Celebrity watch

Oscar winner Julie Christie supports Survival, the charity for indigenous tribes.

Julie Christie
Julie Christie

Christie, the British actor who won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the 1965 film Darling, has been involved with Survival for more than 20 years. Her interest stems from the fact she was born in a tribal area of India, where her father ran a tea plantation.

Two years ago, Christie took part in Survival's protest against diamond traders De Beers in support of Botswana's Kalahari Bushmen, who were evicted from their land to make way for diamond mines.

She recently launched the charity's campaign to save uncontacted tribes from extinction and has narrated a new film featuring footage of some of the world's most remote and endangered peoples.

"More than 100 tribes on three continents continue to shun contact with the outside world," says Christie. "They are among the most vulnerable peoples on earth, and could be wiped out within the next 20 years unless their land rights are recognised and upheld."

To see the film, click here.

Bill Bryson, the American author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, visited the South Downs last week to support the charity's petition against a government threat to remove almost a quarter of the land originally included in the proposed South Downs National Park.

"I was shocked to see the planning inspector's argument to exclude a tract of land known as the western Weald because it's a different type of landscape from the nearby chalk downland," said Bryson. "If this beautiful landscape is left out of the park, it will run the risk of being picked off by developers."

The Government's advisers drew up a boundary for the South Downs National Park in 2002, and this was discussed at a public inquiry that ended in 2005.

Bryson said: "We want the Secretary of State to confirm the original boundary, including the whole of the western Weald, which was designated five years ago."

Boris Johnson, Conservative MP for Henley-on-Thames, and George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant, contributed their favourite words to Education Action's International Literacy Day. The campaign highlights the plight of children living in war zones who cannot go to school. Johnson chose 'carminative', meaning relieving flatulence, and Galloway picked 'indefatigability', meaning tirelessness.

Actors Carley Stenson and Ricky Whittle, stars of Channel 4 show Hollyoaks, have become patrons of Sheffield-based epilepsy charity Fable. Stenson, who plays Steph Dean in the soap, says: "My character in Hollyoaks has epilepsy, and I am keen to help educate the public and raise awareness."

Hollywood actor Rebecca Mader and model and actor Twiggy are supporting the Addenbrooke Charitable Trust's annual Pink Rose Dinner appeal to raise money for the Cambridge Breast Unit at the trust. Cambridge-born actor Mader is urging supporters to host their own dinners and ask guests to pay for their supper by making donations to the appeal.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, television presenter Gary Lineker, actors Joanna Lumley and Sir Michael Caine and Prime Minister Gordon Brown are among more than 20 celebrities supporting Cats Protection's Celebrity Paws auction, which will run from 27 September to 6 October. Each celebrity was asked to draw round their hand, decorate it and then sign it. All the drawings will be auctioned on internet auction site eBay to raise funds for the charity.

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