Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 16:31 UK

Ringo Starr blames eBay for autograph ban

Ringo Starr
Starr's autograph often features a five-pointed star under his name

Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr says his decision to stop giving autographs was prompted by fans selling signed items on eBay.

The drummer posted a video message on his website in October 2008 saying he would no longer sign memorabilia, and that fan mail would be thrown away.

Speaking to BBC Radio 2 on Sunday, Starr said he had become aware that fans "were making money" from his name.

"I was signing and then they were on eBay the next day. So I just decided, I think I've done my share. That's it."

Starr told Sir Terry Wogan he had written "millions" of autographs before imposing the ban, and he had been surprised by the reaction to his announcement.

"I honestly didn't think it was going to be world news - BBC and CNN," he laughed.

Starr announced his autograph ban in this video

Items carrying the autograph of all four Beatles can still command a high price - a business card signed by the Fab Four sold for £3,500 at Christie's last year.

But the price of Starr's signature on its own varies widely, according to Mark Riddle from autograph experts Memorabilia UK.

Items signed during his time in the Beatles can be expected to fetch between £300-500, but more recent items will sell for around £80-120.

Mr Riddle says the value of Starr's signature had risen slightly, around 30%, since his self-imposed ban.

Ringo Starr's full interview from Weekend Wogan will be available on the BBC Radio 2 website from Monday, 12 April.



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