Handshakes from history

We all love a thread about celebrity encounters, but lets step it up a gear - how closely connected are you to genuine, world-changing historical figures? In six degrees of Kevin Bacon style, have you shaken hand with someone who’s shaken hands with someone who’s shaken hands with a true icon?

I once shook hands with John Major at the launch of his book about music hall (a gripping read, I’m sure), and he has definitely shaken hands with the Queen*, which means I’m only three handshakes removed from loads of key 20th century figures that she has met - Churchill, JFK, Mandela. Via the Duke of Windsor I’m only four handshakes removed from Hitler! Kind of weird to think about.

*Obviously I do not recognise her legitimacy, but for sake of ease I’ll refer to her as the Queen


Errrr probably caught Tory disease

He was very rude! I washed thoroughly afterwards. I actually spent most of the evening chatting to Roy Hudd who was lovely (down to earth and VERY funny).

1 Like

John Major lack of manners more like eh



Shook hands with Mary McAleese, Enda Kenny and Michael D. Higgins, at least one of those has met Mandela or someone I’d say

1 Like

Shaken hands with Sir Alex Ferguson who has also shaken the hand of every important person of the last 50 years



Don King and Tom Hanks. Can’t be far off the top with either of them.

I’ve shaken my friend’s hand, and she sat on Einstein’s knee when she was a kid. I’m telling myself she must have shaken his hand as part of that manoeuvre.

1 Like

Oh… Kirsty Wark, she most have shook some good ones.

Blair’s got a bit of Frank Spencer going on there

Told this before but I once came home from school to find Sir Cliff in my lounge (he was accompanied by my dad).

You think cliff Richard and Eric cantina have ever shaken hands?


1 Like

That’s a great one.

1 Like

My mate Dave is a serial celebrity selfie hound. I’ve shaken hands with him on numerous occasions and, amongst many others, he has taken selfies/shaken hands with (in ascending order of importance:
Princess Anne
Mark Selby
Joe Root
Paolo Wanchope
The Chuckle Brothers

I can’t remember but let’s say yes (although it was before I was 13 so more unlikely I would have thought).


Never heard it called that before etc.

1 Like

Cliff jokingly doing a karate kick too