Griff Rhys Jones on his celebrity online charity auction and becoming Steptoe

Virgin Radio

19 Nov 2020, 13:20

Comedy legend Griff Rhys Jones and his cockle-warming cackle are back with an online celebrity charity auction. The iconic Welshman has been busy rummaging through celebs’ drawers in order to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Taking place over one week, the aptly named Celebrity Bottom Drawer has hidden gems available to bid for including items from over 70 celebities from showbiz buddies like Alexander Armstrong, Ian Hislop, Joanna Lumley and Tom Hollander - and now he's on the search for Rhys Ifans' Notting Hill pants.

The 67-year-old spoke about the exciting and worthy event happening online next week on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky.

The comedian said: “We go live on the 27th with just over a week for bidding, with bidding finishing on the 6th. It was like becoming Albert Steptoe, short of getting out a cart and going round parts of Notting Hill!”

And he's delighted that contributions are still coming in thick and fast from an eclectic mix of famous faces. He explained: “Just this morning, Brenda Blethyn rang up and said, ‘Ooh, Griff. I’m working but I’ll send you a dress.’ 

“It’s been fantastic because there’s been a combination of people contributing. Jonathon Pryce has gone off to the corner of his mansion - or house - and sort of emptied his wardrobe.

“I’ve never seen so much stuff from one person! Unbelievable stuff.”

Amongst the impressive conveyer belt of celebrity memorabilia is Emma Thompson’s Mary Poppins umbrella, Ed Sheeran’s jeans and a pair of (much sought-after) retro Air Jordan 23s, Dawn French’s Rolex and an impossible-to-get-hold-of PlayStation 5 from Daniel Laurie to name a few.

He explained why the donations were so important to him and said: “It’s going to an East Anglian Children’s Hospice because they do such an amazing job. I’ve been involved for some years. 

“People think it’s part of the NHS but it’s not. It’s a service which holds out a helping hand to people, and when you meet parents, you realise what a job it does for them. 

“With children who need 24 hour care, the hospice sometimes says, ‘Why don’t we take that burden for you for a week and let you have a rest.’ That is so moving.

“We’ve got scripts and memorabilia. The Durrell’s have sent us a bottom drawer which includes all the bits and pieces you might find in their bottom drawer which is absolutely fantastic. 

“What I really love is Tom Hollander sent us his underpants. If you remember In The Loop, he wore a bright red pair of underpants. He’s still got those.”

And Griff is still on the search for more famous Y-fronts. He said: “I’m putting out a shout-out to hunks. We want to get hold of Rhys Ifans if he has any underpants from Notting Hill so we can have a sort of a gentlemen’s collection of famous underpants.”