Celebrity watch

Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder, is the new patron of the Hepatitis C Trust

Last month Roddick admitted in public for the first time that she has hepatitis C. She contracted the disease following a blood transfusion when she had her youngest daughter, Sam, in 1971.

Raquel Jose, media coordinator at the Hepatitis C Trust, says: "Anita offered to help us last year. When she was first diagnosed three years ago, she didn't know anything about the disease, but the more she found out, the angrier she became. She couldn't believe the Government had spent more on encouraging people to switch to digital TV than on raising awareness of hepatitis C."

The charity employs only nine people and normally takes about 10 calls a day. After Roddick's decision to go public, this increased to nearly a 100 calls a day.

Jose adds: "We have had lots of calls from women who also had blood transfusions during childbirth around the same time Anita did - we have referred them all to be tested. The earlier people get diagnosed, the better their chances of recovery."

Rio Ferdinand has lent his support to The Prince's Trust. The Manchester United defender offered health tips to a group of young people as part of a Prince's Trust course. Ferdinand, who is an ambassador for the charity, spoke to the 16 to 25-year-olds, who are working towards Community Sports Leader Awards.

The qualification is designed to give young people the skills to work in the sports and leisure industry, and is recognised by employers.

The talk by Ferdinand marked the 10th anniversary of a partnership between the Prince's Trust, the Premier League, the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Foundation.

He told the young people: "I've been an ambassador almost since the initiative began, and it gives me great pride to be a part of the 10th anniversary. Football clubs can have an enormous effect on young people, both as a source of inspiration and a place to learn new skills and get work experience."

Noel Gallagher, the mono-browed rock'n'roll legend, will be performing at this year's Versus Cancer gig, organised by the Great Northern Aid Trust. Former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and The Charlatans will also take part in the event at Manchester's MEN Arena on 30 March.

Charlene White, a presenter on digital station 1Xtra, is the new ambassador for the Media Trust's Youth Media team. White, who also presents a talkshow on BBC London, says: "Encouraging young people to get involved in the media is important - they can tell the real story and instigate change." White will be championing various Youth Media projects.

Bill Bailey, the comedian and regular guest on BBC 2's Never Mind the Buzzcocks, will be performing at Bowel Cancer UK's Copper Bottom Sunshine event on 1 April. The evening of comedy and music will be held in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and will also include a stand-up act by Bailey's fellow comedian Rhona Cameron.

Darcey Bussell, the prima ballerina, has nominated Norwood as her charity of choice in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group's Fans scheme, earning Norwood £5,197. The UK children and families charity has received the lump sum after the hotel chain invited Bussell to make a nomination. In return, through her manager and long-time Norwood supporter Steven Howard, the hotel group has donated the cash to Norwood. Bussell, who has long supported Norwood, says: "I'm delighted to nominate Norwood as my charity. It's important to me that I can help others to achieve their full potential in life."

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