Former PA to Elton John returns home to attend screening of Rocket Man in Buckingham

Jan and David Pickering, the managers of The Film Place, with Kirsty Ellis nee Claridge
Jan and David Pickering, the managers of The Film Place, with Kirsty Ellis nee Claridge

Rocket Man, the hit musical about Elton John's career, was screened in Buckingham on Friday night, and the audience included a very special guest.

Elton's former personal assistant and employee of the Rocket Entertainment Group Kirsty Ellis nee Claridge, returned to The Film Place for the showing and was introduced to the audience by Film Place managers David and Jan Pickering.

Kirsty's family lived in Meadway and as a child she attended St Rumbold’s playgroup and Grenville School.

Her family eventually left the town to emigrate to Australia and Kirsty went on to study English literature and history at the University of Queensland and at Stony Brook on Long Island, New York.

When asked how a Buckingham girl came to mix with stars like Elton John and Rocket Entertainment artist Ed Sheeran, Kirsty explained that her career in showbiz started just three weeks after her graduation, when she moved to London and began to send out her first job applications.

She said: "I just wanted a break but then - oh no! – I found I’d got a job!

"I was very lucky - I was in the right place at the right time."

For the next four years she was in daily contact with the star, and also met numerous other celebrities.

Kirsty now works in the film and television industry but still finds time to make regular visits to Buckingham and earlier this summer she married her husband Jon at the parish church of St Peter and Paul.

Kirsty added: "My work in the film and television industry takes me to places like Cannes, Los Angeles and the Edinburgh film and television festival but I love coming back to Buckingham.

"I think The Film Place is a wonderful initiative - community cinemas like this one have a valuable role to play, especially when they support British and foreign films made by independent film companies."

Film Place co-manager David Pickering said: "It’s always lovely to see Kirsty back in Buckingham and see how a young girl from our very own town has risen to mix with stars like Elton.

"It just goes to show that anything’s possible for our youngsters!"