Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis launched a project to provide NHS workers on the frontline with hot meals. Lewis had just halted production on Billions and flown back from New York for lockdown; McCrory had paused filming the sixth series of Peaky Blinders. Parents to two children, they could have been excused a rest. Instead the couple’s campaign #FeedNHS raised more than £1m.
When Lewis announced that his wife of 14 years had died, aged 52, “after an heroic battle with cancer”, that campaign took on an added poignancy: in her final year, living with an illness she kept private, McCrory used her remaining energy to give back.
I interviewed McCrory and Lewis about #FeedNHS exactly a year ago. They were in lockdown in Sudbury, Suffolk, with their children, Manon, 14, and Gulliver, 12, and sounded less like television’s most eminent couple and more like professional fundraisers.