Outlander star Sam Heughan has thanked his “wonderful fans” for their generous support, after a fundraiser was launched in his name with the goal of supporting Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre.

The fundraising page, named ‘Save A Seat For Sam This Christmas’, will give supporters the chance to purchase a ticket for a “virtual seat” at The Lyceum - at $25 per seat, roughly £19.

That ticket will reserve a seat for a virtual Christmas Show taking place on December 12, featuring “those who are close to Sam” as friends and colleagues share some of their experiences and stories about the actor.

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Set up by two fans of the hit show Outlander, all funds will go directly to the Lyceum Theatre - where a young Sam Heughan “cut his teeth.”

Savannah Forge, 31, from New York, and Tash Pow, 44, from Australia, told The Herald why they decided to raise funds for a theatre thousands of miles from their hometowns.

They said: “Sam has always spoken of his love of theatre, specifically The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.

“We knew that we wanted to save Sam a seat at the Lyceum this Christmas, and, if possible, save him the whole theatre.”

Sam Heughan recently expressed his love for the theatre during its ‘Letters to Lyceum’ campaign, which saw artists and audiences alike contributing their stories about life in these unprecedented times, while The Lyceum auditorium sits empty for the first time in decades.

In his own letter, Mr Heughan wrote: “Thinking of you now, sitting there alone and quiet. I know you’re just waiting.

"Not just for me but for the throng and mass of voices, wet coats and torn tickets. The bell sounding shrill as the laughter and murmur subsides. Passion and warmth filling your empty space.

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“You’re the heart of Edinburgh, for me, beating. I cant wait to be taken in by your darkness again, as you comfort us in your embrace.

The fundraiser has already received much traction online, with Heughan taking to social media to express his gratitude saying it was “wonderful” and “such a lovely idea.”

Savannah and Tash, who say they’ve set their fundraising target “high”, added: “While we are incredibly humbled at the response thus far, we aren’t surprised. It’s Sam plus theatre, it was always going to be embraced.

“We’ve been working on this fundraiser since May, and the idea has continued to evolve and change. We’ve had laughter, tears, late nigts, early mornings (try coordinating Australian, American and Scottish times, it is very hard), whisky (The Sassenach of course) and loads of coffee.

“We’ve approached so many different people that Sam has worked with over the years, asking them to be involved, and they have all been so happy to do so.

“We see this as a great way that anyone, and everyone, can support the Royal Lyceum Theatre, at a time when they really need that support.

Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum David Grieg says the theatre is “determined to ride out this terrible storm.”

He said: “We have been incredibly touched by the efforts of Tash, who is in Australia, and Savannah in New York, to create such a thoughtful surprise for Sam, who is passionate about theatre, and The Lyceum in particular. 

“Sam was a member of our Youth Theatre and really cut his teeth here and, like us, would be devastated if The Lyceum were to be lost as a result of this pandemic.

“Knowing that people like Tash and Savannah are ready to commit such effort in aid of us during this incredibly difficult time is so humbling, and makes us all the more determined to ride out this terrible storm and look forward to the moment we can welcome our audiences in person again.”

You can find out more about the 'Save a Seat for Sam' fundraiser here.