Elba offers himself for Valentine's date

File: Actor Idris Elba has sent fans an early Valentine's invitation. Video: YouTube

LONDON - Lonely hearts this Valentine's Day will have a unique chance to spend an evening with British actor Idris Elba after he auctioned himself off to raise money for an African girls charity.

"I'd like you to be my Valentine. That's right love, just you and me. No one else around, just us," Elba said while sipping champagne in a video posted on website Omaze.

By donating money to charity W.E. Can Lead, members of the public are eligible to win a "candlelit meal" with the actor, according to Omaze, which raises money for charities through celebrity experiences.

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Proceeds from the auction will help finance the charity's aim of offering mentorship, educational support and leadership skills to teenaged girls in Sierra Leone.

Elba, known for his role in US television series "The Wire", was last year named a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars.

The actor, whose father is from Sierra Leone, is one of the frontrunners to be cast as the next James Bond, the fictional British spy movie franchise.

Isha Sesay, founder of W.E. Can Lead, said Elba was a "good sport" for being involved and that the response to the campaign had so far been overwhelming.

"Idris and I were messaging earlier on and I said, 'I think we may have a female stampede on our hands'", she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"He said, 'As long as we raise money.' He's completely committed. He was a complete sweetheart."



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