A ‘magnet to the stars’

John Jones

John Jones

First published in

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

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

  • Our top stories

Didcot murders: College gives help after triple murder suspect’s body found

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

A SERIOUS case review may be held over the murder of little Derin Jordon as authorities began to look into whether any warnings were missed about her half-brother Jed Allen, pictured.

Val Smith funeral: Do not mourn for too long - she's want you making a difference and helping people

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

TEARS flowed at the funeral of much-loved councillor Val Smith yesterday as her husband said she would want more people to do good in the world.

UPDATE: Routes around Oxford snarling up in evening rush hour

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

9:17am Wednesday 27th May 2015

DRIVERS and bus services are tonight delayed around the city as traffic builds up.

Didcot murders: Families pay tribute to 'best daddy there ever was' and 'beloved' sister

Oxford Mail:

12:12pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

THE FAMILIES of the three people murdered in Didcot have spoken of their grief about the tragedy.

Didcot murders: Community reeling over tragic events

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

RIBBONS and flowers decorated the entrance to Vicarage Road in Didcot, where residents continued to pay tribute to a family that were murdered in their home.

Didcot murders: Tattoo artist thought Allen was a ‘normal’ lad

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

THE TATTOO artist of murder suspect Jed Allen spoke of how he came across as a “happy and joyful” person.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree