Thursday, April 03, 2003

I will be back to the previous post to add some notes about that book. Meanwhile, I have been thinking about another page for the website. I was going to compile all my 'encounters' with famous people. All the anecdotes that sound like name-dropping. Get them out there and done with.

The thing about show biz is that it is a job, so to have been on a set, or in the same room with someone 'famous' may have just been 'another day at work'. Sometimes you get overawed, of course - we all do. It still amuses me to hear someone famous explain how nervous they were when they met one of their own heroes....and, of course, I am a Z-List celebrity myself these days. Celebrity number 1475096, to be precise. And it's 1st Firey, guys not 1st Fairy!

Nowadays, as we head into play culture and virtual realms (or at least the affluent third of us do) - everyone has the ambition to be famous...for fifteen minutes, at least. It's humiliating what people will do to get on television (look at the Jerry Springer show...) You can publish to the Web...and might get lucky. Some people seem willing to (literally) kill to get famous (infamous). I'd prefer it if we all completely forgot the little idiot who shot John Lennon, for instance.

So, anyway, I have met a lot of people you may consider famous (these things are all relative). Some I have just been near, others I have spoken to, some I have worked with quite closely, and some have even been friends. Of course, you may have 'heard of' someone, but not be a one of their fans, so do not envy me meeting them.

You may say 'Who?'

You may say 'I don't believe it!' [Perhaps I'll plant just one tall tale in there, to see if anyone can spot it....]

I grew up backstage. I didn't even know it was odd to see someone 'live' in the living room, and later the same day in a movie. It was just a job. I enjoyed Gilbert Harding's riposte, when someone asked him if he ever watched television (back in the 50s, when it was considered a lowbrow thing to do) "Television isn't for watching, it's for being on!" Still, even show biz people get excited sometimes....

So I'll be doing my name-drop page. How I borrowed a book from Patrick Stewart (and never returned it); how David Bowie blagged a cigarette from me; rolling joints for John Martyn; bowing to Dame Sybil Thorndyke; stuck in Jim Henson's armpit for hours; Bob Hoskins confesses to me that he is starting to see imaginary rabbits at home; playing table tennis against Frank Oz (he's really good); getting that close to the fabulous Joanna Lumley; Lesley Grantham is a very nice man; 'Auntie' Valerie Singleton round for lessons from my mum; onstage with The Yardbirds; being Tony Allen's roadie; sticking my tongue in Carrie Fisher's ear; acting with John Ratzenburger; drinking with Ric Le Parmentier; and so on.

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