Daily Express owner gives £2.5m to eye hospital

Indira Das-Gupta

Controversial media mogul Richard Desmond has donated £2.5m to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

The money will go towards a centre for children, which will be named the Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre. It is the equivalent of two-and-a-half weeks' salary for Desmond, who paid himself £52m last year.

The £15m centre will include an entire floor dedicated to research into children's eye conditions. It is expected to open in the autumn, but more funding is needed for equipment.

Desmond, who owns Express Newspapers, had already donated £500,000 to the hospital to fund research into glaucoma, after he developed acute glaucoma 18 months ago.

In an editorial in the Daily Express, Desmond said he "could not have been happier" with the treatment he received. A hospital spokesman remarked: "He is a grateful patient."

Desmond made much of his fortune from adult magazines such as Asian Babes and Nude Readers' Wives. He sold them in 2004 to Remnant Media but still owns the TV channels Television X: The Fantasy Channel, Gay TV and Red Hot.

Desmond is known to give generously to other good causes, such as the London Federation of Boys' Clubs. He also established the Richard Desmond Charitable Trust, which is a grant-giving body and has the objective of "relieving poverty and sickness, especially among children".

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