MAGNUM star Tom Selleck said he was ‘shocked’ to see an article in the Barnsley Chronicle revealing he has links to Barnsley last week – especially considering he already had a connection with the town a lot closer to home.
Researchers Dave Cherry, Jane Ainsworth and Lin Taylor last week revealed that one of the most recognisable faces on the silver screen has links to the town through his maternal line.
Tom, now 78, famously played investigator Thomas Magnum over eight seasons in the hit-show Magnum P.I.
The Detroit-born actor has won numerous accolades throughout his career which has also seen him star in the likes of Three Men and a Baby, Friends and Blue Bloods.
And Barnsley can now rightly claim him as one of their own as he has ancestors, and probably relations, in Worsbrough, Stairfoot and Cawthorne.
However, Tom’s strong links to Barnsley are actually a lot closer to home than many think.
Lynn Daykin, originally from Monk Bretton, and her ex-husband John have spent years working with Tom Selleck at his California ranch at Hidden Valley.
In fact, the pair became so close with the superstar he paid for a trip to Hawaii for their wedding anniversary.
After all the pleasant memories of working for Tom, Lynn – who still lives in California – was shocked to find out that her boss had links to the very same town she grew up in.
And it turns out, Tom Selleck was just as intrigued.
“My mum called to say Tom was in the Barnsley Chronicle and asked if I knew he had a connection to Barnsley – I had no idea,” she said..
“The next day my Auntie Joyce emailed me the article and asked if she was allowed to say anything due to my confidentiality agreement.
“I then contacted John to ask if he knew anything about it.
“He said someone in Barnsley had sent him the article and he passed it onto Tom who was intrigued by it but didn’t know anything about it either.”
Lynn, who has also worked with huge names such as Steven Spielberg and David Letterman, explained the story of how Tom’s links to the town unknowingly became even stronger.
“When we were working for Steven Spielberg and his first wife Amy Irving, we met Amy’s English friend Wendy Murray,” she said.
“When Steven and Amy were getting divorced I continued to work for both of them until I found a suitable replacement, then continued to work for Amy for another four years until she moved to New York.
“John went to work as a private security consultant to the rich and famous.
“Some time later, Wendy called and asked if we’d like to go for a job interview with her friends ‘Jilly and Tom’ at their lovely ranch just outside LA.
“She didn’t say their last name and we never asked.
“We went for the interview and were sitting in this giant living room having a cuppa when who should walk in, but Tom and Jilly Selleck.
“They chatted with us for about an hour then offered us the job.
“We moved in with them two weeks later and had a blast.
“I spent five fantastic, fun years working for them and only left because John and I divorced – he still works there. They are very down-to-earth, appreciative people.
“His wife is also English so we shared the same witty and sarcastic humour and not a day went by that we didn’t laugh until we ached.
“For our wedding anniversary one year, the Sellecks paid for us to stay at a wonderful hotel in Hawaii.”
From putting out huge blazes on the ranch, to killing a rattlesnake which later became an item on Selleck’s cowboy hat – Lynn has quite the memories of her time working for the star.
“In 1994, the Sellecks had just left for Las Vegas when we had a major fire in the area,” she said.
“John started soaking the perimeter of the house, the ranch hands got the horses out, I got the cats and rabbits in the car, drove them to safety, then went back for the two cows.
“It was the first time I’d ever put leashes on cows and walked them down the road.
“When the family got word about the fire, they immediately turned around and came home.
“Two days later, Tom, his son, John and I walked the 65 acres to asses the damage.
“We once had to kill a huge rattler because it was too close to the house and swimming pool.
“Even when dead they are still poisonous so we were supposed to chop off its head and bury it at least three feet down.
“We approached it with machetes to do the dastardly deed but we couldn’t bring ourselves to kill it.
“John ran and got the Jeep and killed it by running over it’s head.
“Tom said it was the biggest he'd ever seen on the property – over six-foot – so he took it to a taxidermist and had it made into a band for his cowboy hat.”