Ringo's doodle adds to auction spice

A DOODLE and a scrawled signature might not seem enough to make it as a star lot in a glittering auction.But when it's penned by Ringo Starr on a print of one of the most famous photographs ever taken of the Beatles then interest hots up.

A DOODLE and a scrawled signature might not seem enough to make it as a star lot in a glittering auction.

But when it's penned by Ringo Starr on a print of one of the most famous photographs ever taken of the Beatles then interest hots up.

And if the doodle is made up of a ring of dots around the nipple of a bare-chested Paul McCartney it becomes a collectors' item and experts hope it will fetch more than £15,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation.

Bury St Edmunds photographer Tom Murray, who took the series of pictures of the Beatles known as Mad Day in the summer of 1968, said the print, and two others simply signed by Ringo, is all the more important because he rarely signs photographs of himself.


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It is the first time he has penned his name on one of Mr Murray's images.

He said: "I'm thrilled and the fact that he has doodled on Paul McCartney makes this a very, very valuable print.

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"I was so surprised when I saw this. I thought it was fabulous and, of course, I knew instantly it would make it more valuable. It's very unusual for him to do something like this but he heard of the Make a Wish Foundation which helps terminally ill children and he liked the pictures.

"In fact, he liked them so much he has asked for prints himself but he doesn't want big ones like the photographs being auctioned, he wants little four by sixes like you would get in Boots for a photo frame."

The photographer, made his name picturing the stars and was friends with Princess Margaret but has now turned his back on the rich and famous and is chief photographer at the Foto Den studios in Bury.

He has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity thanks to his unique afternoon with the Beatles.

The Ringo Starr pictures will be auctioned with another print from the series signed by Sir Paul McCartney at the Make A Wish Foundation at a Masque Ball at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on June 7.

Previous signed prints have raised more than £35,000 for the charity and last year a print signed by Sir Paul raised in excess of £12,000.

Last night, Tom was in London for the opening of the Museum of the Docklands, where four of his historic Beatles images are part of the permanent exhibit illustrating the '60s. The exhibition was launched by the Duke of York.

The photographer has been donating his works for charity for many years and has raised more than £160,000 worldwide.

But Tom, who reckons the original prints of the Mad Day series of photographs are £5 million to him, looks on the Ringo doodle as being his finest charity achievement to date and says the contribution by the drummer went down particularly well with his mother, Kay, who lives in Bury.

He says: "She always thought he was the cutest Beatle and has proved that to her with this doodle on Paul's nipple."

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