Legion/PA Wire

Rachel Riley has gone “undercover” as a Poppy Appeal collector to celebrate the thousands of volunteers who give up their free time for the Royal British Legion’s annual appeal.

The Countdown star teamed up with some of the Legion’s 40,000 poppy sellers to shine a light on their fundraising efforts.

The campaign will help to highlight how the money raised every year is used to support serving and former members of the British armed forces and their families, and the sacrifices they have made.

The TV star and maths whizz, who is pregnant with her first child with her former Strictly Come Dancing star husband Pasha Kovalev, joined forces with collectors in Salford to help launch the 2019 Poppy Appeal.

Riley said: “I’ve gone undercover as part of the Royal British Legion and GCHQ’s Operation Poppy to highlight the hard work and dedication of the 40,000 Poppy Appeal collectors who give up their time each year, and to shine a spotlight on our armed forces who sacrifice so much to serve our country.”

Operation Poppy will take place across the day on Thursday on both the news and on social media, as well as screens at London’s Paddington Station, where members of the public can watch the celebrities being revealed and hear stories of those serving in the armed forces.

The Royal British Legion’s director of fundraising, Claire Rowcliffe, said: “Our undercover celebrities and the puzzles are a fun and engaging way for the public to get involved in this year’s Poppy Appeal launch, but there is a serious message at its heart.

“This year is all about telling the hidden stories of our armed forces who provide an incredible service to our country in all kinds of ways, and telling the stories of the collectors who volunteer every year to show their support for them.”

The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal takes place from October 24 until Armistice Day on November 11.

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