Hundreds queue to meet Michael Palin at Basingstoke Waterstone's

Basingstoke Gazette: Michael Palin signs copies of his new book for Eileen Pusey and Helen Baker at Waterstone's, in Festival Place. Buy this photo » Michael Palin signs copies of his new book for Eileen Pusey and Helen Baker at Waterstone's, in Festival Place.

HUNDREDS of excited fans queued in Waterstone’s to meet Monty Python legend Michael Palin when he came to the Basingstoke store.

The popular actor, presenter and author was in Festival Place last Saturday to promote his latest book Brazil, and was happy to sign copies and pose for photos with fans.

Queues were already building an hour-and-a-half before the appearance of the member of the legendary Python team at 12.30pm.

Eileen Pusey was one of the first to meet with the popular star, after queuing for more than an hour to make sure she got her copy of the book signed.

The retired teacher, from Bramley, said: “There aren’t many people I would queue to see, but it was well worth it to meet Michael Palin.

“I’m a huge fan of his travel books and TV programmes and now that I’m retired we like to visit all of the places that we read about. It was great to be able to meet him.”

Superfans Dave and Theresa Hadfield had travelled from Birmingham to meet their idol.

Dave, 52, who works in IT, said: “We have met him a couple of times before at book signings and a book festival, and it is always a privilege.

“I don’t think he had a lot of time to talk because of the length of the queue but he was very polite and seemed happy to meet everyone.”

Theresa, 50, agreed, saying: “We’ve both been fans as long as we can remember. We’ve been married for 30 years and I remember quoting Monty Python to each other on our wedding day. The travel books are brilliant as well”

The couple bought seven books which they had signed and said they would make ideal Christmas gifts for their family and friends.

They have even managed to get tickets for next year’s eagerly awaited Monty Python reunion, despite tickets selling out within seconds.

Matt Smith, events co-ordinator and lead bookseller at Basingstoke Waterstone’s, said it had been an honour to have the star visit the store.

He said: “I think it was the best event we have done since David Attenborough visited four or five years ago.

“Michael was incredibly polite and friendly and really down-to-earth, despite being so famous.

“We have had some brilliant feedback from our customers. It was an incredibly successful event.”


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