Belfast Telegraph

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe casts spell during Northern Ireland visit

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe with staff at the Belmont House Hotel. Pic Belmont House Hotel
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe with staff at the Belmont House Hotel. Pic Belmont House Hotel
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe cast a spell on staff and guests at a Northern Ireland hotel as he stopped by for a spot of lunch.

Radcliffe was described as a "gent and incredibly humble" as he happily chatted away with staff, other guests and even posing for photos, at the Belmont House Hotel in Banbridge.

Staff said the Hollywood A-lister had cast a spell on them during his visit saying it wasn't a usual Thursday afternoon.

"He was an absolute gent and really humble. One of the nicest men you could meet," the hotel's marketing and events manager Julie-Ann Smart told the Belfast Telegraph. She said they had no idea he was visiting until he arrived for lunch on Thursday with a group of friends.

"We know he has family in the area but we've no clue why he stopped by with us.

"He was very obliging. He stopped and chatted with people and took photos. There was a real buzz and everyone was very happy. Hopefully he'll come back."

Radcliffe has Ulster roots with grandmother Elsie hailing from Banbridge.

The star had been very close to his grandmother and had made frequent visits to her at her Co Down home. She always said he was his number one fan.

On her death over 10 years ago the actor was performing in Equus on Broadway in New York and dedicated a performance to her.

Look who walked through our Gryffindoors this afternoon 👀 It was an absolute pleasure having Daniel Radcliffe...

Posted by Belmont House Hotel on Thursday, May 9, 2019

Belmont House Hotel was built in 1838 for Robert McClelland, owner of the Bann Weaving Factory. It then was owned by yachtsman William 'Jumbo' Anderson and changed hands again around 1930 when the Finney family moved in.

It has operated as a hotel for three decades, and in 2015 the Bonner family sold the business to the Russells for £1m in 2016.

The Russells invested £1m in upgrading the building and facilities. It boasts of being the only four-star accomodation in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

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