US socialite Paris Hilton has been hailed a "comrade" after being spotted at a picket line outside the BBC, as journalists went on strike to defend local radio stations.
Ms Hilton smiled at members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) as she left Broadcasting House in London on Thursday, after speaking on BBC Radio 4's Woman’s Hour.
Hi @parishilton 👋 we can send you a flag to help you show solidarity with journalists on strike in their fight to save BBC Local radio services. All you need to know https://t.co/HYEZF3sJW5 #KeepBBCLocalRadioLocal pic.twitter.com/AHQCJ0SCLv— NUJ (@NUJofficial) March 16, 2023
Susana Mendonca, an NUJ representative for BBC Radio London, who was campaigning against planned cuts to local radio stations, described the moment as the "most surprising picketing experience ever".
"We were surprised she crossed our picket lines," Ms Mendonca told the PA news agency.
"I think this is the most surprising picketing experience that I’ve ever had.
"We didn’t expect to see Paris Hilton, but we wanted to see if we could get her support."
A colleague who was striking with Ms Mendonca asked Ms Hilton if she supported local radio.
That's hot. 🔥 Comrade Paris Hilton on the BBC NUJ picket line this morning in London (yes it's really her) @NUJofficial @ParisHilton ✊💅👑 pic.twitter.com/6A2LZIdsD3— rosie 🇵🇸 (@rosiehuz) March 16, 2023
"She looked back and smiled at us, so I’ll take that as a yes," Ms Mendonca said.
"I didn’t speak to her, but I waved my flag, and she looked back at our flag before giving a smile."
Twitter user @rosiehuz posted a photo of Ms Hilton smiling at onlookers as she left the BBC’s London headquarters.
"That’s hot. Comrade Paris Hilton on the BBC NUJ picket line this morning in London (yes, it’s really her)," she tweeted.
Video posted to the NUJ’s Twitter account showed Ms Hilton in a navy-blue dress and sunglasses.
She was speaking to Woman’s Hour to promote her book Paris: The Memoir.
Source: Press Association