Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson does TV striptease in the name of charity

By Aisling Scally

Liam Neeson has perhaps pulled off his bravest performance yet after stripping down to a skimpy pair of pink briefs before a television audience of millions.

You won’t find many men of 60 willing to flash the flesh so publicly, particularly when they’re a Hollywood A-lister. But the Ballymena star seemed more than happy to show off his action hero figure in the name of charity.

Neeson’s striptease came about after he was invited on to the popular Ellen DeGeneres chat show in the US to raise money for breast cancer awareness month by becoming the first celebrity to brave her ‘gunk tank’.

Given the prospect of getting soaked, DeGeneres offered the Ballymena man the option of changing into a pair of pale pink boxers — or hot pink briefs.

The Oscar-nominated actor picked the small pants without hesitation — to the delight of the mainly female audience. He then emerged on stage sporting a fluffy pink dressing gown over the smalls as he prepared to sit in the gunk tank. He tantalised the audience by lifting the robe to reveal his thigh and a hint of tiny briefs.

An over-excited woman, who has survived breast cancer, was brought on stage and asked to throw balls at a target with $10,000 (£6,200) going to research if she hit it.

But the Batman Begins actor had no hesitation in raising the stakes, asking if the prize could be doubled if he took off the dressing gown.

De Generes replied: “I’ll make that happen if you take that off and go sit in that chair.”

The Taken 2 star was keen to up the ante even further and asked how much it would earn if he took off the briefs too.

The comedienne insisted, however, he keep them on: “We get fined if you take those off.”

Neeson raised screams as he clambered in to the tank which intensified when he sat down, appearing completely nude.

DeGeneres said: “Oh my God, if someone's just tuning in you look naked in there.”

A non-plussed Neeson nodded in agreement.

The audience member then hit her target, causing a bucket of water to be dumped over the actor’s head. Nearly-naked Neeson has now become a Youtube sensation, attracting well over 100,000 views since the video clip was uploaded yesterday.

Having won legions of admirers through his roles in films such as Star Wars: Episode I, Rob Roy and voicing Aslan in the Narnia movies, he is now an action hero.

He says there will be no more Taken movies, the franchise which has seen him become an action star. In Taken 2, out this week, he returns as Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA agent with a “particular set of skills”.

And the father-of-two admits it has helped him keep a fit figure.

“Sixty is the new 40, that's for sure,” he said.

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