Lord of the Rings stars set for Suffolk

TWO Lord of the Rings stars are set to appear at fundraising gigs in Halesworth in aid of the Haiti earthquake victims.

TWO Lord of the Rings stars are set to appear at fundraising gigs in Halesworth in aid of the Haiti earthquake victims.

Bernard Hill, who lives locally and played King Theoden in the films, will appear with his friend Andy Serkis, who is known for his role as Gollum, at two Hope for Haiti concerts at The Cut.

It is hoped that Mr Serkis, who is currently on the big screen playing 1970s punk singer Ian Dury in Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, will be performing a musical number.

Mr Hill, who also played the tragic Captain Edward John Smith in Titanic, will be compering the evenings.

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The gigs are being driven by Mr Hill and, with the help of The Cut and a variety of local groups, he's putting together two star-studded nights of entertainment.

He said he felt compelled to help the cause in Haiti after reading blogs written in a national newspaper by people who were there after the devastating earthquake.

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“I was knocked out with the flu round about the time and across three or four pages there were blogs with ordinary people writing down their feelings- and I just started crying,” he said. “It was people saying 'we need help'.

“The number of people who died instantly; the shock of the size and range of the devastation heaped upon a nation already cripplingly poor; the children in danger; and the fact that Haiti now need one million tents as a base requirement - all these elements and more made the need to do something now.

“I think people feel like they want to do something, but they don't know who to give the money to. I thought, 'why can't we do something to give the people of Halesworth and the area around Halesworth the chance to do something?'

The gigs, with two different line-ups, will take place on February 26 and March 7.

Mr Hill said The Cut had been amazing in offering two dates for free and that performers had been willing to drop everything to help make the event a success.

Norwich's Lee Vasey Band has already been signed up, as well as Halesworth funk-rock favourites The Fuzz and Cuban outfit Guataque.

Meanwhile, a challenge set to Bungay people to raise �10,000 in three weeks to support the Haiti relief effort is already nearing the halfway mark.

In the first seven days, schools, Rotarians and holders of special events have taken the balance to �4,100. The Bungay Haiti Earthquake Appeal was launched by town reeve John Groom, mayor John Warnes and Bungay Rotary Club president Terry Reeve.

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