More famous faces back The Big Issue’s urgent appeal

With vendors off the streets during lockdown, we’re asking people to support them by subscribing - with backing from these big names

More big name stars have backed The Big Issue’s appeal urging people to subscribe to the magazine during lockdown.

When coronavirus hit, our vendors were left unable to sell the magazine – effectively losing their income. In a bid to continue to help the homeless during this time, we’re asking people to support The Big Issue by taking out a subscription, downloading our app or making a one-off contribution.

And actors including Sir Ian McKellen, Simon Pegg and Aisling Bea (pictured top) are amongst the growing list of famous faces to have thrown their support behind the vital cause.

Writing on Twitter, Lord of the Rings and X-Men star McKellen said: “During the lockdown, street vendors of The Big Issue have been devastated. For many of them, their only source of income has vanished.

“Until they are once again a reassuring sight as we walk our city streets, please do what you can to support them.”

Pegg – best know for cult TV series Spaced and films including Shaun of the Dead – echoed Sir Ian’s sentiments, calling vendor’s inability to sell the magazine due to the Covid-19 lockdown “a devastating blow” and urging his six million followers to subscribe.

Meanwhile, Goodness Gracious Me star Sanjeev Bhaskar paid tribute to Big Issue vendors everywhere as he revealed he has already subscribed to our “excellent” magazine.

He posted on Twitter: “Huge respect to the vendors of @BigIssue now obviously not able to vend to us.  I’ve subscribed to the magazine, which is excellent, please consider doing something similar if you can.”

Robin Ince, co-host of BBC Radio 4’s The Infinate Monkey Cage with Brian Cox, is also a subscriber – and comically described how the arrival of a recent issue gave him “something of a quiver of fear.”

In a short video shared on Twitter, the comedian revealed: “I used to tour with [recent cover star] Ricky Gervais and he made the most terrible screaming seagull-like sound every time he saw me … So as this landed on the mat I could almost hear it squawking.”

MORE: Find out how to subscribe to The Big Issue yourself here

After telling his followers why he loves our “incredible” magazine, he finished: “Please subscribe to The Big Issue or I will appear in your nightmares making the Ricky Gervais noise ‘aghhhhh’ over and over again.”

Author and the official poet of London 2012 Lemn Sissay also showed his support.

He told his Twitter followers, “sometimes we buy it, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we’re in it, sometimes we’re not,” but nevertheless urging: “We can serve them [vendors] now at this time of need.”

Over on Instagram, Irish comedian and actress Aisling Bea also revealed she has subscribed to the mag and urged others to do the same, writing: “If you’re looking for something to do where you get a nice thing in return, may I recommend getting a subscription to @bigissueuk?”

She added: “It is a wonderful way to support homelessness and their journalists and articles are wonderful and cover so many things. It’s good, ethical & responsible journalism.”

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If you’re looking for something to do where you get a nice thing in return, may I recommend getting a subscription to @bigissueuk ? “Yes, you can Aisling” ”Thank you” Obviously most of their vendors have not been able to work & still need support. You can get a a month, 3 months, a year. Try it out, but it is a wonderful way to support homelessness & their journalists & articles are wonderful & cover so many things. It’s good, ethical & responsible journalism. And you may not know it but their ONLINE SHOP @thebigissueshop is STILL selling with minor postal delays. It sells ECO THINGS! Homeware, dog leads, tee shirts, gifts & art & coffee. SO MANY COOL THINGS! All supporting people effected by homelessness. Products like @_thesoapco are on there which have amazing products – all made in Britain by people who often have been left out of the workplace owing to troubles or disability. This week’s Big Issue has my brilliant friend @kiri_pritchard_mclean as one if its cover stars – she set up The Covid Arms comedy gig which i did a couple of weeks ago. It is SO much fun for acts and viewers alike & has managed to maintain the sort of madness of a live gig. It’s Saturdays, live & £2 to watch or a £10 for a “front row” seat where you might get spoken to & the money goes to the @trusselltrust food bank & supporting out of work comedians who need it. Also big shout out to our comedian song bird @gracepetriemusic and the work she is doing. #aislingrecommendsecoorsociallyconsciousbrandseverydayuntilxmas #ahandupnotahandout🤝

A post shared by Aisling Bea (@weemissbea) on

Bea – who stars alongside Paul Rudd in Netflix comedy Living with Yourself – also revealed a personal connection to the latest issue of the magazine, writing: “This week’s Big Issue has my brilliant friend @kiri_pritchard_mclean as one if its cover stars – she set up The Covid Arms comedy gig which I did a couple of weeks ago.”

These are just the latest in a long list of famous names to support The Big Issue and our vendors during these critical times. Wildlife campaigner Chris Packham, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, singer Craig David and The Body Coach Joe Wicks have also backed our subscriptions campaign.

Of course, you don’t need to be a celebrity to get involved. For the foreseeable future, you can support us and vendors in the following ways:

As ever, 50% of net proceeds will go directly to our vendors to support them during these critical times.