The man who both did the motion capture performance and provided the voice for Smeagol / Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies is doing a reading for charity of one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written.

Hi everyone, Andy Serkis here. I want to invite you to come with me on an Adventure…

Hi everyone, Andy Serkis here. I want to invite you to come with me on an Adventure…

Andy Serkis has decided to take time out from directing the postproduction of his upcoming film Venom 2 to do something wonderful to help those most in need in the U.K. He has set up a page on GoFundMe for the event, and collecting donations from there which will be forwarded to the two organizations Best Beginnings  and NHS Charities Together.

Here’s his entire announcement from his GoFundMe page:

So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown. While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12 hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need in the UK: Best Beginnings  and NHS Charities Together.

Starting at 10am on Friday 8th May BST (5am EST, 2am PST), I’ll be embarking on a marathon reading of The Hobbit – from cover to cover, there and back again. The entire book. A Hobbitathon!

From an unexpected party to the last stage, join Bilbo and me on this tale of high adventure. Together we’ll face the might of the trolls, journey to the magical Rivendell, encounter the giant spiders in the labyrinths of Mirkwood, and the evil goblins living among the roots of the Misty Mountains, until we meet the dragon Smaug, and see the Battle of the Five Armies.

I will be announcing on this page how to live stream my Adventure so stay tuned and donate. If we hit our target of £100,000, there may be a special surprise later in our journey. 

I’ll share the link before I start reading and will be live streaming all day, from 10am…  And THANK YOU for your contribution. Any donation size is hugely appreciated. 

Please share this campaign and remember the hashtag #Hobbitathon

I’m very grateful to the Tolkien Estate and to HarperCollins for giving special permission for this one-off reading.


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.

Best Beginnings is working tirelessly during the #COVID19 pandemic to support babies, toddlers, pregnant families and new parents and reduce inequalities. The charity empowers and informs parents of all backgrounds through their NHS accredited pregnancy and parenting app, Baby Buddy App. Baby Buddy provides up-to-date and clinically assured information and more than 300 video clips to support families during this difficult time when they are separated from their wider support networks. From within Baby Buddy, parents and expectant parents in emotional pain or crisis can click through to the clinically supervised 24/7 “Baby Buddy Crisis Messenger”.

Funding will help Best Beginnings support the mental and physical health of tens of thousands of pregnant families and new parents of all backgrounds across the UK. By supporting Best Beginnings to support parents, we can all play our part in helping protect babies and toddlers at this time of national emergency and protect their futures. 

NHS Charities Together is the umbrella organisation that brings together all the official charities of the NHS. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, it launched an urgent appeal to support NHS staff, volunteers and patients  and hanks to fantastic support from the public, the appeal has raised over £100 million in just 6 weeks.
£20 million has already been given out in grants to NHS charities across the UK and is being used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of staff, volunteers and patients – providing somewhere comfortable so they can take a break, nutritious food and drink, use of electronic-tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with loved ones, counselling support to protect mental health and help staff and volunteers process what they are dealing with. The funding is also going towards helping vital partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients who leave hospital have access to the care they need to recover. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and families recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien is copyright (c) The Tolkien Estate 1937.

The campaign is trying to earn £100,000, and even with six hours to go before the event even starts, he’s got more than £81,769 in contributions. We predict that Mr. Serkis’s expectations will be greatly exceeded by the generosity of geekdom kind.


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