Sandi Toksvig dons her waders in ‘one-of-a-kind’ stream-based stand-up gig

Former ‘Bake Off’ front woman and QI host Sandi Toksvig is thought to have claimed a very unique ‘world first’ after headlining a stand-up comedy gig from within a stream!

From L to R Mark Watson, Eshaan Akbar, Helen Arney and Sandi Toksvig in the River Chess at Stand-up for Our Streams for Affinity Water’s SOS Save Our Streams photo credit Sam Roberts.

‘Stand-up for Our Streams’ was the milestone event in our SOS: Save Our Streams campaign, which urges members of the public to address water-wasting behaviours and help to protect the UK’s precious chalk streams.

Together, we need to save 21 million litres of water per day – shockingly, this is the equivalent of 140 million cups of tea, 37 million pints of water, 262,500 baths of water and 8.4 Olympic swimming pools.

Coined ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’, these beautiful rivers are sadly more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino. Now at risk due to unsustainably high demand for water resulting in groundwater being taken, SOS: Save Our Streams encourages people to waste less water by providing tailored water saving support.

On Monday 17th May 2021, comedian, broadcaster, author and keen environmentalist, Sandi Toksvig, led an exclusive comedy gig to a live audience from within a chalk stream, standing in the River Chess, which rises near Chesham and flows all the way to Rickmansworth, through Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Compered by comedian, author and sports pundit Mark Watson, the private, closed event, performed in front of 30 invited VIP guests, also featured support acts, Eshaan Akbar and Helen Arney.

Sandi Toksvig explains: “I am a firm believer that the protection of our environment is a shared responsibility. Having previously lived in a house boat, our waterways have a special place in my heart and I am proud to be helping to raise awareness and understanding of the simple steps we can all take to save these beautiful areas. What better way to do it than through entertainment and humour; let’s all ‘stand up for our streams’ and play a part in the protection of these national treasures.”

Mark Watson in the River Chess at Stand-up for Our Streams for Affinity Water’s SOS Save Our Streams photo credit Sam Roberts

Jake Rigg, Corporate Affairs Director at Affinity Water said: “Stand-up for Our Streams has been a fantastic, innovative way for us to highlight this major environmental issue facing the UK.

“Affinity Water is committed to ending unsustainable abstraction from local streams, but it must be a community effort. Saving water at home will help us do this and support our efforts towards a zero-carbon future.”

Event compere Mark Watson commented: “It has been a real privilege to be part of this one-of-a-kind event, which has certainly offered a completely new career experience for me!

“Behind the laughter is a very serious message – we need to start treasuring our water now for the precious resource that it is. If no changes are made, by 2025 we will have a shortfall of 43 million litres per day.

“More and more people are understanding the crucial need for environmental protection, but it’s easy to forget what a big impact water waste has on both our carbon footprint and our local environment. Taking action needs to become part of our daily lives so that we can all contribute to the changes we need to see.”

If you want to get involved and do your bit, you can take action now – click the button at the bottom of the page to enter your postcode and answer a few questions about how you use water, gaining access to your exact household water usage stats and discovering if you’re eligible for a free water-saving kit and tailored advice.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.