Celebrity watch

Samantha Janus - The actress supports Animal Defenders International.

Janus, currently starring in Guys and Dolls at the Milton Keynes Theatre with ex-EastEnders star Alex Ferns, appeared on Five News last month to talk about ADI's latest animal rescue.

The charity had just secured a new life for two former circus lions and a tiger, which were seized from a Portuguese circus and then flown to the ADI Rescue Centre at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa.

"Samantha Janus is a great supporter for our cause because she's been working with us for a decade and knows the issues," says Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI. "When she went on television, she was able to talk about the suffering of all circus animals.

"She isn't just someone who puts her name to our campaigns - she actually gets involved. She has written to the Crown Prosecution Service, lobbied government and the actors union Equity and helped publicise many of our campaigns."

Actress Scarlett Johansson eschewed the glitz and glamour of the Oscars last week for a tour of India with Oxfam.

While Celebrity Big Brother contestant Jade Goody's trip to the country hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, media commentators praised Johansson's decision to embark on the 10-day tour.

The Lost in Translation star visited a school in Uttar Pradesh in north India, funded by Oxfam and set up to educate children from the so-called 'untouchable' caste, who face discrimination.

Johansson said: "I met Gudiya, who was an amazing, bright young girl, full of ambition. Her self-pride and drive to succeed were obvious outcomes of her schooling."

The actress also travelled to Sri Lanka to see how Oxfam is helping to rebuild communities destroyed by the tsunami two years ago.

Annabel Croft, the broadcaster and former tennis player, is supporting Breast Cancer Campaign's £100 Tennis Challenge this year. Last year, the annual event in which tennis clubs around the country raise funds for the charity brought in £100,000. Croft said: "Your support will help the Breast Cancer Campaign to continue researching the cure for breast cancer."

Monty Don, the celebrity gardener, human rights lawyer Cherie Booth, actor Ray Fearon and former Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales have all been appointed as ambassadors for the Howard League for Penal Reform. All four will carry out a range of duties for the charity throughout the year.

Steve Redgrave, the five-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower, and Radio 4 presenter Dr Mark Porter launched a new partnership between Diabetes UK and Specsavers Opticians at The Gallery in London on 5 March. The two organisations are teaming up to raise awareness of the fact that at least a quarter of a million people with diabetes also have sight-threatening retinopathy.

Leon Lopez, star of Hollyoaks: In the City, has helped to raise £12,000 for youth charity Weston Spirit by taking part in ITV's Soapstar Superstar. Lopez, who finished seventh, chose the charity to benefit from all the phone votes cast for him. The former Brookside star nominated the charity because he took part in a Weston Spirit membership programme when he was growing up in Liverpool. He said: "I saw older kids turn to drugs and crime. I found out about Weston Spirit through school. It was one of the best things I ever took part in."

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