As the world’s tennis stars descend on The Queen’s Club this week, British tennis number one and UNICEF UK supporter Andy Murray can be seen serving up some tough love to One Direction's Liam Payne, comedian Jack Whitehall and broadcaster Clare Balding in a short comedy sketch for Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation.
The sketch, which has been released on Facebook today, sees Andy take on the role of coach trying to get his team ready for a charity tennis match, but unfortunately they don’t all want to play ball. Some vicious volleys from Murray lead to murmurs of team mutiny.
Andy, Liam, Jack and Clare came together to film the short sketch for Unicef UK’s Children in Danger Summer Disease Appeal, which is raising awareness and vital funds for children in danger of disease. Every day, 17,000 children under the age of five die, most because they don’t get the health care and life-saving vaccines they need.
Unicef UK Supporter Andy Murray explains: “I was playing the role of a rather strict tennis coach trying to get my team up to scratch. But you’ll see trying to keep Jack, Liam and Clare in line was not as easy as it sounds. In the film, they all have their own motivations for wanting to take part – Clare thinks she is the best player of her generation, Jack just wants to join One Direction and Liam, poor guy, is the only one that actually wants a decent game.”
Liam Payne said: “I know Jack Whitehall and we get on well so it was fun trying to wind him up during filming and ignore him when he hassled me for a part in One Direction. We also got to play a bit of tennis with Andy which was great. I hit one shot that he had to stretch for so I thought ‘yes!’ That’s a life goal!”
Jack Whitehall said: “It was great to have a knock around with Andy, but unfortunately the pressure got to me a bit and I was pying shots left, right and centre but the experience was very special. And Clare Balding is vicious! She was very good, a star player.”
Clare Balding said: “Liam is a really keen tennis player and Jack’s got a few good shots. Andy was brilliant – he really entered into the spirit of it and was great fun on court, putting up with the rest of us being enthusiastic but not very good!”
The sketch calls on the public to support Unicef’s life-saving work to protect millions of children in danger of disease. Unicef provides vaccines for one in three of the world’s children: just £3 could help provide life-saving vaccines for a child.
Andy Murray added: “Sadly there are thousands of children that don’t get the vaccinations they need to grow up healthy. Unicef does an incredible job of reaching children living in the poorest and most remote countries to make sure they’re protected, but there’s so much more to do. Make sure you watch the sketch on Facebook and if you like it, please donate to Unicef UK’s Children in Danger Appeal.”