For some people meeting a celebrity is a once in a lifetime experience; for a Basingstoke woman it has become a way of life.

Elsa Dobell, 27, a cafe worker in Waitrose, was diagnosed with autism in Year 4 and subsequently attended Dove School, a specialist secondary school for children with moderate learning difficulties..

It was here that Elsa thrived: “I became more confident in secondary school than in primary. Dove House is where I did all my life skills and got the confidence to do this hobby I’m doing now,” said Elsa.

Her desire to meet famous people began after she ‘fell in love’ with Daniel Radcliffe.

The first meeting came almost 18 years ago when Elsa won a local radio auction, since then she has met almost 220 stars.

“When I was ten I couldn’t approach them as I was really shy but I was in the same building with the Harry Potter people.

“It felt like I was dreaming but I wasn’t,” said Elsa.

Throughout her celebrity hunting career Elsa has been supported by mum and dad, Graham and Tracy Dobell, and big sister Emma, who have turned it into an altruistic pursuit as Graham explains: “The first trip was a Christmas radio auction. Since then we’ve bought all our birthday and Christmas presents, our holidays and evenings out from children’s charities.

“Elsa has actually been to a number of premiers in Leicester Square in London as part of these and this is where she’s met some of the celebrities.”

The list of people Elsa has met is a who’s who of television, film and music legends and include Johnny Depp, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon and David Walliams and often involve far more than a quick selfie.

She has danced with Anton du Beke twice, been in a Bentley Continental after an invitation from Chris Evans and enjoyed some of life’s landmarks with very famous guests.

Graham said: “For her 18th birthday, as part of an auction, she was taken out for lunch by Gok Wan. in Mayfair. In the evening she got JLS to sing happy birthday to her and the lead singer came up and gave her a big birthday kiss.”

Despite all of the of the celebs she has met there is one who has remained elusive, although she has got close.

“The one person Elsa wants to meet is Garry Barlow. We were guests of Take’s That manager at the O2 but they were running late. Her claim to fame is they wouldn’t let 20,000 people into the O2 until Elsa had decided where she wanted to stand,” said Graham.

Elsa’s has plans for future meetings once the pandemic allows. She, however still has Gary Barlow foremost in her mind. Elsa said: “I’m off to see him next year but we have to wait to see.

“I want to ask him one question: ‘can I be your personal Waitrose assistant shopper?'”