Thursday 14th September, 2000
Stars Draw On Store Of Talent To Save Red Squirrel
Celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, the Duchess of York and Sir Michael Caine have been showing off their artistic flair in aid of the endangered red squirrel.
More than 200 stars agreed to take part in a "scribble a squirrel" competition to raise awareness of the plight of the mammal, which could become extinct in England in the next decade. The pictures range in quality with some stars clearly more artistic than others.
Sir Paul's effort is in proportion and gently shaded. But Sir Michael Caine's line drawing is less accomplished, a fact he readily acknowledged, saying: "Good job I'm an actor." The pictures are to be auctioned on the Internet during Red Squirrel Week.
The auction will run for two weeks and will raise money for the North East Wildlife Trust and The Calvert Trust, charities which both work to raise awareness of the dangers facing the red squirrel in England.
Others whose pictures will be auctioned include Phil Collins, Sir Elton John, Barry Manilow, Sir Norman Wisdom, Richard E Grant, Rolf Harris, Sir Richard Branson and the Duchess of York.
Follow Up:People celebrated National Red Squirrel Week by bidding for a red squirrel drawing created and signed by their favourite celebrity. With over 100 unique drawings in all, many included signed photos and personal messages from the celebrities themselves.
Profits for the framed drawings will go towards the work of the North East Wildlife Trusts, and The Calvert Trust, Kielder in the North East of England.
The Wildlife Trusts are comprised of Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Durham Wildlife Trust and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. Together they represent a major force for wildlife in North East England, and form part of the Red Alert campaign to save the endangered red squirrel.
The Calvert Trust provides activity holidays for people with disabilities of all kinds, at a residential centre in Kielder Forest. The charity's mascot is Calvert Squirrel.
To see some examples (sadly not Richard's contribution) click here.
Contributors to the celebrity auction included:
Griff Rhys Jones
Duchess of York
Denise Welch (Coronation Street)
Johnny Briggs (Coronation Street)
Karen Drury (Brookside)
Liz Dawn (Coronation Street)
Louis Emmerick (Brookside)
Pam St Clement (Eastenders)
Paula Tubrook (Emmerdale)
Samantha Giles (Emmerdale)
Shaun Williamson (Eastenders)
Sue Jenkins (Brookside)
Thelma Barlow (Coronation Street)
Tiffany Chapman (Brookside)
Vince Earl (Brookside)
Wendy Richard (Eastenders)
William Roach (Coronation Street)
Aaron Hughes (Newcastle United Football Club)
Carl Cort (Newcastle United Football Club)
Davor Suker (Arsenal Football Club)
Shay Given (Newcastle United Football Club)
Stage & Screen
Helena Bonham Carter
Richard E. Grant
TV & Radio
Alan Robson with photo
David Jacobs (BBC Radio 2)
John Peel (BBC Radio 1)
Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 1)