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Sir Paul McCartney thinks the fame that comes with celebrity is a handy thing with regards to promoting causes, and should definitely be used, citing George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and Bob Geldof's Live Aid concert for Ethiopia’s famine relief in 1985 as examples.

“I think it is quite a good idea to use your celebrity for what you see as being the good of people,” McCartney told the Globe and Mail. “George probably started that whole thing [with the Concert for Bangladesh].”

McCartney lends his name to causes too. Earlier this month he participated in Brussels Rally for Seals – the mass rally to ban seal product trade in the European Union – by video broadcast.

In the video, McCartney tells of his visit to Canada’s east coast to see where the world’s largest annual baby seal slaughter takes place (Namibia hosts the second largest). He says, “Stopping the import of seal fur into the European Union could really put an end to this brutality once and for all – please ask the EU to ban this terrible trade today.”

Also this month, McCartney launched a £2 million fundraising campaign to support Paralympic athletes heading to the Beijing Games and beyond. The video ad, showing athletes in action with the Beatles’ “Live and Let Die” playing in the background, leaves a powerful impression of athletic competition.

Pleased to be able to use his star status to influence, McCartney says, “I think it is a great thing. It can obviously affect people’s thinking.”

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