Fans from around the world follow Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman to Ipswich

Julie Shofner with Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman

Julie Shofner with Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman - Credit: Archant

When Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman says he has the best fans in the world, he’s not kidding. American Julie Shofner has planned her first visit to the UK around his latest tour.

Antje Strauch with Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman

Antje Strauch with Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman - Credit: Archant

“We’re going to concerts in London, Ipswich, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We picked Ipswich because it was close to London and heard it was a really nice venue and city,” said the 43-year-old insurance worker, from Louisville, Kentucky.

She’s travelling with 83-year-old Dorothy Grabos who live just outside of Chicago Illinois, whom she met via the fan group Torchwood4Fans on Facebook.

“It’s a two-week whirlwind trip and we’re both really excited. She’s been a fan of John’s since Doctor Who and Torchwood. We’re meeting friends we’ve met through the group in all of the cities; in Cardiff there are about 50-60 of us meeting for dinner, a tour and the concert.”

They are also members of new fan group Team Barrowman International.

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“There are more than 300 of us from all over the world. We’re one big happy family... We keep in touch with each other and I’ve met some great friends following him which has really enriched my life,” added Julie, who has met the actor, singer, presenter and author three times.

“He’s amazing, so down to earth, incredibly warm, lovable and friendly with his fans - and of course gorgeous and talented. My friends tease me because I listen to John’s music all the time, but he makes me happy.”

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Antje Strauch, who works as a draftswoman in an engineer’s office, is coming all the way from Dresden, Germany.

“I was 16 when the Berlin Wall fell and remember life in the GDR well. For that reason alone, travelling to the UK is still something special to me as back then I never imagined I could ever do it,” says Antje, making the trip with friends, one of whom also lives in Dresden; the other she met through Twitter.

After the Ipswich concert, they will head to Cardiff to meet up with more friends from Germany.

“We’re all huge fans of his and fans of British dramas and TV. I was first introduced to John via (Doctor Who’s) Captain Jack Harkness. When I found out he had this musical side he blew me away.”

She’s also met Barrowman several times and was lucky enough to join him in the recording studio while he recorded his latest CD You Raise Me Up, funded by fans.

“To see him at work so close and intimate is something I will never forget and I hope I will be able to do it again one day. To see him live on stage, interacting with the audience, is the best thing.”

Read Jo Reeder’s review of John Barrowman’s Ipswich concert here. Read my chat with him here.

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