Piers Morgan has offered to donate £1,000 of his own money to Dementia Revolution for the safe return of a 10-foot Big Ben costume after it was stolen from a London Marathon runner.
Lukas Bates took on the gruelling 26.2 mile route dressed as the iconic landmark on Sunday morning in a bid to get into the Guinness World Records Book for the fastest marathon time dressed as a landmark.
But he had the costume stolen after celebrating with friends at The Old Shades pub near Trafalgar Square after the race.
CCTV footage shows a group of runners appearing to take the costume, with members of the Ashington Hirst Running Club later admitting to taking it before allegedly dropping it off at a nearby bar.
“Imagine stealing Big Ben from a marathon runner,” Morgan said on Good Morning Britain. “How sick have you got to be? If you see it please tell us and we’ll return it.”
Keen to offer an incentive for anyone who may know of its whereabouts, he vowed to cough up a £500 reward before increasing it to £1000.
“If you hand it back but didn’t steal it you get a reward,” he said before co-host Susanna Reid pointed out someone who knows the thieves may come forward to cash in.
Morgan continued: “Here’s what we’ll do then. I will donate £1k to that guy’s charity for the safe return of Big Ben.”
Mr Bates went viral after he got stuck at the finish line on Sunday. He struggled to fit beneath the hoarding and was helped through by a steward after several attempts.
Mr Bates, who has raised over £6,000 for Dementia Revolution, failed to make it into the record books after completing the route in a time of 3:54:21. The record for the fastest marathon time dressed as a landmark is held by a German man who finished in 3:34:34 while dressed as Holstentor city gate.
A total of 38 new Guinness World Record titles were achieved at this year’s London Marathon out of a posible 78.
Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am