Andy Serkis, who played Smeagol, also known as Gollum, in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and its prequel, The Hobbit series, is hosting a live readathon today (8 May), and it is expected to last between 10 to 12 hours.
How can I tune in?
The event, described as a “Hobbitathon” by Serkis, began at 10am.
It is free to watch and is being broadcast on Best Beginnings YouTube channel
How can I donate?
You can donate on the live events Go Fund Me page.
The page initially had a fundraising goal of £100,000 however this was reached before the event began.
The live event now has an increased target of £250,000 and at the time of writing it has already reached £110,238.
How will it work?
On the Go Fund Me Page, Serkis wrote:
“All funds raised will be split equally between Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together. This fund will be administered by Best Beginnings - I've been a proud ambassador of theirs for over six years so it's a cause close to my heart.”
When asked by the Metro.co.uk about the logistics of the event, and whether it will accommodate bathroom breaks for the actor, Serkis responded:
“Everyone has said, ‘How are you gonna do it?’ Well, I haven’t worked it out yet!
“This is a live event. It’s not like I’m recording an audio book, so there will have to be comfort breaks, they’ll have to be drinks. Much like a marathon, which it kind of is, there’ll have to be procedures in place.
“So, I think what we’ll have to do is have a little sign which we put up, you know, ‘back in five’.”
Speaking to PA, Serkis clarified that he will not be attempting to impersonate his fellow actors Ian McKellen or Martin Freeman when reading the book, but he may ”nod to them in some way”.
Addressing the live nature of the reading he said, “I’m sure I’ll be tripping and fluffing and making all sorts of mistakes. But that’s that’s the nature of it, and the fun of it.
“So if children come wandering in or cats come jumping up on top of your laptop, or all of those things, they have to be taken into account.”