Grove Park Looks Forward to End of Paparazzi Intrusion

Group seeking photos of Ant McPartlin proving to be unwelcome visitors


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Residents in a normally quiet street in Grove Park, Chiswick have found themselves at the centre of the current media obsession with television presenter Ant McPartlin, much to their dismay.

Since news broke last Sunday of his arrest on drink driving charges, and subsequent decision to take a break from television presenting, cars and vans containing press photographers, the paparazzi who specialise in celebrity stories, have been keeping vigil outside his Chiswick home.

Ant and his screen partner Dec, have lived largely undisturbed only a few doors away from each other and are well known in local pubs, shops and restaurants. Ant is regularly seen walking his labrador Hurley in Chiswick House gardens, lately accompanied by his mother Christine Woodhall.

Photographers and journalists waited for hours in their cars outside the gated house in case either the celebrity or any of his friends or family members might arrive. Pictures of Ant arriving or leaving from his home have been front page news on a daily basis. On Thursday afternoon (22 March) there were at least four vehicles parked in the street with journalists seated inside working on laptops updating stories.

Their presence is generally an unwelcome one for residents of the area and there have been reports of some minor confrontations between the photographers and members of the public.

One woman reported being verbally abused by them and another told of a hostile response received when she took photos of the group.

Press photographers gather near Mr McPartlin's home

They have allegedly employed step ladders to attempt to take photos of the TV presenter’s home and friends, including Declan Donnelly, and family visiting have had to run a gauntlet to get inside.

There has been a huge level of press interest since the host of Saturday Night Takeaway was involved in a road traffic collision in Mortlake last Sunday (18 March). Mr McPartlin has since been charged with a drink driving offence and has returned to rehab to deal with his addiction issues.

Jonathan Knight, Chairman of the Grove Park Group said, “Grove Park residents are entitled to their privacy, regardless of their employment or celebrity status. Ant and Dec have been immensely supportive of the community and we are proud that they have chosen to remain Grove Park residents, in preference to other parts of London. If photographers have an interest in what’s going on in our area, perhaps they could take time to cover the beautiful Thames vistas available, or perhaps report some detail on our plans to improve the Grove Park shops area. Or come back in April to record the unique cherry blossom on Staveley Road when it is briefly but gloriously in bloom.”

There is no controlled parking in the street which made it easy for the press to stay for as long as they needed to get that all important photograph.

April 2, 2018

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