Singing with Sting among virtual lots on offer in online auction

Winning bidders will have the option to share their experience with frontline workers and others who have been directly impacted by Covid-19.

A peek inside the home of Downton Abbey and a sit-down chat with Sacha Baron Cohen are on offer – virtually – to raise funds amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Singer Sting, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and actor Sir Patrick Stewart have also offered their services.

The auction of online experiences will raise funds for the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) work to help mitigate and respond to the spread of Covid-19 in vulnerable communities.

Winning bidders will have the option to share their experience with frontline workers.

Sting fans can record a song with the former Police frontman, joining him virtually at his home studio.

He will also offer coaching and advice on vocal styling as part of the auction, from Sotheby’s and Google.

Star Trek and X-Men star Sir Patrick Stewart is offering a Shakespearean acting lesson.

Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes and two of the show’s stars, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, will take fans on an “ultimate insider tour” of Highclere Castle, where the drama was filmed, delivered online.

Other lots include chats with Mrs Clinton, tea or coffee with former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and a conversation about music with The Strokes.

Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen (Ian West/PA)

The auction also features the making of a virtual art creation with Marc Quinn, a chat with Apollo 9 astronaut Russell Schweickart and a conversation with David Miliband, former British foreign secretary and current president of the IRC.

He said: “As a global community, we are only as strong as the weakest link in the chain and millions of refugees and displaced people are now facing a double emergency with the virus reaching their communities.”

The online auction is open for bidding from May 1-8. 

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