David Essex meets fans in Fareham

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THEY’VE been fans for decades and last night they met their idol David Essex.

He was in Fareham promoting his new film Traveller.

David Essex meet Deborah Jennings and her daughter Ann Jennings from Stubbington.'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133450-2)

David Essex meet Deborah Jennings and her daughter Ann Jennings from Stubbington.'' 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133450-2)

Fans clutching copies of his new album and the soundtrack to the film queued up to meet the man himself and get them signed.

Nicky Edney, 53, from Hayling Island, was at the signing with her friend Janet Hocking, 58, from Gosport.

Nicky said: ‘I’ve loved him since the early 70s.

‘When I was in my teens he was one of my pin-ups.

‘I’ve seen him on stage many times and in concert but never spoken to him until now. He was really nice.’

Janet said: ‘I saw him last year at the Guildhall and I even hung around afterwards to catch a glimpse.

‘I’ve got a book by him that I brought along and he signed it.’

Ann Jennings was at the screening with her mum Deborah, both from Stubbington.

Deborah said: ‘I’ve grown up with him since the early 70s.

‘He was really relaxed tonight – he was such a gentelman.’

David said he was thrilled with the turnout.

‘I thought I’d come by and see Fareham. I’ve never been here before, he said.

‘The fans have been lovely and very interested in the film.

‘It’s been nice to meet the people here. I’m pleased the reaction to the film has been so strong.’

The film’s main character Owen McBride was played by David’s son, who David is incredibly proud of.

David said: ‘It was a privilege to work with him. He’s done two films since Traveller, so he’s doing very well.’

Reel, which is the UK’s largest chain of independent cinemas, took over the Fareham cinema in February.

Manager Neil Jones said: ‘It’s something different for the cinema and the team.

‘We’ve never had anything like this here before.

‘We were excited and honoured to have David here in Fareham as an independent cinema, we’re in a unique position and we can do more than the bigger chains.’

David, who also played Eddie Moon in EastEnders, not only played a lead role of Blackberry in the film, he also wrote the soundtrack.

Traveller, which tells the gritty story of a young man torn between two worlds, with added crime, romance and drama, is showing again at Reel cinema at 8.40pm tonight, and 4.40pm tomorrow.