Sheringham producer’s dream to help the homeless

Christian Nock in Cromer with film maker Johnny Lynch. Picture: Andreas Yiasimi Christian Nock in Cromer with film maker Johnny Lynch. Picture: Andreas Yiasimi

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
9:44 AM

He has been a salesman, scuba diving instructor, boating lake owner and has even appeared as an extra in James Bond film Skyfall.

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Johnny Lynch with comedian Frank Skinner at BAFTA.Johnny Lynch with comedian Frank Skinner at BAFTA.

And now Sheringham man Johnny Lynch, 42, who runs an extras agency has set up a production company to raise the problem of homelessness in Britain.

Johnny, who grew up in North Walsham, founded the Lynch Mob Agency in 2009 after appearing as an extra in the film Scouting Book for Boys during filming on Holkham Beach. It is based at Pinewood Studios and currently helps about 1,700 people, mainly from London, get work as extras in films and television programmes.

His latest venture is the production company Broken Films Production which is currently creating a film called Homelessness.

Johnny said: “I want to tell people the stark truth of what some of the UK’s most vulnerable people are going through.”

His interest in homelessness was sparked after he started volunteering for foodbanks and the charity Crisis in London since about 2011.

He has even raised thousands of pounds for homeless charities, slept rough in the capital and spoken with a lot of people who are on the streets – which inspired him to make a film about the issue.

“The more you get involved with something your own world changes, and now it is impossible for me to go through the day without thinking about the homeless problem in the UK. It resonated with me and I cannot switch it off,” Johnny added.

Homelessness will not include any big names and will be a 21st century remake of the 1960s BBC television play Cathy Come Home.

He has also been making a documentary called Onward Christian Soldiers: The long walk to end homelessness.

This is based on the epic walk by former L/Cpl Christian Nock, who is homeless and started a walk around the British coast 10 months ago from Blackpool for Help for Heroes and to raise awareness of homelessness. He passed through Cromer and Great Yarmouth two weeks ago and was interviewed by Johnny.

The producer said: “The first day he walked he cried his eyes out knowing he was a proud ex-soldier – and more than 300 days later he has raised £70,000 for Help for Heroes. It was really important to me to find a project I could shoot.”

The documentary will be about 40 minutes long and will be released next year, along with the film.

All proceeds from both productions will go towards charities including Crisis, Shelter, Help for Heroes, Centrepoint, Thames Reach, Help for Heroes and the Big Issue. “I don’t want to waste this opportunity and want to get it right. It will hopefully change a lot of lives,” Johnny added.

His successful rise started when he was young and sold patio equipment from his parents’ home as a teenager.

While in his 20s he sold soft toys to amusement arcades and fairgrounds, windows and wine.

From 2002, Johnny ran the Cromer Boating Lake – a family area near the promenade – for seven years.

During that time he also ran an ice cream shop in Sheringham and taught scuba diving in the winter.

Johnny said: “You have dreams and I always felt there was something out there. I couldn’t handle the uncertainty of the boating lake. There is still uncertainty in films but I feel like I retired four years ago even though I work 18 hours a day.”

To add to his CV he has just been cast to play one of the great train robbers – Tommy Wisbey – in a film due to be released next year. Tommy Wisbey frightened the train staff and served 30 years in jail.

To sponsor Mr Nock visit www.bmycharity.com/ChristianNock

For more information about Johnny’s homelessness projects visit https://twitter.com/ukhomelessness or www.facebook.com/UKHomelessness

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