Wandering around London Town of an afternoon, you are likely to see a few actors and celebrities, here and there, if you keep an eye out. They don’t live normal lives so in between rehearsals, and visiting their agents, and coffee with their mates, they can be spotted leisurely strolling through Soho and the West End.
Yesterday, I saw comedy actors Bill Bailey and Sally Phillips together, walking down Charing Cross Road. I should have said 'hello' really as I worked with Bill on the first series of Black Books but that was almost seven years ago now (carramba!), and I was the Production Assistant, he was the star, so I didn't want to corner him into an embarrassing but polite exchange of 'oh yes, how are you?' I should point out however that he is, without doubt, one of the lovliest men in comedy.
I noticed some guy from The Bill, Brian Somebody (Bovell, I think), but I actually got introduced to him as the person I was with knew the person Brian was with (another actor), if you follow. I know, exciting and glamorous, what can I say.
Then, Gail Porter checked me out* in Bar Chocolate on D’arblay Street, a popular choice for media meetings it seems. Nina Sosanya was in John Lewis on Oxford Street looking to buy perfume, or something. Nearly said ‘hello’ to her, as I like her (acting) quite a lot and she’d be good for a part in one of my scripts but seeing as I didn’t have any of my business cards on me (idiot), I didn’t say anything because I’d just come across as a leering fan.
I’m sure I saw Neil LaBute outside the Curzon Cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue. If he’s in town, then it definitely was him, otherwise it was a tramp sort of figure, sorry Neil. I was going to say “hello, I read your version of The Wicker Man and didn’t think it was shite” but seeing as I wasn’t 100% sure if it was him, or a loony who might knife me, I thought better of it.
An enjoyable day in London then, and a couple of meetings that were interesting and potentially very exciting. I won’t say anything about them just yet, for fear of jinxing them or them leading to nothing because, surprise, they’re reliant on other people’s approval so I just have to sit back and see what happens.
What's your best celebrity sighting and/or your most embarrassing moment with a celeb?
Back in 1992, I attended the Dublin Film Festival and a Q&A with Oliver Stone about JFK. I wanted to ask him a question but I was nervous. I eventually plucked up the courage to get the microphone and stand up. I cleared my throat, formulated the words I wanted to say and then said: "Bleeaareeeeghakdkdghgh", because my nerves took over. Everyone laughed. I had to repeat the 'question', which was lame anyway, and Oliver Stone said: "I'm sorry, what did he say?" To which I sat down again.
Fast forward to 1996 and the setting is Port Douglas, north of Cairns, Australia. I'm working as a cold larder chef (!) in the On the Inlet restaurant (part of my year out Down Under thing). Terrence Malick, George Clooney & co are in town to film The Thin Red Line. During my break at the restaurant, I do some fishing at the nearby jetty to kill the time. To my astonishment, I catch a fish! I reel it in, and get applauded by the diners who're enjoying their lunch on the balcony. Leading the applause is none other than Oliver Stone. Ah, fate, we have come full circle.
* Not really, but she was in Bar Chocolate.