Hi there, my name is Neil. First of all, a huge thank you for visiting NEIL’S AUTOGRAPHS. I have been a UK based autograph collector since 1998 and over the years I have acquired thousands of autographs from some of the world’s biggest stars. I have been asked lots of questions about my collection so here I have answered a few… enjoy collecting 🙂
How did you start your collection?
Back in January 1998 I was involved in a school project where we had to write a letter to someone we admired and get a reply. I wrote a letter to UK news announcer Michael Buerk. A few weeks later I got a reply with a signed photograph and from that point I became addicted to collecting!
What is the best way to acquire autographs?
The best way is in person, that way you know 100% if it is genuine or not, but the main way I have collected has been Through The Mail (TTM). I write a nice letter complimenting the celebrity and mentioning some of their work that I enjoy and then finish by asking for a signed photograph. I ALWAYS include a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope (SSAE), after all the celebrity shouldn’t have to pay for postage after kindly signing for me.
Which is your favourite autograph in your collection?
That is a tough one, I have so many. Perhaps a ‘mini collection’ I have of Ron Moody, Mark Lester and Jack Wild… Fagin, Oliver and Dodger from the musical movie ‘Oliver!’ Moody and Wild have since passed away but as this film meant so much to me as a child these three autographs are very special. Rare autographs are some of my favourites too, Paul McCartney for instance, this was acquired in person as he no longer signs TTM.
Have you any funny autograph stories?
My main job is an actor, so in that respect I am lucky to meet and work with lots of celebrities, however I never mix work and pleasure so almost never ask people I am working with for in-person autographs (unless they are a huge megastar then obviously you have to). A few years ago I found a bulk collection of autographs for sale on eBay. I was lucky to win the collection, which included legendary American actor and singer Howard Keel, and when it was delivered I looked through the collection to find MY AUTOGRAPH!!!! I racked my brain and I think I must have signed it during a pantomime run I did a few years earlier when lots of people would ask for autographs.
How do you store your collection?
I simply have lots of ring binders with lots of plastic wallets inside and they are packed with lots of different sized autographs. I also have some other signed pieces, like books, DVD’s even pin badges, these are store in boxes.
Have you any special autographs?
I recall back in 2002 I received a signed photo and letter through the mail from the comedian Spike Milligan. This letter and signed photo was accompanied by another letter from Spike’s PA. This arrived in March 2002, whereas Milligan had recently passed away in the February. The letter from his PA told me that she had found this reply and photo in a pile of papers on Spike’s desk and even though Spike had died he would have wanted this autograph sent on. I always wondered if perhaps it was the very last autograph Spike Milligan ever wrote?