Friday, September 21, 2007

Close encounters of the sad kind. Part 3 (2001-2007)

In 2001 I finished working in London to raise a family in the commuter belt zone of Hemel Hempstead. Hemel Hempstead is not necessarily well-renowned for its connections with the famous, but the surrounding area did throw up a few surprises.

Just before I finished work, I was on one of my last commuting journeys into London. When crossing the road to the railway station I glanced right to see the footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones and his wife in their 4x4, stopping to let me cross the road.

He lived not far away from the station, in one of the large houses on the B road towards Chesham. I remember walking past one day, complaining to my mother-in-law about a huge pile of sand being left on the pavement and how bloody inconsiderate it was. When I glanced up to the house at the top of the hill, I recognised Vinnie's car. I stopped complaining and peacefully moved on!

Around about the same time, 21st C Dad went to pick up some things in the lovely town of Berkhamsted, a few miles away from where we lived, only to stroll past Geri Halliwell out doing her shopping.

Another visit to a another local town, Harpenden, we stopped off in a bar for bite to eat and noticed that we were sat close to a group of people where Craig Charles of Red Dwarf fame was holding court. I could recognise that voice a mile away. From where I was sat I had a great view of the rest of the customers in the bar and it was great to see the relay of whispers and nudges along with the headwinks in his direction.

From here on in, it all starts to get very tenuous. In 2002 I was called to Jury Service at the St Albans court and one of the members of the jury who I shared a lift with mentioned in conversation that he was one of Richard Branson's right hand men in the Virgin empire. He had to slope off now and again to make some very important calls.

Since moving to Bury St Edmunds in 2003, things have got a lot quieter and celebrities have stopped following me around. However, I did meet Jimmy Docherty from Jimmy's Farm at a local book signing three years ago. More recently I walked past a heavily made-up Les Dennis who was filming a pilot episode of David Croft's Here Comes the Queen in Bury St Edmunds. My star-spotting skills are slipping though, as I didn't recognise him at the time. It took a photo in our local paper for me to realise who he was. I think it was because I had been distracted by his entourage of men in breeches (as seen here).

I have also since found out that my neighbours are friends of Ian Lavender, aka Pike from Dad's Army, who lives in nearby Woolpit.

I also have a new friend who recently revealed that she was involved in a wind-up on the Charlotte Church show, as now featured on You Tube. As shown here:

And my last but not least tenuous link is that a few months ago a group of friends and I went out for a drink with David Mulholland, a comedian who was doing a few gigs in Bury St Edmunds with Kate Smurthwaite (otherwise known as Cruella) for the Fringe Festival events. It has since been divulged by Cruella in her meme that his mother wrote the Dallas "Who Shot JR" episode.

And on that note...I return to my normal life and await my next close encounter...!


picklesmum said...

Wow, I think Tom Baker was the peak of my celebrity stalking, I will have to think long and hard to find some more.
Nice set of posts.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Picklesmum - we should hang out more. I seem to attract them like A Listers though ;-D

picklesmum said...

Wait, wait!! I can top you. When part of the Horringer Estate was being built we went to an open day there and I won a toy dog in the raffle. I named him Pete, after PETE MURRAY (old time Radio 2 DJ) who presented me the prize!!

florries mum said...

Over the years I have had Fatima Whitbread, javelin thrower, Michael Ball, singer, and Kieron Dyer, footballer, in my shop, and many years ago my sister was nanny to Donovan's children. And if you can remember who he is you are older than you look. Mellow yellow

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Picklesmum - that is impressive. ;-D

Hi Florries mum ... that's even more impressive....and (cough) yes I do remember Donovan but only for the song Mellow Yellow...and thanks for the compliment. :-D