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Famous people spotted in Brighton

by Bob 14 September 2009

Brighton has long been known as a place to see ‘famous faces’. Who of note have you spotted in our city? I don’t mean in their formal role in theatres and concert halls, but maybe just walking through the streets or perhaps sitting in a restaurant or bar – although the reason they were in town was, of course, often due to the fact that they had ‘a gig’ here.

My own memories are somewhat old, but I can claim to have seen and talked with Lauren Bacall, who was holding her small dog and walking along Ship Street one dark winter’s night, Rex Harrison, who chatted to me while strolling in New Road between performances, John Mills asking if I could pass him the salt and sharing a joke in the Collonade Bar, Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) walking down North Street, Ella Fitzgerald sitting on a bench in Pavilion Gardens eating a leg of chicken and saying she was starving and needed some food after a concert before boarding her tour bus, and Laurence Olivier, a regular at Brighton Station, hurrying home after a London run. I also enjoyed the company of many of the jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, in bars I frequented in the 1960s.

But enough of me! What memories of encounters with the stars of yesterday and today do others have?

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