March 18, 2022 1.30 pm

Lincoln autograph hunter adds Ridley Scott to collection of over 1,000 signatures

His celebrity autographs include Tom Cruise

A Lincoln autograph hunter who once climbed over a wall to meet David Bowie has now added Hollywood film director Ridley Scott to his growing collection of more than 1,000 signatures.

James Buchanan first became obsessed with celebrities when he was a big fan of Kylie Minogue during his teenage years. This led to him to go to television studios hoping to meet her, which he successfully did a few times.

The 48-year-old civil servant has now been collecting autographs for around 30 years, meeting actors and actresses including Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Michael Sheen, James McAvoy, Colin Firth, Russell Crowe, Jason Donovan, Amy Adams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hanks, and Tom Cruise, as well as singer Frank Sinatra and director Stan Lee.

When James met Tom Cruise.

It was his obsession with Kylie Minogue that first started his interest in getting autographs.

He also met Jason Donovan!

James and his son Leo met director Stan Lee.

He also once met Joaquin Phoenix – who is currently filming for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Bonaparte biopic at Lincoln Cathedral – at a BAFTA Awards after party, and says the actor doesn’t like attention but did sign autographs. And James has also been allowed to stand at the side of the red carpet at awards ceremonies.

James spent most of the day on Thursday waiting near Lincoln Cathedral in the hope of meeting Ridley Scott, who he has always wanted the autograph of. It was James’ lucky day as, along with his son Leo, he met the “nice” Hollywood director and they both got his signature.

James waited outside Lincoln Cathedral to get Ridley Scott’s autograph – he succeeded. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

When James met Will Smith.

James was happy to meet legendary actor Russell Crowe.

James posing for a photo with actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

When James met actor Johnny Depp.

He told The Lincolnite: “It is hard work, but once you get into it there’s a real buzz.

“I once climbed over a wall to meet David Bowie at TFI Friday’s studios around 20 years ago. Security had blocked off the road, but I didn’t let that stop me and I saw an opportunity.

“At the end of the road was a wall the leads to a housing estate, so I climbed it and waited, before shaking David Bowie’s hand and he signed an autograph. He was pleasant to meet, I only had 20 seconds with him, but he’s a legend.

“It still gives me the buzz now. I regret it sometimes due to the hard work and the hours waiting in the cold, but it is worth it in the end.”

James with his son Leo outside Lincoln Cathedral during the filming of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Bonaparte biopic. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

James with actor Colin Firth.

James with actor James McAvoy.

Actress Amy Adams posed for a photo with autograph hunter James.

James has met legendary actor Tom Hanks a few times.

James also previously met Tom Hanks a few times, including at the White Hart when he was filming the Da Vinci Code in Lincoln. James said Tom didn’t want to give him a signature but said a quick hello, while Ian McKellen, Jean Reno and Ron Howard all spoke to him and signed autographs.

At the Savoy in London in November 2021, James met both Will Smith and Idris Elba. He also met Will Smith again a second time, although this time by coincidence during a holiday in New York. And James and his son Leo have also recently met Sebastian Stan and Salma Hayek.

Just last week they managed to meet king of theatre Andrew Lloyd Webber in Lincoln after getting a tip off that he was in the city.

James with actor Henry Cavill.


James with Michael Hutchence, who was the lead singer of INXS.

When James met Michael Sheen!

The passion for getting autographs runs in the family as James’ 16-year-old son Leo has started a collection, which has reached around 100.

However, it doesn’t always go smoothly as when Leo was recently running alongside Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington, they claimed the actor said ‘no’ to an autograph. Shortly afterwards they met Keith Lemon who happened to be walking around the corner and did agree to an autograph.