© LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Andy Serkis attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 02, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Andy Serkis will give a continuous live reading of The Hobbit online, to raise money for charity.

The Gollum actor will read JRR Tolkien’s 1937 novel from start to end, breaking only to nip to the loo.

Money raised from the 56-year-old’s expected 12-hour performance will be split between NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings.

Serkis played the corrupted character, originally known as Smeagol, in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.

“So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown,” he said.

“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.”

The British actor was awarded the Bafta film award for outstanding British contribution to cinema earlier this year for his groundbreaking motion capture work as Gollum, as well as on films like King Kong and the Planet of Apes movie series.

His reading will take place from 10:00 BST on bank holiday Friday, with streaming details to follow via his Hobbitathon Covid-19 Go Fund Me Page.

Serkis joked he might need to put up a “back in five minutes” sign, when nature calls, or when he needs a spot of precious lunch, but aside from that he was preparing to throw himself fully into the quest.

“I’m not going to be doing impersonations of the great voices like Ian McKellen’s and Martin Freeman’s in our film but I will probably nod to them in some way,” he told PA.

“I will try to find my own version but I will be giving it welly.”

“It’s not going to be a dry reading, it’s live, and there will be lots of, I’m sure, fumbles and stumbles and trips and it’s not an audio recording where we go back and correct, it’s happening live, and if the cat walks in and jumps up on the desk, that is what is gong to happen,” he added.

By Thursday afternoon, the star had raised more than £31,000 of his £100,000 target.

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