Saturday, 10 January 2009

Claims to fame

Ever indulged in that deliciously embarrassing game of 'claim to fame'?

The activity involves swapping stories of encounters (the more tenuous the better) between oneself (in the role of 'nonentity') and a person who may be described, however loosely, as a 'celebrity'....

For example, exiting the gentlemen's lavatory at Warwick Arts Centre, I found myself holding the door open for pocket-sized film director Mike Leigh.

Or, even more thrilling, I once entered a Little Chef restaurant to find the staff in a state of be-twitterment. Had I arrived five minutes earlier, I would have encountered pop legend Alvin Stardust. That close.

Such random encounters with, er, greatness also enable one to play the linked 'How tall?' quiz.

My revelations on that score reveal: actor Nigel Havers (tiny), Alan Bennett (tall), David Hockney (very tall).

Way back in 1980 I was travelling in Canada's Yukon Territory. We made a brief stop in the town of Whitehorse and I nipped in to the general store to make some minor purchases.

And there, working her way through jumpers in the menswear section, was iconic Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton.

How one wishes one had been able to offer a cheery 'Hello Val!' But, as ever, one's innate reserve had the upper hand and I left La Singleton to her sweater selection.

(Apologies to overseas readers - if any! - re the fact that majority of names mentioned/dropped are not exactly 'household' outside the UK.)


David said...

During the lunch break of a Passion Play performance at Oberammergau in 1970, the long queue for the ladies loo at a hotel prompted my mother to nip into the gents in order to relieve an urgent call of nature. Imagine her surprise at coming face to face with St Peter. One hopes that her eventual second meeting with him will be at the entrance to more salubrious surroundings.

Mr Gnome said...

I am sure that the 'up aloft' St Peter will compliment your mother on her spirited initiative.

Hurrah for her!

Back in 2000 the RSC mounted a version of the medieval Mystery Plays at Stratford-upon-Avon and one was regularly bumping into Old and New Testament characters around the town.

I encountered Jesus twice: browsing in Waterstone's and, to my surprise, hefting his golf clubs into the boot of a taxi.

Anonymous said...

We can only guess what handical he plays off.