Comedian Matt Lucas throws a massive ‘tantrum’

To support Theirworld’s early years campaign

  • Actor launches Global Tantrum in protest over lack of early years investment
  • His video “gives a voice’ to children missing out on early years support
  • Other high-profile celebrities will join the tantrum in the coming weeks

Comedian and presenter Matt Lucas has been filmed barking orders at production crew and hurling furniture on set in new footage released today.

The former Great British Bake Off host is seen crawling on his hands and knees, screaming at the top of his voice, “I am NOT having a tantrum!”

The truth is he is in fact having a tantrum – but it’s all part of an action by the global children’s charity Theirworld to highlight the crisis in early years care and provision.

The aim of the Global Tantrum is to send a strong message to world leaders that they are ignoring and letting down the world’s youngest children by failing to invest in care and education in the first few years of their life.

Other celebrities are set to join the Global Tantrum in the coming weeks in protest over the lack of investment in the early years. Because what do children do when they’re being ignored? They have a tantrum.

You can watch the full film here.

The charity will take the Global Tantrum – which is part of its Act for Early Years campaign – to the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September to raise awareness among world leaders.

The world’s littlest children are never in the room when big decisions are made about them. They’re completely invisible – and that’s not fair,” said Lucas, an Ambassador for Theirworld. “I’m helping to give a voice to children who are unable to advocate for themselves.

“Early years support is so important for a children’s life chances, and it’s a tragedy that millions go without the quality care and early learning they need.

It is not the first time that Lucas has channelled his inner child for Theirworld. In 2017, he revived his much-loved character George Dawes – complete with pink onesie – as part of the charity’s #5for5 campaign, which called on world leaders to prioritise five crucial interventions needed for children aged 0 to 5.

Theirworld’s Act For Early Years campaign is calling for world leaders to prioritise investment in the early years.

In 2018, G20 countries made a ground-breaking commitment to the world’s youngest children, but those have gone off track. As a result, more than half of the world’s children – about 350 million – have no access to childcare and 175 million are not enrolled in pre-primary education.

The charity says there is overwhelming evidence that show that without proper support, children are at risk of going through life with poorer physical and mental health and will face an uphill struggle to learn and, later, to earn a living.

Sarah Brown, Chair of Theirworld, said: “The first few years of a child’s life are vital. It’s when 90% of their brain develops – but it’s also when inequality sets in through lack of quality care and early learning for all children. I feel the same way that lovely Matt Lucas does – the full frustration and tantrum-inducing urge to throw things to get attention for this urgent issue.

Today the youngest children around the world are not being heard by world leaders, so we are taking on the tactics of the toddler and organising a Global Tantrum as a way of getting heard! It’s a fun campaign but on a serious issue.

“We need a global revolution in early years provision to ensure that all children get the best start in life. It is our responsibility to drive this change and give a voice to the millions of children currently being let down. It’s time to stand up for the early years, even if it means having a tantrum!

Theirworld’s campaign is backed by an extensive and hard-hitting Act For Early Years report, which lays out the challenges facing parents and children, and includes radical recommendations for urgent action by world leaders.

A global poll released by the charity in April found that the high cost of nursery and preschool fees has forced one in five parents to quit a job or drop out of education.

More than three-quarters said they had been forced to make major financial changes – such as taking on more work and spending less on food – to pay for childcare.

Theirworld wants governments to ensure that every child has access to affordable, quality childcare. It also wants countries to invest in the key areas that a young child needs to thrive, such as good health, good nutrition, care and stimulation.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Nicole Martin, 07768 695 087

About Theirworld
Theirworld is a global children’s charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation. Its mission is to ensure that every child has the best start in life, a safe place to learn and the skills they need for the future.