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 June 19

by Carolina

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Many of us have a story to tell about an encounter – unexpected or meticulously planned – with a celebrity.

Whether it was a brief, but awkward meeting in a train station, a chat and a post-gig selfie, or a meet-and-greet at a film festival or convention, at some point in your life you may well bump into a famous person.

But what about on the streets of Leicester?

How likely are you to run into someone known nationwide, or even across the globe, outside the Highcross shopping centre, or while walking along Narborough Road?

Well, we asked LeicestershireLive readers for their stories of brushes with fame – and plenty of you came back with some great tales of the times they came face to face with the great and the good.

To start with, I can share one of my own – meeting comedian and Never Mind The Buzzcock host Phill Jupitus outside The Cookie in High Street, after he had done not one, but two shows in the basement venue.

My friend and I waited outside optimistically to see if he would sign our tickets.

He ended up doing that and more, posing for a couple of selfies with us and taking the time to discuss his show and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He was a genuinely pleasant and friendly man, even though he had just finished two incredibly funny shows and most likely wanted to head back to his hotel.

I’ve been very pleased about it ever since.

Some of our readers have some told us similar stories, including some who were not at all ‘star struck’ – because they simply had no idea who they were talking to.

Engelbert Humperdinck

Engelbert Humperdinck

David Taylor met Leicester’s one and only Engelbert Humperdinck, and actually beat him at golf.

He said: “Played golf with Engelbert, beat him, he paid me the tenner and had a drink at the bar. Great bloke!”

Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Ryan met international R&B and rapping superstar Drake and spoke to him without knowing who he was.

She said: “I met Drake and was talking to him outside the Mercure Hotel on Granby Street. I didn’t even know who he was when we were having a chat.

“Then I saw him get into the car parked outside the hotel and saw his face on the signage on the car.

“I got a proper telling off from my daughter for not getting a photo with him.”

Donna Burton had two memorable encounters with figures from opposite ends of the musical spectrum – David Essex and Motorhead.

She said: “I played tennis with David Essex at Oadby Tennis club and I’ve also partied with Motorhead at the Holiday Inn, in Leicester.

“No mobiles in those days, thank God!”

Sam Brown bumped into comedian Eddie Izzard in the city centre.

She said: “I met Eddie Izzard outside Highcross, which was a surprise having been to a few stand-up shows.

“Such a lovely person chatted to us for quite a while.”

Kate Brown met the late Princess Diana outside the Grand Hotel, during a royal visit to Leicester in 1990.

She said: “I was with a group of children from a day nursery where I worked at in town and she came over to talk to us and the children.”

HRH The Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, visits
Princess Diana visits Hull Branch of 'Relate' marriage Guidance Centre. Yorkshire. England.
Picture taken : June 24th 1992

Princess Diana

Kate is not the only person to meet Princess Di, with Julie Morris meeting both Princess Diana and Prince Charles at different times while she was at work.

She said: “Princess Diana when I worked at Kempton’s, I also met Prince Charles on a different occasion.”

Kerry York had a fleeting meet with Bake Off host and comedian Noel Fielding, crossing paths with him on a Highcross escalator.

She said: “Noel Fielding once came up the escalator in the Highcross as I was going down.

“He was wearing a furry patchwork coat that I really wanted to reach over and stroke but I chickened out.

“Oh how I regret my hesitation.”

Original posted at www.leicestermercury.co.uk

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