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10th May 2024

A very special May the Fourth to remember as The George & Dragon will open soon in Shutford.

Star Wars Actor turns out to support his agent’s new venture.

It not every day you get to have a beer next to an emperor, but the villagers of Shutford had a Sith Lord in their midst as their pub – The George & Dragon – was given “A new hope”  after being closed since 2022.

The whole village was invited to a private function by the pub’s new owners, Stuart Stanley and his partner Carol Green to introduce themselves and meet all the locals, and Star Wars fans were given a special treat as The Emperor himself, actor Ian McDiarmid came along to support his friend and manager.

McDiarmid, who has played The Emperor since he was cast by George Lucas in 1983’s Return of the Jedi enjoyed his first visit to the picturesque North Oxfordshire Village, before he stars in a new production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, coming to Chichester Festival Theatre on June 6th,  “What  A lovely pub and what a beautiful village! The locals are just wonderfully friendly and all so happy that their pub has been given a new lease of life, they’ve really stuck gold with Stuart and Carol, we’ve been friends for 40 years now, I know this pub couldn’t be in better hands…there’s some great nights coming, that’s for sure, and I’ll be back again very soon.”

So, what makes a successful film agent buy a village pub in Oxfordshire? Stuart explains, “We’ve had previous triumphs with bars in other countries, the last being a beachfront bar in Majorca, but we wanted to be closer to family in Warwickshire, so, we’d been looking for the right place to come along. As soon as we learned about The George & Dragon, we knew we’d found what we were looking for.

Stuarts partner Carol said that they’d received lot of encouragement from the village, “Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming, we’ve already made lots of new friends and we’re looking forward to serving them food and drinks when we officially open. We chose to go with Hook Norton Brewery – we love the taste of their beers and after meeting their team and visiting the brewery we know we have a great range to serve and have their support”

The villagers showed their generosity by supporting a collection on the day in aid of Katharine House Hospice, raising a total £1358.02, “The force is strong in them!” Stuart chuckled.
Having been in the Star Wars universe for decades Stuart says it is highly likely that they’ll be more visitors from a galaxy far far away, but he admits, “We’ll be happy to serve them all, whichever side of the force they’re from!”

The George & Dragon: A quaint country pub in the heart of a beautiful North Oxfordshire Village recently purchased Freehold after being closed since 2022. New Owner Stuart Stanly is an accomplished film agent representing Ian McDiarmid, who plays The Emperor in Star Wars films since Return Of The Jedi.


Image: The new owner of the George and Dragon, Shutford, film agent Stuart Stanley with actor and director Ian McDiarmid, The Emperor in Star Wars films.

Contact: Hook Norton Brewery

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