Thursday, September 20, 2007

Close encounters of the sad kind. Part 2 (1991-2000)

Following my days in the various celebrity circles in the 1980s, the 1990s got off to a bit of a low start. Nothing else of any interest really occured in Nottingham except for Brian Clough, the then manager of Nottingham Forest, pushing in front of me to pay for his petrol. On a more positive note, I also received a big hug from Sandi Toksvig after a play that she was in at the local theatre.

However, it was not until I moved to London did the celebrity spotting game really begin. I used to work in the music copyright industry, starting initially at MCPS in Streatham. My main encounter was when collecting some post from reception I found myself queuing behind Eddy Grant who was one of our members.

During another visit to reception, I found the receptionists drooling over actor Jesse Birdsall of (Holby City and Footballers Wives fame) who was sat in the corner waiting for his friend, a colleague of mine, to come down and meet him to go off for a few beers.

Then there was the time that I picked up the phone to Jennifer Saunders and took a message for a colleague, who happened to be her brother-in-law, i.e. Adrian Edmondson's brother. I would often overhear discussions with "Ade and Jen" regarding where they were going to meet up and the temptation to do last number redial was huge! However, I wasn't that sad. I was a fan and not a stalker.

Travelling around London opened up a whole new game, especially when I moved up to PRS offices in central London. I remember the time I was getting off the tube and stepped out of the way to allow Dr Legg from Eastenders to get on. I also saw Lou Beale having dinner in the fabulous Sarastros restaurant on the edge of Covent Garden.

My next job took me into the heart of Soho, just along from Virgin Radio in Golden Square. It was in that office where I had a front seat view of Chris Evan's Virgin escapades. I remember watching Martin Clunes wandering around for a while with his little dog. I've no idea whether that dog was his or whether it was a stunt for the programme. These kind of things happened on a regular basis. However, the most bizarre sight I witnessed was the Chris Evans team riding around the square on a motorised sofa, with standard lamp attached.

Again, chance meetings always happen in reception and one day when I went down to meet a client, I opened the door to Gabrielle Drake who was wearing dark glasses at the time. I'd remembered her from a fantastic performance I'd seen of The Importance of Being Earnest in Nottingham. She'd also been in crossroads. My colleagues were too young and too fresh out of music college to have been impressed.

However, they were impressed of my account of when I left the office one day and found myself following a very tall Des Lynham through the streets of Soho until he stepped into an office. I am not sure if he was trying to get out of my way, but I promise, I wasn't stalking him. I was just en route to Oxford St.

During that time I also managed to find myself following Ricky Tomlinson of The Royle Family fame, but quickly overtaking him due to his hobble. That was en route to Libertys where I also bumped into Nigel Kennedy who was buying wrapping paper...or was it me that was buying the wrapping paper?...or was it Gary Rhodes? was in those days where it was difficult to tell the difference.


Motheratlarge said...

Thanks for reminding me about Sarastro. Had a couple of good evenings there years ago, that I'd quite forgotten about until reading this posting.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ohh exciting.
Did you live in Notts then sweetie?
Small world.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi MaL - Sarastro Restaurant is fab isn't it. A must for anyone who visits London ;-D

Hi Jo - Glad you found out on the other post what I was up to in old Notts. I miss it and must come back to see my friends new and old!

Cashier No.5 said...

I've just started reading Big 'eads autobiograph. And my brother was mascot for forest at portman road and met him.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi No.5 - cool, does the autobiography mention our encounter at the Esso Garage just outside Nottingham Forest? It must have been great for your brother being a mascot ;-D