A touch of Hollywood for Holyrood

Clooney gets starring role at Edinburgh awards

George ClooneyHollywood star George Clooney will swap the acting stage for a different platform when he addresses 2,000 guests at the third annual Scottish Business Awards.

The actor will speak at the £2,000 per table event in Edinburgh on 12 November, though the glamour of the movie world is expected to be pushed firmly backstage in favour of his his interests in humanitarian causes.

He has also expressed political ambitions which may become clearer by the time he touches down in Scotland.

There is bound to be speculation about whether he will be accompanied by his human rights lawyer Amal whom he married in Venice last year.

While in Edinburgh Mr Clooney will offer someone the chance to dine with him if they donate a hot drink to a homeless person through Social Bite, with some of the proceeds going to his charity Not on Our Watch.

John Prendergast, Not On Our Watch board member and former White House Official, said: “Not On Our Watch and our board member George Clooney hope to raise further awareness about the important impact charitable donations can have in making a difference in the world.”

Social Bite is the charity run by Josh Littlejohn, 28 which has cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with others due to open in Aberdeen and Dundee. Mr Littlejohn is the founder of the what is Scotland’s biggest awards event. Its previous speakers were Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson.

This year’s event, again held at the EICC, will be chaired by Sir Tom Hunter and is sponsored by RBS

Mr Littlejohn approached the actor after seeing his humanitarian work.

RBS executive Ken Barclay said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to be working again with entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn to support the Scottish Business Awards.”

The Oscar-nominated Mr Clooney is currently filming the aptly-titled Money Monster the Jodie-Foster directed movie, which also stars Julia Roberts and Dominic West.  Mr Clooney stars in the thriller as a financial TV personality Lee Gates who is held hostage by a viewer who lost all of his money following a bad tip from Lee on his show.

Outside work,  he has thrown himself into charitable and humanitarian work, though he recently described his wife as “the smart one”.

Mrs Clooney is joining Columbia University this spring as a visiting faculty member and as a senior fellow with the law school’s Human Rights Institute. Her position is expected to last until 15 May.

She has served as a senior adviser to Kofi Annan and represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings. She has also handled numerous cases before the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

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