Téléthon brings in €80.3m for charity
Marathon TV fundraiser brings in millions for muscular dystrophy research - aided by large tax bonus
Generous viewers raised €80.3m to France's annual Téléthon - a slight increase on the previous year's fundraising extravaganza.
The 30-hour television marathon closed with the total standing at €80,319,113, compared with €80.25m last year. The final tally will not be known until the end of the 2016 and is usually about €10m higher. Last year, the amount donated reached €93.85m.
The total is likely to remain lower than the mid-2000s, when the annual fundraiser regularly topped €100million.
The annual event raises cash for muscular dystrophy charity AFM and two-thirds of the donation amount can be deducted from income tax. Donations can still be made on the Téléthon's website, or by telephoning 36 37.
Money raised goes to funding research into rare illnesses affecting the brain, liver, eyesight and blood. AFM is supporting 37 clinical trials including gene and cell therapy, and 230 research projects.