THE man behind an iconic catchphrase in a cult film has met veterans in Catterick Garrison to get behind the fight against homelessness in the Armed Forces community.

Brian Blessed attended the Beacon in Catterick Garrison, run by charity Riverside, to support the Walking Home for Christmas campaign for veterans who don’t have a home to go to at Christmas.

The 79-year-old, best known for his booming voice and his roles in Flash Gordon - which contained his immortal phrase: "Gordon's Alive!" - Blackadder, and most recently as Grampy Rabbit in Peppa Pig, met veterans before giving an inspirational talk about his passion for the Armed Forces.

Blessed, who was conscripted for two years into the RAF, spoke about his expeditions to Everest and the North Pole, as well as his time in the forces, telling residents of the Beacon he understood a lot of what they have gone through.

Riverside’s specialist housing scheme in Catterick helps veterans who have been, or are at risk of, being homeless.

It works closely with Walking with the Wounded which funds employment mentors to support veterans back into work and regain their independence.

Blessed said: “I am honoured to be a brother in arms with these men and women. No-one who has served their country should be without a home, or at risk of being homeless.

“It’s inspiring to see the work Riverside does with Walking with the Wounded, and shows we can make a difference this Christmas, with a little determination.”

He added: “I’m so proud of all the lads and lasses from the Armed Forces for what they have done for us.

“We owe so much to them for what we have. I was in the parachute regiment and did 76 jumps so I was a real para.

“War isn’t like what you see in the films – if someone gets shot in the shoulder their shoulder is blown off. I have never seen bravery like what I have witnessed from today’s veterans and service personnel – that’s why I’m passionate about getting behind them and doing whatever I can.”

Blessed has donated a limited edition Flash Gordon poster, recently signed by many of the cast at a London premiere celebrating the 35th anniversary of the film, to be donated to raise funds for Walking with the Wounded supporting homeless veterans.

The Walking Home for Christmas campaign runs from December 12 to 26. Last year, 500 walkers walked 5,000 miles and raised £100,000. It costs £10 to enter the walk.

To sign up for Walking Home For Christmas visit