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Reporter bags Hugh Grant interview at garden party

A weekly newspaper reporter got to meet Hollywood A-lister Hugh Grant when he paid a surprise visit to a care home.

Reporter Katie Alston from the Faversham News, part of the Kentish Gazette, struck it lucky when she met the actor while covering a garden party to mark the opening of a new £1.8m home for adults with learning disabilities.

There had been rumours Grant would visit Faversham but staff at the care home did not know until an hour before he arrived that he would actually be joining the party.

His visit came about because the home was established by the Fynvola Foundation, named after Grant’s mother, and he is a patron of the charity.

  • Katie enjoys meeting Hugh Grant
  • Katie said: “He rolled into town in his sleek black Audi on Saturday afternoon and was really, really friendly.

    “He was charming, warm and nothing was too much trouble. Many of the ladies there didn’t know what to do with themselves.”

    Katie captured the star on video for the paper’s website and collected audio for its sister kmfm radio station, as well as interviewing him for a story to appear in the paper and online.

    The foundation was set up by Faversham’s Jenny Gurney in 2007 and the actor said she had ‘twisted my arm to get me down here’.

    In January this year, Katie was named Kent Young Journalist of the Year at the Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the Year Awards.


    All Subbed Out (01/07/2010 09:32:16)
    Note to management types: This is what happens when you actually have enough of those things called ‘reporters’ (remember them?) to get out of the office and actually cover events, rather than waiting for a press release to rewrite afterwards.

    Jeremy Miles (01/07/2010 09:49:41)
    It’s true. When was the last time your paper actually sent someone to a garden party? Well done Katie

    Scribbler (01/07/2010 15:42:48)
    What a smashing story in a depressed and depressing industry. This is what local newspapers should be about. Good luck, Katie.

    Ex-weekly editor (02/07/2010 13:17:41)
    A nice tale. It makes a refreshing contrast to a certain newspaper in the Gainsborough area that was “too busy” to cover a recent helicopter visit by Kylie Minogue to the Ping golf club factory!!

    Journo (05/07/2010 14:26:10)
    Well done that woman!