When he’s not on set filming the next series of ‘Borgia’ in Italy, Paul Brennen can be found putting in the miles in the beautiful surrounding countryside…
For next month (September), the actor will make his running debut for a cause much closer to his heart and home – the intensive care unit at The James Cook University Hospital.
Paul is tackling the Great North Run for his close friend Phil Holbrook, whose wife tragically died in a car accident last December – an accident which also left Phil with life-threatening injuries and in a coma for a week.
The couple from Hartlepool had taken part in the Great North Run since its inception and it had always been a joke that Paul would run it with them, but every year he never got round to it.
Now he’s aiming to complete the 13.1 miles in two hours and eight minutes, the same time as Phil last year.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done any proper running or asked people to sponsor me so I’m running for my mate, Phil, I’m running in memory of Sally and I’m running for the intensive care unit at James Cook,” said Paul, whose other acting credits include The Tudors, The Bill and films Alien 3 and Border Crossing.
“Phil is one of my oldest friends. I have known him since our first day of nursery and his is one of the kindest, most compassionate, funny people I know. I was best man at their wedding and in Sally he had found his soul mate.
“After the accident Phil was close to death – his body was smashed and broken and he was unable to breathe for himself. It was only through the expertise, care and support of the doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit that brought Phil back to his family and friends.
“It was the same intensive care unit had saved my niece’s life, Alex, eight years earlier. The NHS takes such a battering and there are things that this unit really needs and the money raised will go towards that – the doctors and nurses there are saving lives every day.”
Anyone who wants to sponsor Paul can do so on his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Paul-Brennen.