Terminally-ill mother, 23, goes on a dream blind date with Hollywood heart-throb Tom Hardy


A terminally-ill young mum who staged her ‘wedding’ with an actor has now been on a dream blind date – with Hollywood heart-throb Tom Hardy.

Kayleigh Duff, 23, was diagnosed with liver cancer last year and told in February that it was incurable.

A friend of Inception star Tom saw her bravely talking about her condition and dreams of meeting the actor and decided to arrange it.

Cancer sufferer Kayleigh Duff with Hollywood hearthrob Tom Hardy
Cancer sufferer Kayleigh Duff with Hollywood hearthrob Tom Hardy


Tom’s’ fiancee Charlotte Riley and Kayleigh’s best friend Katie Birch then spent a week secretly planning the date.

Kayleigh, a mum-of-one, was treated to lunch at a plush restaurant near Tom’s home in Richmond, South West London on Monday.

Afterwards Tom – who played hulking villain Bane in the Dark Knight Rises – strolled by the Thames with Kayleigh and chatted about his latest project, a remake of Mad Max.

He also offered to arrange for her to attend a film premiere of her choice – and rounded off the date by giving her a diamond necklace as a souvenir.

Oerwhelmed Kayleigh, from Herne Bay, Kent, said: “Katie told me she had arranged a surprise and I imagined it was for a posh meal when I realised we were going to London.

“When we got to Richmond station she walked towards this couple and said ‘hello Charlotte, hello Tom Hardy.’

“I just said ‘oh my God’ like a right div. I could have killed her. I didn’t think it was possible.

“I was shaking – I just thought we were having a day out in London.

Kayleigh on a pretend hen party earlier this year
Kayleigh holds champagne on a pretend hen party earlier this year


“We had lunch and tea and scones and he bought me a diamond necklace.

“I can’t even remember what the restaurant was called as I was in such a daze. It was really posh though.”

She added: “Tom is really nice. He is so normal and such a laugh. He doesn’t take himself seriously.

“We talked about everything – normal stuff like we have known each other for years.

“Charlotte was really lovely too. She joked she doesn’t mind sharing him with me.

“He was saying he meets a lot of people. The day before he met Elton John, which was big for him and I said ‘now you know how I feel’. Apparently Elton is a really nice bloke.

“I don’t think anything can top this.”

Friend Katie, 28, who also organised the mock wedding for Kayleigh last month, said: “It was lush. It was an amazing day and Tom is so down to earth.”

Kayleigh was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2012 – the same condition that killed her father Lee, aged 37.

Medics removed her bowel but in February she was told the cancer had spread to her liver and was terminal.

Kayleigh said: “The doctors don’t talk to me about how long I have left, they just say that they are going to try everything they can to save me.”

Last month Kayleigh had a dream ‘wedding’ at Whitstable Castle, Kent where model Danny Wisker played the part of her groom.

She is due to fly to Florida this weekend on a dream two-week holiday with her two-year-old son Kai, paid for by fundraisers.

When she returns she faces two months of chemotherapy and if that does not work she is going to take part in a drug trial at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London.


  1. Wow, what a great experience you’ve had! It’s so sweet of Charlotte to arrange this meeting for her! I hope the doctors can save you Kayleigh!!


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