There’s no anecdote quite like the celebrity encounter; they unite us in hilarious and comforting ways, and are the perfect way to sustain a dinner party conversation where you don’t really know anyone.
Unfortunately, some are less interesting than others - though these often make for more wholesome stories than others.
This was exemplified by a recent Twitter trend started by user @Mavenofhonour, who prompted a call-out for everyone’s most mundane celebrity encounters.
“Now, more than ever, we should share our most mundane celebrity encounters,” she wrote. “For example, in 2002 I saw Diane Keaton in the Gap”.
The responses were hilariously normal - from observing Ralph Fiennes on a low-key walk along the Thames, to riding a rollercoaster with Alanis Morissette - but strangely, one celebrity started to crop up all over the place.
Based on anecdotal evidence, it appears everyone has met Bill Nighy - and not only that, he’s just a very nice guy.
Here are some of the best Nighy anecdotes, each as plain as the next…
He was almost rude, but apologised profusely:
Bill Nighy shouted fuck off at me in Soho once, he thought I was taking pics. When I showed him it was just google maps, he was so apologetic, took my hand, asked my name, explained he hadn’t washed his hair & didn’t want the faff. He was SO lovely. I think we’re best friends now https://t.co/qIJmhq6C1r
— Lisa Shanley (@lisa_shanley)
He walks among commoners:
Bill Nighy once sat next to me on a train from London to Manchester. I jokingly said “would’ve though you’d be in First Class” to which he replied “nah, it’s full of tossers and the free food is shit”
He read a newspaper.
I continued with my work.
— Adam (@adamtweets85)
He calmly acknowledges his fame:
uh everyone's sharing times they met Bill Nighy and I HAVE ONE
He walked past me at the @britishmuseum and it was so busy, no one had noticed him - I looked at him and he raised his eyebrows and nodded at me like 'yes, it is I, Billy Nighy'.
It was perfect.
— Megan Jones (@MuseumMeg)
He can be as vacant as the rest of us:
I’ll jump on the Bill Nighy train. I once stood behind him in the queue at Waterstones in York. He was distracted so I pointed out it was his turn to go to the till. He said thank you. That’s it. That’s my exciting story.
— Cat Soave (@caterinasoave)
He’s got excellent style:
Yes, I too was fortunate enough to meet the cool cat god and Carnaby Street hippy that is Bill Nighy - sauntering through London Pride with a suit draped over his shoulders. #BillNighy pic.twitter.com/t7YzeVmXQc
— MARK O'CONNELL - Writer, Author, Bond fan. (@Mark0Connell)
And has a favourite hangout:
As we're all talking about Bill Nighy, I should mention that when I run around Soho going from screening to screening, interview to interview, meeting to meeting etc, I walk past him drinking a coffee in the same alley *so often* my wife and I just call it "Bill Nighy alley"
— Ali Plumb (@AliPlumb)
Worked with Bill Nighy once, was stood next to him outside a junk shop on Clapham high st. He saw me staring at this dog statue, and said 'You want that, don't you?'.
He secretly got his driver to buy it (£25) and presented it to me gift wrapped. I treasure both it and the memory pic.twitter.com/UlobahnJHE
— Tom Horn (@tommyhorn)
And shows up for what he believes in:
Bill Nighy is trending because *everyone* has a mundane sighting of him. So mine is that he sauntered along with our group on the anti-br**it march. pic.twitter.com/vNI1aaBD2w
— REX (Knights And Bikes OUT NOW!) (@rexbox)
He isn't selfie-shy
Bill Nighy trending. Could not have been lovelier to my daughter when we bumped into him in London. He was a gentleman! pic.twitter.com/0PsqznXvGs
— Trevor Meadows 🌐 (@MeaDosVirtus)
And loves to share:
Since he’s trending in the U.K., years ago I met Bill Nighy on the street while on lunch break, discretely asked him to take a picture with me, which he did after shaking my hand and then proceeding to give me an in-depth plot summary of the book he was reading pic.twitter.com/BOEA5pm7DS
— Christy Somos (@C_Somos)
But if you haven’t met him, you’re not alone:
Reading that 2/3 of the UK population seems to have met or encountered Bill Nighy at some point. I feel left out. pic.twitter.com/67aL7DutfL
— Phillip Barlow 🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@hammerslibrary)
So, according to Twitter I’m the only person alive who hasn’t had a mundane encounter with Bill Nighy and I’m pissed as hell about it pic.twitter.com/zipfX8Zq3N
— Rachel Love-Howseman ♥️ (@rachlove31)
In this dark time, at least we can all be united in the knowledge that a god walks among us in the form of Bill Nighy.