Watford Filmfair Comic-Con ~Watford Leisure Centre Central

Sunday 3rd July 2016

Comic-Cons are always on my radar, I love all things film, television and theatre related, so these events tick all the boxes for me. Watford’s annual one day long Comic-Con which is run by Filmfair UK is on a somewhat smaller scale in comparison to MCM and Showmasters events, which take up several exhibition halls. However, if my visit, today proved anything, it was the quality and not the quantity that matters.

It’s well organised with a logistical layout and enough space to move around comfortably between stalls. There were plenty of dealers present selling merchandise, not so many celebrities available to meet and purchase autographs from as perhaps I’ve become accustomed to seeing, though. Despite this observation, the guests all appeared relaxed and seemed to have time to chat to their fans, which is an encouraging sight in itself. Guests at the Con, today included Andrew-Lee Potts from Primeval, Arti Shah and Paul Warren from such films as Star Wars to name just one franchise and Hattie Hayridge of Red Dwarf fame.

Watford 1
Just a standard day in Watford! Photo credit: Philip French


These fairs seem to be run on a basic level, there are no guest talks, for example, but the entry price is reasonable and parking is easy around the chosen venue. I overheard a parent speaking to a stall holder and remarking that their child would not cope with the larger scale conventions, yet, and that’s a very good point. For a family friendly day out where there are characters from the movies present to entertain your young brood, why not try Watford Comic-Con. Their date for next year will be released, soon and I highly recommend putting in your diaries!

Feature Photo Credit: Filmfair UK


Wales Comic Con ~ Wrexham

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, Wales Comic Con hosted their first ever weekend, and it rocked!

Wrexham Glyndwr University was the venue and it was perfect, there were various indoor areas to check out, where you purchase merchandise or hanker your dream item! The rooms used for the various panel sessions were well laid out with great capacity and it was a coup to be able to sit on the front row because we were present as press. It makes such a difference when there is no hassle to get a seat in a panel you intend to cover. There was also plenty of activity going on outdoors including the presence of Lightning McQueen, available to sit in at no charge (he was quite something to see!) and owls and reptiles to say hello to.

UK Garrison were present to keep a watchful eye over proceedings, they make a Comic Con for me and Chewbacca never ceases to amaze me, he is spot on. If you want to start a Star Wars costume of your own, see these guys!

Not only was the layout of the event excellent and easy to navigate, but the organisation was also second to none. The team could not be faulted from how they handled queues to get into the event overall, to organising lines to go into the panel sessions.


Photograph above: actor Mark Ryan (R) with Break A Leg Reviewer (aka my husband) Garry McWilliams (L)

There was a huge number of celebrities available for signings and not many cancellations before or on the day. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones this was certainly the Con for you! Also present were John Challis and Sue Holderness, aka Boycie and Marlene from Only Fools And Horses, Mark Ryan from Transformers and Black Sails, plus Doctor Who Doctors Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison. Star Wars creature actors, Kiran Shah, Arti Shah and Paul Warren were also on hand to sign autographs and have selfies taken with fans.

The two panels that I attended, Star Wars and Doctor Who were both extremely entertaining and informative. I won’t look at the creatures in Star Wars the same way again! Plus any Doctor Who panel session is worth attending that has Sylvester McCoy present, he was the highlight of the con for me, extremely funny guy. The Star Wars panel covered everything from the appearance of Mark Hamill on set, to the process involved when a creature actor is filmed. While the Doctor Who panel consisted of an avoidance of the question about the new companion(!) and a live email to Stephen Moffat  from Peter Davison. Gemma Redgrave was on hand to keep the boys in check and her eyes lit up at the thought of taking on the role of a female Doctor Who!

I attend a number of comic cons and I have to say, Wales, this one takes some beating! I can’t wait for next time. Guest feedback from the signing area was so positive and look out for my interviews with Mark Ryan and Mark Addy (Game of Thrones).




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