‘Not much use:’ BBC Breakfasts host blasts Sean Penn’s gift to Ukrainian president

‘Not much use:’ BBC Breakfasts host blasts Sean Penn’s gift to Ukrainian president

Updated: 2 months, 24 days, 7 hours, 54 minutes, 31 seconds ago

BBC Breakfast hosts discuss Sean Penn's gift to Zelenskyy

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On Wednesday's instalment of BBC Breakfast, hosts Thompson and Nugent were bringing viewers the latest headlines. One of which included award-winning actor Penn’s recent visit to visit Ukrainian president Zelensky. However, after they learnt of the odd gift that he decided to give him, they couldn’t help but have a swipe.

The 62-year-old actor Penn was on his third visit to Ukraine since the war broke out when he gave Zelensky his gift.

Giving him one of his Academy Awards, which he won in both 2003 and 2008, he told the president it was a symbol of faith in the country’s victory in the ongoing Russian conflict.

After a clip of the gift-giving taking place was shown on BBC Breakfast, the two hosts were left stumped over the unusual choice.

Nugent commented: “That’s what was in his rucksack, his Oscar!”

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Thompson added: “It was, just whip out an Oscar. How do you get that through customs?

“I’m glad that he clarifies that it’s just a symbolic thing.”

As Nugent informs viewers that the gift isn’t permanently going to stay with Zelensky and is only on loan, Thompson had a quick dig at Penn

He said: “It’s probably not much use in a war, he’ll get it back.”

Ben said that the gift Sean gave wasn't useful during a war

Sean gave the president one of his Oscars as a symbol

Earlier on in the broadcast, Nugent mentioned that the Ukrainian president looked taken aback by the Oscar as Thompson mentioned that Zelensky was a former actor himself.

As the footage played, it showed Penn sitting with the president as he placed the trophy on the table in front of them both.

He said: “This is for you, please. I feel terrible, it’s just a symbolic silly thing.

“But, if I know this is here, with you, then I’ll feel better and stronger for the fight.”


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The president was in awe at the gift as he initially started to decline the kind gesture stating that the trophy was his.

During the actor’s visit to Ukraine, where he is currently making a documentary, he was presented with the Order of Merit of the III degree by the president.

The 62-year-old was also honoured by Zelensky as he had his name placed on a stone on the Walk of the Brave.

This is a symbol that recognises brave people that have stood with Ukraine from the beginning.



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After Penn’s visit, the president took to social media to inform his 16.8 million followers of the Oscar that was given on loan.

He captioned the footage: “American actor and filmmaker Sean Penn @seanpenn visits Ukraine for the third time during the full-scale war. This time our meeting was special. Sean brought his Oscar figurine as a symbol of faith in our country's victory.

“She will stay in Ukraine until the war ends. It was with great pleasure to present Sean Penn with the III Merit Order. 

“Thank you for such sincere support and important contribution to the popularization of Ukraine in the world!”

BBC Breakfast continues weekdays on BBC One from 6am.

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