Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, has visited sick children at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Hamill was visibly moved as he met dozens of patients and staff, including four-year-old Jake Morgan from north London, who is recovering from a kidney transplant.
Hamill, 64, said he chose to visit the hospital rather than appear on The Graham Norton Show, which the rest of the Star Wars cast were filming during his trip last week.
He said: “Star Wars movies are meant to be a couple of hours of diversion from reality, and we need that. They are optimistic and hopeful stories. But in comparison to what we can do with this [the hospital], last night [the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens] is very trivial.”
Jake, who has a rare inherited kidney disease, is one of the children being followed by The Independent’s Give to GOSH campaign. His mother, Samantha, said: “It was great to meet Mark – we always watch the films. My brother Scott is a huge fan – he made me watch them when I was little. He is going to be amazed.”
As he toured the wards Hamill called on readers to donate to The Independent’s campaign. He said: “One of the greatest things I am given because of the profession I am in is the ability to give back. It feels wonderful. It can be harrowing emotionally because your heart goes out to these children but it’s also very uplifting. You walk away thinking being an actor is so trivial compared to helping needy children.”
If you Give to GOSH, your donation will be matched by the Government, doubling its amount. To donate go to: http://ind.pn/1Mydxqt