A ‘magnet to the stars’

John Jones

John Jones

First published in News

WORKING at an Oxford University college you expect to see plenty of scholars and some tourists, but John Jones has met actors, sports superstars and comedians.

Since he started working as a visitor liaison officer at New College three years ago, Mr Jones has become a “celebrity magnet”.

Oxford Mail:

  • With Kevin Whateley

The Abingdon resident said: “It all started with the Lewis cast – I’ve got pictures with Laurence Fox, Kevin Whately and Angela Griffin – and it just snowballed from there.”

Oxford Mail:

  • With Kate Beckinsale

The 69-year-old’s collection took a distinct A-list turn with the appearance of Monty Python star Terry Jones and Hollywood actress Kate Beckinsale.

Mr Jones said of his celebrity namesake: “He was a gentleman. He shook my hand and offered to have his photograph taken. I couldn’t believe it.

“Then Kate Beckinsale came because she did English at the college when she was a student.

“She was lovely. She posed for several photos. She’s a corker.”

Oxford Mail:

  • With Sebastian Vettel

It’s not just actors who visit the college. Four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel stopped by during a tour of Oxford.

Mr Jones said of meeting the Grand Prix driver: “I just couldn’t believe it. I nearly had a heart attack.”

There are still some stars Mr Jones is keen to see as they soak up the sights. He said: “I’m going to get Hugh Grant next, that’s the next goal, because he’s an alumni. And Rick Stein.”

The college’s tourism manager Paula Hart said of Mr Jones: “The visitors and staff love him. His friendly face and happy attitude brighten their day. Not to mention he’s a celebrity magnet.”

OTHER New College star alumni:

  • Ian Katz, journalist
  • Kate Mosse, novelist
  • Hugh Grant, actor
  • The late Tony Benn, Labour Party politician

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