Andy Serkis Reads ‘The Hobbit’ to Raise Funds for Charity

Andy Serkis brought Gollum to life on the big screen in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit blockbuster feature films. Now, Serkis is ready to share the world of The Hobbit with audiences worldwide during a 12 hour Hobbitathon on Friday, May 8, 2020 beginning at 10am GMT (5am EST, 2am PST).

Andy Serkis will do a live, continuous reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The reading is expected to last between 10 and 12 hours (without breaks!) and will be live-streamed for free. Serkis hopes by providing these hours of entertainment, fans will pitch in and contribute to NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings. Funds raised via the GoFundMe campaign will be split equally between the two charities.

“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,” said Serkis.

For further details or to watch the live-stream when it’s underway, visit As of May 7th at 9:30am ET, the campaign had already raised £25,614 out of its £100,000 goal before the Hobbitathon had officially started.

Gollum in The Hobbit

About Best Beginnings

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, Baby Buddy App. Baby Buddy, provides the 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.

About NHS Charities Together

NHS Charities Together is the umbrella organization 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, counseling 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 programs 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.