Friday, September 09, 2005

UK - Security overkill in Osmond visit

There was a security overkill as Donny Osmond made a whirlwind tour promoting his new book and upcoming Osmonds' tour. Hundreds of fans, many having queued for more than 9 hours, greeted the star as he arrived the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, east of London, UK. Flanked by police and minders he made an effortless wave to the screaming fans as he descended the escalator. Press photographers were given less than two minutes to get their shots and had to contend with obstructions of Mr Osmond's security. The press were swiftly removed from their position and escorted from the arena.The fans were treated to a similar manhandling. Each fan spending a few seconds in Donny Osmond's presence as he signed their book, before being pushed away by his agent. "They were very rude," said one fan from Benfleet in Essex. "We'd been there since nine in the morning and all the fans were well behaved ? and to be pushed away like that was very disrespectful," said Karen Biscomb. A few fans in wheelchairs were not brushed away so quickly, "I think there would have been words said if they were treated like the rest of us" she added. Fans also found that obtaining photographs taken by WH Smith publicity photographers was virtually impossible. "I've been on the phone to W.H.Smith's publicity all day, but they've been most unhelpful," said another fan from Harlow in Essex. Staff for W.H.Smith said on the day that the controlled security operation was in order to prevent a possible stampede.
[18:18 GMT 09/09/2005]

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