Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

British celebrities donate mugs to charity auction

Emma Thompson, Nigella Lawson and Chris Tarrant
Emma Thompson, Nigella Lawson and Chris Tarrant are supporting the charity

Mugs belonging to 13 celebrities are to be auctioned online to raise cash for an international children's charity.

Emma Thompson, Nigella Lawson and Chris Tarrant are among the stars supporting Mary's Meals, which provides food for children in developing countries.

Everton manager David Moyes and Celtic legend Stevie Chalmers also sent in mugs, which are being sold on the online auction site, Ebay.

Bids on all the items will be accepted until the morning of 10 December.

A total of 14 mugs are up for sale, with Celtic's Stevie Chalmers donating two mugs.

Chris Tarrant sent a Dusty Bin mug from the former game show 3,2,1, - while Radio 2 DJ, Mark Radcliffe, gave one celebrating the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.

Duncan Bannatyne
Dragon's Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has donated a mug

Other contributors include Dragon's Den entrepreneur, Duncan Bannatyne, television presenter and gardener Alan Titchmarsh, London Mayor Boris Johnson, violinist Nicola Benedetti, Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark and authors Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl) and Freya North (Secrets).

Ruth Black, one of the founders of Argyll-based Mary's Meals, said: "A mug has become something of a symbol of our work, which is why we have chosen it as the theme for our auction.

"Each child is responsible for their own mug, which ensures that they get a fair portion every day, and they take great care of them - I remember seeing one little boy who carried his on a string around his neck to make sure that he didn't miss out."

Mary's Meals provides school meals for 375,000 children around the world with the aim of giving them "essential nutrition and an incentive to study".

In Malawi, where the charity feeds more than 10% of the primary school population, each child is given a daily serving of likuni phala - a vitamin enriched maize porridge, which is served in a plastic mug.



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