THE force really was with Darth Vader star Dave Prowse on a book signing visit - first in the queue was police force civilian worker Steve Matthewman, writes Graham Walker.
“I booked the day off work to come and meet him. He’s such an icon - not just for his part in Star Wars, but Hammer films and other movies,” said Steve, aged 46, from Chesterfield, who works for Derbyshire police force.
“Darth Vader is up there with Dracula and all the top big screen bad guys.”
Star Wars legend Dave was the man behind the mask in the first three original movie, but he appeared unmasked to meet scores of fans, many who queued for more than an hour to see him, at a book signing session in Waterstone’s, in Orchard Square, Sheffield.
It’s part of a UK tour up to Chroistmas. See full dates below.
The 6ft 7ins former bodybuilder, now aged 76, cut a less forbidding appearance in striped jumper and open-necked shirt as he signed around 100 copies of his autobiography, Straight From The Force’s Mouth. The book charts his rise from disadvantaged child and poor student to champion weightlifter then star of the highest-grossing film series of all time.
Dave was brought up in Bristol by a single mother but in his book he tells how ‘determination and hard work’ saw him become British heavyweight weightlifting champion.
He competed in Mr Universe with pal Arnold Schwarzenegger and trained Christopher Reeve for his role as Superman.
He was also the Green Cross Code man in the 1970s, helping to halve child injuries and deaths on the roads from 40,000 to 20,000 a year. It earned him the MBE.
Dave said: “I love Sheffield. I’ve been many times. We met some wonderful people at the book signing. The force was with us.”
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our Graham Walker’s video report.
DAVE PROWSE WILL SIGN AT THE FOLLOWING WATERSTONE’S STORES in 2011:
October 29th WATERSTONE’S - CAMBRIDGE - BOOK SIGNING - 12:00PM - 3:00PM
October 30th WATERSTONE’S - PLYMOUTH DRAKE CIRCUS - BOOK SIGNING - 11:00AM - 2:00PM
November 6th WATERSTONE’S - YEOVIL - BOOK SIGNING - 12:00PM
November 26th WATERSTONE’S - KINGS LYNN NORFOLK - BOOK SIGNING - 12:00PM
November 27th WATERSTONE’S - BASILDON - BOOK SIGNING - 1:00PM - 3:00PM
December 17th WATERSTONE’S - MANCHESTER DEANSGATE - BOOK SIGNING - 12:00PM - 1:00PM
February 17th - 19th MegaCon - Orlando - USA - www.megaconvention.com
March 24th - 25th Mad Monster Party - Charlotte NC - www.themadmonsterparty.com
April 20th -22nd StarFest - Denver, Colorado- USA - www.starland.com
April 27th - 29th The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo - Calgary - Canada - www.calgaryexpo.com
June 22nd - 24th Albuquerque Comic Expo - Albuquerque, New Mexico - USA - www.abqcomicexpo.com
July 6th - 8th Days of the Dead - Indianapolis, Indiana - www.daysofthedead.net
August 3rd - 5th Expocoleccionistas - Mexico - www.expocoleccionistas.com
September 14th - 16th Montreal Comic Con - Montreal, Canada - www.montrealcomiccon.com
October 26th - 28th Winnipeg Comic Con - Winnipeg, Canada - www.c4con.com
* IMPORTANT WATERSTONE’S BOOK SIGNING INFO.
Dave will sign his new book for free, as long as you buy it at the Waterstone’s book signing. Those who buy a book can also get personal items signed, at a cost of £20 per signature, payable at the signing table. A selection of photos will also be available. For more information visit Dave’s official web site at darthvader-starwars.com - CLICK HERE