"I wrote my dissertation on Harry Styles - now I guide tours in his Cheshire village"

A Harry Styles superfan who wrote her dissertation about the pop star has landed her dream job - as a tour guide in his home village in Cheshire.

Izzy Boughey, 21, is of 12 tour guides hired to herd scores of fans - known as Harries - safely around Holmes Chapel, where the As It Was singer grew up.

She said: "I was in shock when I got the job. I'm a big fan, I even wrote my dissertation at university about him.

"I came to visit Holmes Chapel as a fan with my mum once - coming here makes you understand why Harry is Harry."

Local voluntary organisation the Holmes Chapel Partnership were forced to hire tour guides to cope with demand after 5,000 fans - known as Harries - descended on the village last year.

More than 150 fans from around the world applied for the role but only 12 people were chosen to lead the tours after completing an 80-question quiz on the pop star.

Supporters on the tour will be shown Twemlow Viaduct, where it's believed the singer had his first kiss and Mandeville’s Bakery, where he worked before The X Factor.

Tour guide Jill Booth, 58, applied for the job because she grew up knowing Harry and his family and was 'really pleased' when he became famous.

She said: "He used to live a few doors down from me and my son was friends with him at school and they played football together.

"I remember my son knew he was going in a band on the X Factor but he couldn't tell anyone - then it all went a bit mad.

"I was really pleased for him when I found out though. My son sometimes sees him at the concerts, because his girlfriend is a huge fan.

"And then there's been times where he says he's going round to Harry's to play on the PlayStation. I haven't seen him in concert - but I've seen him play football."

Jill says fans started coming in 2010, when the Watermelon Sugar singer first shot to fame, and they've just 'not stopped since.'

She said: "The bakery was featured on the X Factor, so fans started coming then and it didn't stop. I think that Harry even visited the viaduct last year though."

Lois Booth, 17, also decided to become a tour guide because she is a 'massive fan'.

She said: "My mum sent me an article about it because she's aware I'm a massive fan and need a Saturday job.

"The application was crazy - we had to do a massive quiz.

"I remember being in year four at school and having a One direction bag - I've always been a huge fan.

"I'm so excited and nervous to do the tours."

The two-and-a-half hour tours, which cost £20 per head, were born out of Holmes Chapel Partnership's campaign for safe walking routes throughout the village.

And while they don't officially start until June 8, it was clear to see why they were needed as fans had made the pilgrimage today (Fri) off their own back.

Phoebe Hodges, 18, and Mia Tessain, 18, travelled all the way from Canberra, Australia see where Harry grew up.

Phoebe said: "We were coming to London and said we need to come to Holmes Chapel. We just thought it would be a cute little village and it really is."

Mia added: "I don't know what we do if we met him, we would be so surprised. I think I would try and stay cool but I really wouldn't be able to."

Sisters Kiera, 26, and Mia Canham, 21, travelled from Peterborough, Cambs,. to visit the village with a miniature Harry Styles doll.

Kiera said: "We just wanted to see where he grew up and speak to people who knew him. We've always wanted to come here since he was on The X Factor.

"We have our little Harry doll and take him everywhere that's One Direction related. He's come to all the concerts and now this."

Maia Birkett, 17, and Esme Henderson, 17, came from nearby Salford to make friendship bracelets outside the viaduct.

Maia said: "We've been waiting to make friendship bracelets for Taylor Swift and have a picnic, so decided to come here."

Esme added: "We've been fans of Harry since 2019 - we just love his music and the concerts have a nice atmosphere.

"We are also huge Taylor Swift fans - both of their concerts are just full of nice people."

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