Celebrities

This week, Damon Albarn, James Cracknell and Ben Fogle support their favourite causes.

James Cracknell and Ben Fogle
James Cracknell and Ben Fogle

Olympic gold medal-winning rower James Cracknell and BBC presenter Ben Fogle pedalled a rickshaw from Edinburgh to London in 60 hours to raise money for SSAFA Forces Help. The pair took turns to pedal, and they ate and slept in the rickshaw. "A lot of friends and family are in the forces and I was in the reserve forces myself, so I feel passionately that we should support them," said Fogle. Impressionist Jan Ravens held a one-off show in aid of disfigurement charity Changing Faces at the Lyric Theatre in London on 5 October. The star of the BBC series Dead Ringers and former contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is a patron of the charity.

Veteran hip-hopper MC Hammer has sent messages to his 1.5 million followers on social networking site Twitter urging them to help fund Feed the Children's relief work with people affected by the natural disasters in the Philippines, American Samoa and Indonesia. After making a donation himself, Hammer said: "I am asking my followers on Twitter to follow my example and do their part to help out those involved in these tragedies."

England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has donated the bat he used to steer England to victory in the Ashes series against Australia to family support charity Home-Start Ealing. The signed bat sold for £510 at a fundraising auction last week.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter has provided the voiceover for a new Macmillan Cancer Support TV advert promoting the charity's new free phone service for people affected by cancer. The 40-second advert will be aired on terrestrial and satellite channels.

- Damon Albarn

Blur frontman Albarn is among a number of celebrity dads who star in a Children's Society film on video-sharing website YouTube to encourage fathers to read to their children. The video is part of the charity's National Bedtime Month, which runs throughout October. In the video, Albarn reads from Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox. He said: "I've always read to my daughter and I was always read to. I've always felt it was a wonderful way to go to sleep, with stories in your head." TV presenter Eamonn Holmes, musical star Brian Conley and Jade Goody's former partner Jeff Brazier also appear in the video.

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