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AC/DC singer Brian Johnson pops into The King’s Arms at Polebrook

When rock royalty popped in to a village pub, it didn’t take long for locals to spot they had a legend in their midst.

Despite his polite and down-to-earth behaviour, Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC, stood out as someone different at the King’s Arms in Polebrook, near Oundle.

And after a couple of minutes, manager Ollie De Gaunza cottoned on to who he was chatting to.

Ollie De Gaunza with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson
Ollie De Gaunza with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson

“It was his cap and his voice that made me realise,” said Ollie. “He’s got quite a thick Geordie accent.

“I am a bit of an AC/DC fan and have listened to their music on and off since I was a teenager.

“There were a couple of locals in the bar who wouldn’t have had a clue who he was, but to people with an interest in the band he’s quite distinctive.”

The King's Arms, Polebrook. Photo: thekingsarmspolebrook.co.uk
The King's Arms, Polebrook. Photo: thekingsarmspolebrook.co.uk

Helping to mask Brian’s rock and roll lifestyle was the fact he ordered a glass of South African Chenin blanc at the bar, and made small talk with Ollie about his mother’s tomato sauce recipe.

“We chatted about the new car he was testing out, and he said he was off to visit family up north the next day.

“The only reference he made to AC/DC was to tell me about a gig they’re due to play in the desert in The States in September.

“He was thoroughly grounded and a genuinely nice guy.”

Ollie, who was working alone between the lunch and dinner slots last Saturday afternoon, took the opportunity to grab a selfie with Brian outside the pub, and sent it to the landlord, Keith Mickleburgh, who was in Greece.

“I sent it to him as a bit of fun, to make him jealous. But before I knew it, the photo was up on social media.”

Keith’s Facebook post on ‘The Kings Arms - Polebrook’ page has attracted more than 70 comments from people amazed by Brian’s visit and disappointed they had missed the opportunity to rub shoulders with such a star.

“People have been coming in all week to find out more about his visit,” said Ollie.

“One customer even wanted to know which parking space Brian used.”

For those wanting to sit on Brian’s bar stool, the pub in King’s Arms Lane is open this Saturday from midday to 11pm and will be serving lunches and evening meals.

Polebrook’s pub has had other famous visitors in the past, including the actor Jim Broadbent, while the ‘King of Hollywood’ Clark Gable was stationed at the village’s nearby airbase during the Second World War.

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