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Soap stars’ sign pub's 'celebrity ceiling'

Soap stars’ sign pub's 'celebrity ceiling'

Thomas’s staff member Jorden Williams, centre, with Emmerdale stars Zoe Henry and Jeff Hordley

Former EastEnders star Ace Bhatti,

Jeff Hordley

Zoe Henry

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

FIRST it was signed by Corrie killer John Stape – now a York pub’s new “celebrity ceiling” has been signed by two more bad boys from top British soaps.

Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in ITV’s Yorkshire-based drama Emmerdale, called in to Thomas’s in Museum Street and agreed to add his signature to the ceiling in the downstairs bar.

He was accompanied by his wife Zoe Henry, who also stars in the soap as vet Rhona Goskirk and who also added her name.

The next star to add his signature was Ace Bhatti, who played Dr “Evil” Yusef Khan in EastEnders until he departed last December following the end of a domestic abuse storyline.

Their signatures are everything landlady Mary Blair could have hoped for when she launched the ceiling in August during a visit by Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley, his son Ferdinand and Graeme Hawley, who were playing God/Jesus and the Devil in the Mystery Plays in the nearby Museum Gardens.

Hawley used to play teacher John Stape, one of Coronation Street’s most infamous villains who was involved in a number of major story lines involving kidnap, manslaughter and murder before dying last October during a car chase.

After the trio agreed to sign the ceiling, Mary said she hoped other big names would come and add their names.

She said Jeff and Zoe visited while in York to see the Mystery Plays, and they were joined at the pub by Ferdinand and Graeme, while Ace called in after performing recently in Bouncers at the Theatre Royal.

Her only failed celebrity venture so far has come when she tried to get TV artist Rolf Harris to come and sign the ceiling during a visit to York later this month. She said his PA had said he would not have time to visit.

She said she now planned to revive Thomas’s one-time theatrical connections by creating a “theatre room”, with posters for plays on the walls.

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