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Race is on to revive much-loved London gay pub the Joiners Arms

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Comedians Stephen Fry and Joe Lycett and actor Mawaan Rizwan have joined in a race to raise tens of thousands of pounds to open the UK’s first community-run queer venue.Campaigners need to raise nearly £30,000 in the next four days to hit their £100,000 target and keep alive hopes of reviving the Joiners Arms, a famous east London gay institution.The Friends of the Joiners Arms campaign group launched a crowdfunding initiative this summer, selling shares in a proposed new bar and community venue for as little as £25 in a “fightback” against the number of queer venues lost to property development.The campaign has achieved more than two-thirds of its fundraising target, but the project will not go ahead if the campaigners fail to hit £100,000 by the deadline of 8pm on Tuesday 2 August.The fundraiser was launched when a property developer stalled on its promise to fund the creation of a queer venue after it forced the closure of the Joiners Arms in Tower Hamlets in 2015.

Famous regulars included the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and actor Sir Ian McKellen.

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