24 December 2023

2023 celeb sightings: Paris Hilton on picket line and Samuel L Jackson at bingo

24 December 2023

From a film star at a Glasgow bingo rave to royalty at Glastonbury, the UK has not been short of a surprising celebrity sighting in 2023.

With Samuel L Jackson, Ed Sheeran and Paris Hilton among some of the quirkier celeb spots, here the PA news agency takes a look at some of the best of the year.

Paris Hilton – BBC picket line

US socialite Paris Hilton was hailed a “comrade” in March after being spotted at a picket line outside the BBC, as journalists went on strike to defend local radio stations.

Ms Hilton smiled at members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) as she left Broadcasting House in London after speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Susana Mendonca, an NUJ representative for BBC Radio London, who was campaigning against planned cuts to local radio stations, described the moment as the “most surprising picketing experience ever”.

A colleague who was striking with Ms Mendonca asked Ms Hilton if she supported local radio.

“She looked back and smiled at us, so I’ll take that as a yes,” Ms Mendonca said.

Samuel L Jackson – Glasgow bingo rave

A host at a nightclub in Glasgow described the “surreal” and “crazy” experience of seeing Samuel L Jackson at a Bongo’s Bingo event in March, calling it “one of the most amazing things”.

The 75-year-old actor was spotted on stage at the venue SWG3 “throwing glow sticks at the crowd” and getting front-row seats to watch a dance performance.

Ste Taylor, the Bongo’s Bingo host that evening, told PA he was unaware the Pulp Fiction star would be making an appearance.

“Nobody knew he was going to be there,” said Mr Taylor, from Liverpool. “It was still halfway through the night, in the middle of a game of bingo, and I look over to the right and he’s just there on stage dancing, enjoying himself, taking a few videos, and taking in the crowd.”

Princess Beatrice – Glastonbury

Princess Beatrice was spotted at Glastonbury in June as she greeted friends with a hug near the hospitality interstage area of the festival.

Beatrice, 35, was seen with husband Edo Mapelli Mozzi on Sunday afternoon – the last day of the festival which saw Sir Elton John close the event as the headline act.

The Duke of York’s daughter was dressed in a long-sleeved black top, black skirt, white Adidas trainers and a cross-body handbag, and was wearing a pink wristband.

She smiled as she embraced friends before heading in the direction of the Left Field area.

Tom Brady – Birmingham pub

Former American football star Tom Brady stunned Birmingham City fans as he greeted them at a pub outside their stadium in August, with one saying it “made everyone’s day”.

The NFL superstar, who had become a minority owner at the Sky Bet Championship club shortly before his visit, made his appearance at The Roost pub near St Andrew’s before the game against Leeds.

“Tom Brady is here and he’s perfect,” tweeted Kelsea Ravenhill, from Birmingham.

“The film crew, Tom Brady, his bodyguards all entered the pub for his Blues entrance and introduced himself to all our fans,” Ms Ravenhill told PA.

“The place is rocking, completely changed the atmosphere, he is just a sports legend!”

Ed Sheeran – Portman Road

Music star Ed Sheeran served pints at Ipswich Town Football Club and celebrated with the players following the side’s victory over Hull City in October.

The award-winning singer-songwriter and Ipswich fan got behind a bar at Portman Road to serve pints, with many fans capturing images and videos which they shared to social media.

Following the match Sheeran, who grew up nearby in Framlingham, Suffolk, was also filmed singing in the changing rooms alongside Ipswich Town’s players to his 2017 hit Perfect after their 3-0 victory kept the side top of the Championship.

The A Team singer, a lifelong fan of the Tractor Boys, became the shirt sponsor for the men’s and women’s first teams in the 2021/22 season.

William sells the Big Issue

The Prince of Wales joined Big Issue seller Dave Martin at his pitch in London in December for the second successive year.

William was pictured on social media wearing a Big Issue tabard, official identification and matching baseball cap with his arm around Mr Martin in Hammersmith.

A message on the prince’s official account on X, formerly Twitter, read: “Great to be back with Dave, selling the latest edition of the @BigIssue once again!”

The future king helped Mr Martin with sales and they exchanged Christmas cards, as they had done previously.

Mr Martin said: “It was very nice to see Prince William again. It was surreal but he was so friendly.

“He was concerned about me and about the homeless people.”

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