15 January 2001

18th July 2009

London Film and Comic Con is a convention hosted by Show masters and occurs every year. I had missed last year’s convention and was hoping to go to this one since there was a special guest arriving there; Keeley Hawes.  Keeley has been the wonderful voice of Lara since 2006 when she appeared in Tomb Raider Legend, a year later she returned for Tomb Raider Anniversary and narrated Gametap's Tomb Raider Documentary, and recently did the voice of Lara in 2009 for Tomb Raider Underworld. Keeley has also starred in several shows on TV and films, the latest being Ashes to Ashes.

I was travelling to Earls Court in London with my sister who is an Ashes to Ashes fan. Since there was little disruption on the journey down to Earls Court it was a pretty straight forward journey.

When we arrived, we saw a long queue heading from the front door outside. Although we bought had booked in advanced and therefore the queue was considerable shorter then the others. We had arrived at half ten to make sure that we could get all the autographs that we wanted to get as well as talk tickets.

We got autographs tickets immediately to make sure that we could get a place. Keeley was an open queue which meant that anyone could join. The first thing I had noticed about her queue was that we were extremely popular. At one point during the day it was over halfway across the hall!

Since we had purchased the “Early Bird” ticket, there was a lot less people then there would be later on in the day. So we decided to get our autographs now. The queue was quite short so it wasn’t that long before we saw her. I had brought a bar of Cadbury’s Luxury Chocolate for her as a thank you for doing a fabulous job for Tomb Raider and a letter. Me and my sister goes to conventions quite often and we picked up various prints of stars, I managed to get a Ashes to Ashes a3 shot of Keeley and my sister got a fabulous promotional photo of both Keeley and Philip.

As you pay for the autograph which was set at a reasonable £15 there is a desk full of A4 photos, if you bought your own you can still get a free image. I’ve been travelling to conventions for a few years now however I think Keeley is one of the best stars I’ve met. At conventions like these and especially for actors and actresses who have been in many shows and films as she has, the stars will do a “quick signing” which means that you go to them say hello have them sign the photo, sometimes with guests you’re allowed to have a photo with them if your lucky, and then you leave.

When I met her, even though she had a long queue she still made time to have a conversation with everyone which is the first time I’ve ever seen a guest do that in several years. She answered questions and she was such a pleasure to talk to. I was also really pleased to see that she personalised it and put a little comment, which some guests don’t do. When I was there I managed to forget what I was going to say and was thankfully saved by my sister We also managed to get a photo at the signing table with both me and Keeley in.
At 2:15 it was time for the photo session. What happens is if you want to get a photo with Keeley taken by a profession photographer you pay for a ticket (£13.50) and line up to have it done. Since it was my first photo session, I was quite nervous about it but as I looked in the queue and realised that there was several people that were too. I also saw someone dressed up in a Lara Croft outfit that looked very cool and someone dressed as DI Alex Drake.  

The photograph session went incredibly quickly. Per person it was a matter of seconds since the photographer was slightly...impaitent, although I understand he was doing his job. I had given Keeley the chocolate and a letter earlier so we discussed about it before the photo. I liked that the photographer didn’t speed up our conversation like he did with others.

After the photograph session it was two hours before Keeley’s photos were developed so me and my sister went to the Star Trek talk, met with some of the other guests and ran from nearby the station to the Stargate talk (which we accidentally forgotten about.) When the photos were developed there was still time to get them signed, so I quickly joined the queue again.

I returned when the show had finished. Many of the guests had left or were leaving. I had a quick check at Keeley’s queue and noticed there was still a long queue with loads of people. It was really nice to see a someone stay over time for some fans because they didn’t want to turn them away. It was also really nice to see a star that understand their fans, you’ll be surprised if you haven’t been to a few conventions and expos how many stars would appear yet they don’t understand why people want their autograph. 


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