20 February 2009


Boasting? Well they say that bloggers are all a bunch of ego trippers anyway so who cares? In for a penny, in for a pound. And what is to be the focus of this boastful post? Why...famous people I have met... . Of course, I am sure that all readers of this post will have met at least one famous person at some time or another in their lives so I am hoping that fellow citizens of Blogland will leave comments about famous folk they have met or engaged with, however fleetingly.

Here's my list....
HRH Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (deceased) Jimmy Savile (DJ, broadcaster and charity champion) Lulu (twice) Chris Simpkin (Former Hull City player) John Hawley (Former Hull City and Arsenal player) Neil Franklin (Former Hull City and England footballer) Ian McMillan (poet) Iain McEwan (novelist) Norman McCaig (poet) Stuart Hall (broadcaster) Sir John Hunt (Leader of The Everest Expedition 1953) John Reid (Former Home Secretary) David Blunkett (Former Home Secretary) Paul Foot (Journalist - deceased) Sebastian Coe (Athlete & politician) Ted Dexter (Cricketer) Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd) Tom Bailey (The Thompson Twins) Mick Ronson (David Bowie's guitar man) Robin Williamson (The Incredible String Band)

Well I have racked my brains and I can't think of any others though I once saw cricketer Ian Botham behind the wheel of a 4X4 vehicle at the traffic lights in Epworth near Doncaster and I once saw Antonio Banderas pushing through a cinema crowd in New York City. A couple of women were screaming but I didn't think he was that ugly! Oh and when we went to California, who was on the Virgin Atlantic flight home? None other than Ringo Starr! He was walking two feet in front of me as we made our way to the luggage carousels.

Looking at my list, it's interesting to see that there are only two women on it. What does that say about famous people and what does it say about me I wonder? To tell you the truth I don't really give a fig about famous people. The only one that had me starstruck and tongue-tied was Robin Williamson - harpist, poet and troubadour who contributed several lovely songs to the soundtrack of my late teenage years. I met him around fifteen years ago in a badly attended folk evening at The George IV pub on Infirmary Road. We chatted for a good five minutes. He was rounder and had less hair than he had at Woodstock in 1969(see right). Of course, I felt I knew him - I knew his songs by heart - but to him I was probably a non-entity who had just stepped out of the shadows - just another fan.

So come on dear visitor. Spill the beans. Who have you met?


  1. I met the Queen Mother too, when I was a student nurse at Bristol Children's Hospital (One of my careers that didn't work out). Apart from that, I taught Heidi Range at the age of 6 (Sugar Babes)

  2. I'm not sure that I could say that I have met them but our paths crossed so to speak: Alan Rickman - WHSmith (St. Pancras in pre -Eurostar days) and Richard E Grant (Waitrose Richmond). I did get quite a few cricketers' signatures when I was young...amongst them, Desmond Haynes, I seem to remember.

    My husband has met lots of bigwigs as he used to work at The Barbican but he has forbidden me to blog about them. More's the pity...he has some great stories!

    I'm not sure who I would like to meet. I'd love to have met Raymond Chandler, Saki and Dickens to name a few...and have been blessed with the ability not to get tongue tied in their presence!

  3. Hey YP! It would have been neat had we met some of the same famous people... a "N degrees of separation" game where we are connected by famous folk. Alas, I have never met the Queen Mother. I've met quite a few children's book authors, and I don't know if you'd count them as famous, because there are degrees of fame. I'll just name the ones who are REALLY well known in my part of the world:

    Joan Jett (musician, and my idol when I was 14)
    Madeleine L'Engle (author)
    Katherine Patterson (author)
    Jon Scieszka (author)
    Lane Smith (illustrator/author)
    Gail Carson Levine (author)
    Mo Willems (illustrator/author)
    Sam Phillips (musician)
    Paul O. Zelinsky (illustrator/author)
    Paul Fleischman (author)
    Sarah Vowell (author/radio personality)
    Jane Hamilton (author, and good friend of my aunt's)
    Stephenie Meyer (author)

    Whee! That was fun. I must admit, I really like meeting children's book authors and illustrators whose works I've enjoyed. For the most part, even if they've won awards, they're not accosted by hordes of fans on the street, and appreciate someone saying, "I loved your book."

  4. not many l am afraid, hiding out here in rural yorkshire:
    princess anne & mark philips
    princess maragret & her off spring who were kids at the time,
    Ian Botham's son Liam,
    Alisdair sawday some sort of travel guru,
    some one from corrie but no idea who,
    former winner of skating on ice woman again no idea of her name,
    alan ackbourne
    YTV weather man
    there are more but are they famous? head man at sainsburys justin king, various politicians mainly idiots, ian carmichael.
    as you can see my recollection of names is zilch so obviously they didn't make a big impression on me!

  5. I've often thought of putting together a list like that.

    In sports: several professional hockey players, several professional baseball players, Woody Hayes (the late, great coach of the Ohio State football team), and many college and professional football (American style) players. I was playing golf with 3 National Football League Hall of Fame members on September 11. I'll never forget where I was that day.

    In entertainment & the arts: Bob Greene (author), P.J. O'Rourke (satirist, humorist and author), Bill Haley (of the Comets), Fred Thompson (actor and former US Senator), Tara Reid (of "American Pie" fame).

    In the political/historical realm: Paul Tibbetts (pilot of the Enola Gay), John McCain, Bob Dole, Pete DuPont, Gen. Alexander Haig, Bob Woodward, Bill O'Reilly, Colin Powell, five Ohio Governors, many US Senators and Congressmen/women.

    I'm sure there's more...

    I was in Luxembourg on November 8, 1976 when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were on a visit, and although I did not meet them, I was able to see them up-close and personal -- from about 15 yards. We went to London the following year for the Queen's Silver Jubilee, but she was no where to be found!

  6. I was at school with George Michael and Courtney Pine. I worked at the RSC as a chef so met lots of v famous actors including Vanessa Redgrave, Jeremy Irons (urghh, not a nice man), Sean Bean (now he was nice), Pete Postlethwaite (great fun), Antony Sher (seriously impressive), Joely Richardson, Imelda Staunton (lovely, lovely), Imogen Stubbs (charming), The Queen at a royal opening... I could go on and on with that one...hmm... sure there are lots more.

  7. Hey YP,
    I've met:
    Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard (old 80's TV show based in the South)
    Ben Affleck (actor/author currently in He's Just Not That Into You)
    Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked and others)
    Laurie Halse Anderson (YA author of Speak and Chains)
    Jim Burke (English Teacher and Author/Presenter)
    Billy Collins (former US Poet Laureate)
    Sawyer Brown (the entire band-country music)
    Da Chen (author of Colors of the Mountain)
    Azar Nafisi (author of Reading Lolita in Tehran)
    Ted Kennedy (in Ireland at an American football match when I was in school in York)
    Rudolph Guiliani (former Mayor of NYC)

    I know I'm forgetting someone, but that was fun!

  8. Do you mean "meet" as in "once had a conversation with" or just "in the presence of" or "actually knew quite well"???

    There's a world of difference.

  9. Queen Mother Elizabeth seemed to be such a lovely person.

    Perhaps you can tell me...with all that money, why didn't she do something about her teeth?

  10. JENNYTA That old Queen Mum - she got around a lot didn't she?
    HADRIANA - W.H.Smith? One of my all time favourite actors!I agree that "St Pancras in Pre-Eurostar Days" was perhaps his greatest performance.
    Saint FARIDA - Just as I guess most of my famous folk were nobodies to you so I must admit that I hadn't heard of one single person on your list! By the way you forgot to mention Seattle's most famous son - Brad the Gorilla inventor of Starbucks coffee and drummer for Nirvana!
    MUDDYBOOTS - An impressive list! Ian Carmichael! Wow! I wonder if famous people compile lists of non-famous people they have met?
    SAM (Golden Hill) - also impressive sir! Bill Haley and Bob Woodward stand out for me. Icons of modern America but for such different reasons.
    MOPSA - Impressive collection madam but I bet you don't see many of these famous folk wandering down your Devonshire lane... But that reminds me I did once see Rick Mayall at a pig roast in a place called Hogworthy in Devon! Is he a neighbour?
    MS GEORGE - Boss Hogg? Wow! That really is impressive ma'am! He should have gone for President. Dubya would have been quaking in his Texan boots.
    RHYMES WITH - When I said "met" I did simply mean - have a conversation with - not just see the famous person. So come on sir! In your rather long life you must have met some famous people! Abraham Lincoln? Walt Whitman? Christopher Columbus? Spill the beans!
    By the way - regarding Queen Elizabeth Senior's teeth - in England it simply isn't fashionable to have those perfect pearly white horse teeth that American screen idols seem to go for. We prefer the yellowing pre-dentistry medieval hag look!

  11. Ian McKellen was lovely to me when I was a stage-struck teenager and he's always been a Very Good Thing - I've met him several times and found him a delightful, modest man.
    I'm not generally interested in celebrities as such but I'd SO like to meet David Attenborough - - !

  12. Can't compete with Boss Hogg, but. . .

    Any number of rugby/football/cricket stars - but that was work, although Jonny Wilkinson's smaller than you'd imagine.

    My dad and I sat next to Led Zep's Robert Plant at a QPR v Wolves game in 1978. He and dad got on famously and I had to explain later exactly who the bloke with the long, curly hair was.

    I gave up my seat to Patricia Brake on a busy train to Richmond once. Had a beer with The Levellers in our local from work in Wolverhampton.

    Elvis Costello slept with one of my friends when he played a gig in Shrewsbury in '81.

  13. I snogged Tony Blair.

    We all make mistakes......

  14. Hmmm, let's see, have had a conversation with...here goes (you may never have heard of some of these):

    Angie Dickinson (in 1967)
    Dick Clark (in 1958)
    Eva Mae Lefevre
    Torrey Johnson
    Merrill Dunlop
    Paul Laverne Walker
    Doug Oldham
    M. G. McLuhan
    Barbara Dooley
    Tony Fontaine

  15. Anonymous5:46 pm

    You have also shared a plane with Helen Baxendale (actress), Chris Parker (actor - Spencer in Eastenders) and Ringo Starr!

  16. Oh dear, I'm so rubbish at recognising famous people out of context, the only one I can say with any confidence is being stood behind the late Tony Wilson in the queue for the till in the pre-bomb Body Shop in Manchester.

  17. Being involved in show biz for many years, I met many famous people. For me they were just ordinary people doing a job, and many of them had serious self-confidence issues.

  18. "Queen Mother Elizabeth seemed to be such a lovely person."

    YP, you have some very weird people reading your blog these days - "lovely people" usually arent't bigotted racist pigs who perpetuate a feudalist social system!

  19. YP, surely you mean Holsworthy? That's just 20 miles away. And the whole Jennifer Saunders, Ade Edmundsen, Dawn French lot live/have lived in the area although I've never bumped into any of them.

  20. I was on a train with Steve Maclaren when he was England manager once and gave him the benefit of my footballing advice all the way to london. It's not my fault he actually followed it though, is it?


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