Staff at a South Shields fish and chip shop were left “thrilled” after former US first lady Hillary Clinton popped in for a surprise visit.The ex-Secretary of State was in the area to deliver the annual South Shields Lecture, talking politics with former Labour politician and South Shields MP David Miliband.
74-year-old Hillary discussed gun violence in the US, Donald Trump's re-election bid, and her love for Channel 4’s Derry Girls at the event on Friday.
And the US politician topped off her visit with a meal at the much-loved Colmans, a family-run staple in South Shields for generations.
The fish and chip shop first started out as a small beach shack all the way back in 1905 before moving to Ocean Road in 1926.
Owner Richard Ord said that he "couldn’t speak highly enough" of their celebrity guest. She ordered the classic fish and chips, complete with mushy peas and tartare sauce."The staff were thrilled - and she was so wonderful to all of them," Richard said of Mrs Clinton. "She was absolutely wonderful with everybody."
She may be famous for her proximity to the Oval Office, but Hillary has strong family ties to the North East.
Her great-grandfather Jonathan Rodham was a coal miner from Stanley in County Durham back in the 1800s - a fact that she was happy to share with fellow diners in Colmans."She was very proud of her North East connections," Richard recalled. "She was just delighted to be in the area."
The former presidential candidate also paid tribute to the Queen as she gave her lecture during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, recounting what it had been like to meet Her Majesty.
"She has been a remarkable unifier and symbol for a long time in your country’s history," Hillary said."In meeting her she is quite funny, quick to laugh or make a quip, she is very smart and she knows a lot," she added.
"She restrains herself from interfering in government, but she can have a conversation about nearly anything – including classified material about advances in military weaponry that the UK government is considering."