SIR Ian McKellen is literally giving away the clothes off his back.
The actor, who spent his early childhood in Wigan, and best pal Sir Patrick Stewart enjoyed a day out at New York’s famous Coney Island while rehearsing for their performance of Waiting For Godot and they posed for a picture which was printed onto three T-Shirts as mementos.
They are now selling the shirts, complete with their autographs, on online auction site eBay.com to raise money for charity City Harvest, which provides food for New York’s most needy.
Sir Patrick writes: “The quality of these garments is what you might expect from a Coney Island vendor, but I assure you they are a souvenir of what was a truly memorable day that Ian and I shared. We’ve decided to auction them, in honour of Gogo and Didi, to benefit the remarkable charity City Harvest.
“In Waiting for Godot, Gogo and Didi are two old tramps, needy indeed. They don’t know where they’ll sleep that night, they don’t know where their next meal will come from, and they hoard their meagre resources, sharing whatever they do have.
“In short, they’re hungry. It seemed a natural fit. City Harvest helps to feed nearly two million New Yorkers facing hunger each year. So bid high, and know that you’ll be funding a vital and important organisation.”
The auction will close on April 3.
And their generosity does not stop there, as they are offering people to bid on backstage passes to meet them after a performance of Waiting for Godot for €5,000.
The money raised will go to Equity Fights AIDS, an actor-led charity group.
Meanwhile, Sir Ian has voiced a new online YouTube campaign for Stonewall, which was shown at the British Film Institute’s Flare (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) festival.
The campaign, based around a children’s playground, aims to tackle abusive language of all kinds.
Sir Ian said: “What we learn as children can last a lifetime”.