Excitement as Harry Potter and Downton Abbey star admits to shopping in Storrington Waitrose

Dame Maggie Smith and  Alex Jennings on BBC One's The Graham Norton Show. Photo contributed by The Graham Norton Show and BBC One.

Dame Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings on BBC One's The Graham Norton Show. Photo contributed by The Graham Norton Show and BBC One.

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Keep your eyes peeled next time you go shopping in Storrington as you might spot a very famous face.

Actress and national treasure Dame Maggie Smith has admitted she ‘sometimes’ shops at the Waitrose store in the village after speaking in a rare television interview last night (October 30) on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show.

The Downton Abbey and Harry Potter star was on the show to promote her new film ‘The Lady in the Van’ an adaption of the 1999 hit West End play by Alan Bennett.

The play is based on a true story in Mr Bennett’s life and Mrs Smith plays Miss Mary Shepherd, a transient woman living in her car on Mr Bennett’s (played by Alex Jennings) driveway.

Speaking on the show Mrs Smith said: “She (Miss Shepherd) lived in Storrington which is quite near where I live. I live in a village next door.

“There used to be a huge nunnery in Storrington and when I go there, which I do sometimes, I go to Waitrose and various things, I always think, I wonder what was it like when she was here as a sort of young person.”

When asked by Graham Norton if her appearance in Downton Abbey had made people recognise her more she said: “Funnily enough I was in Waitrose in Storrington and a little boy was at the checkout with his mother and kept looking at me.

“He kept looking at me and looking at me and I said ‘can I help you?’ and he said ‘it’s alright it will come to me in a minute’. I thought it was so sweet.”

On Twitter residents have expressed their excitement at the news.

Megan Sara said: “Dame Maggie lives near Storrington?! Life made!! I’m going to Waitrose more often!!”

Matthew Guillaume said: “Anyone wanna stake out the Waitrose in Storrington in search of Maggie Smith?”

Lindsay Anne said: “Maggie just mentioned she shops in Waitrose in Storrington! I’ve yet to bump in to her then. I live in the next village to there.”

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