Man with a mission to make friends

PUBLISHED: 15:24 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

Jakob exchanges football shirts with City captain Lee Clarke

Jakob exchanges football shirts with City captain Lee Clarke

A SOCIABLE Danish actor came to St Albans this week on a mission to make friends. Jakob Engmann from Odense in Denmark was researching the art of friendship for a play to be performed in his home town in October. He said: I want to learn more about how

A SOCIABLE Danish actor came to St Albans this week on a mission to make friends.

Jakob Engmann from Odense in Denmark was researching the art of friendship for a play to be performed in his home town in October. He said: "I want to learn more about how people from other countries interact with each other, and thought what better place to start my investigation than St Albans - one of Odense's sister towns!".

But his mission almost came a cropper at Batchwood Hall Nightclub on Saturday night. It proved to be the only place Jakob did not receive a warm welcome when both the white trainers he was wearing and the sandals in his backpack were deemed unsuitable for entry by the doorman.

Jakob, who arrived in mid-August, has been instructed by his director to make as many friends as possible during his six-day stay in St Albans. Two other Danish actors from the Momentum film company have been sent to sister towns in Iceland and Lithuania as part of the same research project.

The actor, aged 30, has been staying at a bed and breakfast in Clarence Road and has already proved popular with the locals. On Saturday he joined St Albans City FC supporters on their coach trip to the away game at Dorchester, and even exchanged his Danish home-town's football shirt with captain Lee Clarke.

Jakob said he has learnt that the key to making new friends was being open and confident. "You can get so far by just looking people in the eyes and giving them a smile", he explained.

St Albans has made quite an impression on Jakob, who has never been outside London before. He leaves tomorrow (Friday) and says he feels his mission was a success.

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