Portraits of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Mangan highlight loneliness campaign

Black and white portraits have been taken of stars including Ricky Gervais and Stephen Mangan to highlight a campaign to combat loneliness.

1 Million Minutes, which launched in 2016, is running again throughout December with the aim of encouraging Good Morning Britain (GMB) viewers to pledge their time to charities that tackle loneliness.

To emphasise this work, celebrities have discussed loneliness they have faced and what they do to feel less lonely.

Comedian Gervais (pictured) said humans are “social animals and need connection with others to feel well”.

The 61-year-old, best known for The Office and After Life, added: “Loneliness can cause physical and mental health issues.”

Green Wing and The Split actor Mangan, 54, also shared his thoughts, saying: “Everyone feels low at some point. You are never alone.”

The pictures, taken by celebrity photographer Ray Burmiston, also capture Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, musician Craig David, actress Sarah Gordy, fitness coach Joe Wicks, presenter AJ Odudu and GMB’s Ben Shephard.

Both Shephard, 47, and Wicks, 37, said they reach out to family when loneliness hits them during their life.

Shephard said: “My fear of loneliness is what drives me to constantly surround myself with friends and family.

“I’m lucky though, not everyone has that option.”

Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, said: “Sometimes you can be surrounded by people, yet feel lonelier than ever.

“When I feel alone I always call my brother.”

The portraits will be part of a travelling digital gallery which kicks off at Westfield London in White City on Monday and ends on The Promenade in Blackpool on Friday.

Blackpool Tower will also be lit up in blue and orange – the colours of the 1 Million Minutes logo – on Friday.

Watch Good Morning Britain’s 1 Million Minutes campaign on weekdays in December from 6am on ITV1 and pledge here itv.com/1millionminutes.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Ray Burmiston / Good Morning Britain / PA.