Shooting drama during US sales trip to promote castle

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An overseas sales trip to promote Alnwick Castle took a dramatic turn for two staff members – after a rapper was shot outside their hotel.

Olivia Telfer and Caroline Robinson were in America advertising the attraction when music star Young Dolph was gunned down next to the Loews Hotel in Hollywood.

The 32-year-old rapper, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr, was in a critical condition, but has recovered.

Neither Olivia or Caroline were injured, but promotional activities were curtailed for the day, the lobby was cordoned off and guests were advised to stay in their rooms until the fracas had blown over and the police had investigated.

Reflecting on the incident, which occurred last month, Olivia said: “It was all quite alarming and makes you realise how quickly things can escalate when people carry guns.

“We’ll definitely be sticking with make-believe and fictional drama at Alnwick Castle.”

Olivia and Caroline Robinson were in America for a tourism convention in LA to try to drum up more US visitors and coach tours to Alnwick Castle and Northumberland.

Not only is the castle famous for its history, but also for doubling up as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films, as well as being used as a backdrop in numerous other movies.

Caroline said: “The history and medieval heritage of Alnwick Castle is currently generating a great deal of interest in the US, and visitors from the States also like the idea of the fun, extra activities and TV drama and film location tours which we now arrange for visitors of all ages.

“Our Alnwick Castle promotional trip was very successful with scores of travel operators and US tourism organisations showing interest in new visits to Alnwick over the next few years.”

○ Based on recommendations from staff and parents at www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk, Alnwick Castle was voted as one of 50 must-visit attractions in the UK this autumn. The website picks out the Dragon Quest, broomstick training and Hallowe’en events as reasons to visit.

The castle is open daily. The final day of the season is Sunday, when it will shut for the winter.

For more information, visit www.alnwickcastle.com