PINK FLOYD star Dave Gilmour has been shocked by his friends' reaction to his $5.4 million (GBP3.6 million) donation to London's homeless - they've proved distinctly "shifty".

The musician, who is reportedly worth $112.5 million (GBP75 million), generously gave British homeless charity SHELTER the proceeds of the sale of his Maida Vale, London home to fund their plans to create an "urban village" in the British capital, earlier this month (MAY03).

But Gilmour and his novelist wife POLLY SAMSON have found his pals are uncomfortable with his charitable gesture.

He says, "The reaction has been quite odd. After it was in the news, people got a bit shifty with us. Polly and I would be at a party and see someone and we'd say, 'Look, we've just done this, why don't you?' and whoever it was would look away rather nervously and say, 'Dinner next Thursday right?'"

But publicity shy Gilmour is happy with the donation, rallying against the preferred way of celebrity philanthropy - the charity ball.

He rants, "Charity balls! Great if they help the charity, but really they're about rich and famous people waggling diamonds at each other. They pay GBP150 ($225) for the ticket and then Lord knows how much on the hair, the shoes, the dress, the fake tan, the clutch bag, the matching necklace and earrings.

"Why don't they just go and give the thousands they would've spent on their outfits to charity instead? Half the time they don't even know which charity they're supporting. They're only there to be photographed."

28/05/2003 20:10