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Festival-goers gobsmacked at National honour

PUBLISHED: 15:25 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:42 23 August 2010

THE FACES OF FESTIVAL: Simon and Jennifer.

THE FACES OF FESTIVAL: Simon and Jennifer.

JOINING some of the most famous faces in the country, a festival-going couple are the latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery. Simon Russell and Jennifer Ralton of Alfred Road, Gravesend, were stunned to discover they were to form part of a new

JOINING some of the most famous faces in the country, a festival-going couple are the latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery.

Simon Russell and Jennifer Ralton of Alfred Road, Gravesend, were stunned to discover they were to form part of a new exhibition at the London art gallery.

The project features 16 portraits of performers and music lovers at last year's Glastonbury Festival.

Mr Russell, 34, is a keen musician, playing bass for band Gentlemen Duke, and is delighted his face is lined up alongside legends such as Pete Townsend and Shirley Bassey.

He said: "It is quite surreal really. My band mates are pretty gob-smacked."

The pictures were taken by top photographer Venetia Dearden for a book and exhibit Glastonbury: Another Stage.

She praised the couple's inclusion, saying: "This is actually one of my favourite photographs. I love to take pictures of couples and they look like they are one. There is just a real unity to them."

Mr Russell, who has attended the Somerset festival at every opportunity since 1993 explained he was walking to find food with Miss Ralton, 30, when they were stopped for their picture.

He added: "We were taken into this portable photography studio and the photographer took this whole reel so quickly and we left. I didn't really think about it until my girlfriend got an email this year to say we were going to be in this book.

"When we found out we were going to be in the exhibition at the National it was just like wow this is something special.

"Considering we had just crawled out of a tent in the middle of a field, I don't think we look to bad," he joked.

The exhibition will be at the National Portrait Gallery until September 26 and the book, which includes 288 colour photographs is available to buy for £29.99

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