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Hollywood A-lister's cheeky joke on Lewes great-grandmother leaves her thrilled
A great-grandmother got up close to a Hollywood A-lister at a film premiere when he sat on her lap.
Anne Olivier Bell had a cheeky encounter with film star Bill Murray during the London premiere of his new film The Monuments Men.
The 97-year-old from Lewes also met with the film’s director George Clooney and happily confessed to the greying heartthrob that she didn’t know who he was.
The great-grandmother was a special guest at the glamorous film launch as she is the only surviving UK member of a post Second War War programme dedicated to preventing the destruction of treasures plundered by the Nazis.
The film, which was partly shot in Rye and Camber Sands last summer, is based upon this subject.
Mrs Bell attended the event with her six grandchildren and three children and the film company also paid for her to stay overnight in a London hotel.
Speaking to The Argus she said she enjoyed the occasion but felt the film was “rather confused”.
She said: “Leicester Square was fantastic, I had never seen it like that.
“The red carpet was all laid out, there were about a billion people screaming out and about a million photographers shouting ‘look this way’.
“One of the stars, in a show to the photographers, came and sat on my knee. He had a terrific bottom, very large and I had to push him off.
“I enjoyed the night immensely.”
On meeting George Clooney, Mrs Bell said: “I told him I had never heard of him before and he said: ‘Sometimes I don’t know who I am’.
“He was very nice and he gave a kiss to my carer.
“She was thrilled.”
After the Second Ward War Mrs Bell was invited to join the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section comprising of museum curators, academics and artists attempting to recover and salvage artworks Germany.
She spent about 15 months coordinating operations from the English HQ in Westphalia.
She married Quentin Bell, nephew of Virginia Woolf, and edited five volumes of her diaries,
She and her husband settled in Lewes in the late 50s, where she has lived ever since.
The film, which also stars Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and Downtown star Hugh Bonneville, opened in UK cinemas on Friday.
Speaking on the Graham Norton Show on Friday night, Bill Murray said: “I asked Matt [Damon] to do it first but he wouldn’t do it.
“So I went and sat in her lap.
“I find if you look at somebody like that in a wheelchair and you see someone in their lap, you see a party girl.
“A 97-year-old party girl.”
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