Olivia Colman, Toby Jones and Sir Sam Mendes give film fan a ‘lovely’ surprise

A deaf and autistic man got a “lovely” surprise when he met some of his favourite TV stars in person at his local cinemas.

Celebrities, including Hollywood star Olivia Colman and director Sir Sam Mendes, were spotted by eagle-eyed members of the public at a special screening of new feature film Empire Of Light in Thanet, Kent, on January 8, with the pair surprising people at various local cinemas in the area.

The movie is set in an old cinema in an English seaside town in the early 1980s and explores human connection and romance.

Wilfred Jenkins, 26, who is deaf and autistic and lives in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, told the PA news agency that he met Colman, as well as actor Toby Jones, at the Carlton Cinema in Westgate-on-Sea, and also Sir Sam at the Dreamland Cinema in Margate.

Two men standing together and smiling at the camera
Wilfred Jenkins met Sir Sam Mendes outside the Dreamland Cinema in Margate (Wilfred Jenkins/PA)

“At first I didn’t know they were coming as I was told it was for extras,” he said.

“Then I was told the celebrities (would be there), so I quickly got dressed and I came there on time.

“I was being looked after by Luke the security and he managed to arrange for me to meet those celebrities.”

Mr Jenkins added that he tends to struggle when there are big crowds of people around and so was grateful to the security for getting him to a safe place where he could meet the stars.

Mr Jenkins said Colman was “lovely and very kind”.

“She knew who I was. I stood outside the cinema and she came to me and she was very happy to have a selfie with me.

“Toby Jones was very humble, kind and a gentleman to me along with Sam Mendes,” he added.

Man pointing at another man
(From left to right) Wilfred Jenkins said he easily recognised Toby Jones (Wilfred Jenkins/PA)

He said the trio were “amazing” but that he especially liked Jones as he was able to recognise him easily.

“I also remembered (Toby) very fondly (from) Numbertime, a BBC children’s TV show that I used watch when I was little,” he added.

He also recalled watching both Jones and Colman in various episodes of Midsomer Murders, where the latter played a killer in one episode and Jones played a pathologist in four episodes.