The klutzy character who runs in all directions and can’t express his emotions arose early in Rick Green’s comic repertoire.

The character “Bill” grew out of childhood antics at the family cottage in Muskoka, recorded in silent home movies. The persona took different forms over the years, then blossomed in the Adventures with Bill routine on the long-running CBC program The Red Green Show, in which the inept outdoorsman found ever-inventive ways to distractedly hurt himself.

“Without me realizing it, Bill exemplified ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder),” Green said yesterday as he prepared for a national public-awareness campaign on the condition.

“We’re developing a website that uses Bill to demonstrate the various symptoms.”

Green is to receive the celebrity Transforming Lives Award tonight from the CAMH Foundation, a branch of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is one of seven winners recognized this year for going public with a personal struggle to promote wider understanding about mental illness and addiction.

For a comic, the good thing about ADHD is that it frees inhibition, Green said.

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