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James Nesbitt warned not to go autograph hunting at Fifa's bash

By Nevin Farrell

Published 11/01/2016

Actor James Nesbitt has said he can still scarcely believe he will be hosting Fifa's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony tonight - but is under strict orders not to go autograph hunting
Actor James Nesbitt has said he can still scarcely believe he will be hosting Fifa's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony tonight - but is under strict orders not to go autograph hunting

Actor James Nesbitt has said he can still scarcely believe he will be hosting Fifa's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony tonight - but is under strict orders not to go autograph hunting.

The 50-year-old Cold Feet star is a massive supporter of Coleraine, Manchester United and Northern Ireland - and admitted he will be the most starstruck person in Zurich.

Top stars like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr are in the running for world player of the year.

"You've got Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar... then there's me, who used to play for Broughshane Boys' Brigade," said Nesbitt, who admits to being "as surprised as anyone else" he was asked to co-host one of the biggest nights in world football.

Nesbitt admitted: "I'm excited enough when I get to meet players involved with my hometown club of Coleraine!

"There's always the chance that I might break out into a rash or start crying at the moment I start seeing Ronaldo. I'm planning to play it quite cool, but I'm sure that won't be the case on the night."

One thing he is "under strict orders not to do", unlike the fans lining the red carpet, is use his privileged position to hunt for autographs.

"It'll be very hard to resist. If anything it could be worth quite a bit," he said with a wink.

Nesbitt returns to Cold Feet later this year, and this month will star in Lucky Man, about a detective who uses an ancient bracelet to control his fortunes.

Nesbitt, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list, has a legion of fans - who seem to have little problem approaching him, even in public loos.

"My Peggy, when she was three, saw me sign an autograph and said, 'Daddy, they know you but you don't know them'. That's exactly what it is. How clever was she?

"People try to shake my hand while I'm weeing. That's just unacceptable, isn't it?"

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