Belfast Telegraph

Hollywood star Sam Neill puts Antrim shop owner in spotlight

By Rachel Martin

A Co Antrim shop chain owner was left star-struck when Hollywood actor Sam Neill tweeted a picture of him to his 101,000 followers.

Mr Neill, who was born in Omagh, also runs wine business Two Paddocks in his adopted home of New Zealand.

While he shot to public consciousness playing Dr Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, more recently he has starred in hit TV series Peaky Blinders and feature film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

He met Kilrea businessman Kenny Bradley, who stocks his wines, a few months ago at his home in New Zealand, where Mr Neill keeps a collection of animals including a bull called James Nesbitt.

Mr Bradley owns seven Spar shops and petrol forecourts in Co Antrim and Co Londonderry and is currently developing Northern Ireland's second Applegreen service station near Ballymena.

Having a go at the Northern Ireland dialect, Mr Neill tweeted: "Your man Kenny @HomeDelWine at Kenny's Spar, Highfield, Magherafelt NI has your Xmas necessities well covered. Rejoice #NornIron delivers!"

Mr Bradley said: "Sam Neill's vineyards really are an art - everything is done with passion.

"I really believe the Two Paddocks' Pinot Noir is the very best wine to pair with your turkey this Christmas, so I wanted to make a Christmas display with the Two Paddocks wines.

"So I sent a number of pictures of what I planned to do over to Two Paddocks.

"And a girl got back to us saying that she had passed the pictures on to Sam and that he really loved them and was for tweeting them. At the time we took it at face value and thought 'yeah right'. But it's been amazing - the messages haven't stopped flooding in."

Belfast Telegraph