As you may have gathered, I am not much interested in fame or celebrity. There's too much focus on that kind of stuff these days. However, in this blogpost, I am going to place on record the famous or relatively famous people that I have spoken with in my life.
1. The Queen Mother (1900-2002) - she who was the wife of King George VI, our present queen's father.
2. Mick Ronson (1946 - 1993) - Hull-born guitarist who was for a long while David Bowie's right-hand man.
3. Lulu (Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) - the Glasgow-born pop singer. I met her twice.
4. Robin Williamson - the founder of The Incredible String Band who performed at Woodstock in 1969.
5. Tom Bailey - leader of The Thompson Twins who performed at Live Aid in 1985.
6. Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) - disgraced British television personality, disc jokey and charity fund raiser.
7. John Barnes - legendary England footballer.
8. Jacqueline Wilson - best-selling children's writer.
9. Lord John Hunt (1910-1998) - leader of the British/NZ successful mission to climb Mount Everest in 1953.
10. Lord David Blunkett - former British Home Secretary (Labour).
11. Lord John Reid - former British Home Secretary (Labour)
12. Wesley Hall - legendary West Indian fast bowler (cricket).
13. Neil Franklin (1922-1996) - another legendary England footballer - also more importantly he played for Hull City!
In addition to these famous people I once spoke with, I would also like to record that when my family and I returned from our Californian holiday in April 2005, we were on the same Virgin Atlantic flight as Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach. When we were airside at London Heathrow, I found myself walking to baggage reclaim right beside him. He's a weedy little guy. We did not speak. Of course he did not realise that I was about to become a world-famous blogger.
I am sure that you yourself have met at least one famous or relatively famous person in your life. Please tell...
Stravinsky, Bardot, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, and others; I just happened to live in Chelsea in the mid 60's where 'celebs' were thick on the ground. It was everyday part of life. They all met me too!ReplyDelete
That's quite a list Cro. Many "celebs" are pretty "thick" - not just on the ground but in everyday life too.Delete
From your list, I know only a few; as I am neither into football nor into cricket, these names do not tell me anything. But Tom Bailey had (has?) a beautiful singing voice, and I didn't know until very recently that he was born in Halifax!ReplyDelete
In 2010, I spent a memorable afternoon in the very pleasant company of Chris de Burgh and his family. I have never been a fan of his music, but he is a very kind person, and his family are equally nice.
Chris de Burgh? Are you in fact "The Lady in Red"?...Delete
But I hardly know this beauty by my side,
I'll never forget the way you look tonight....
I had a brief and bizarre conversation with Spike Milligan in the soft furnishings dept of Heals in London after I had literally bumped into him while browsing the cushions.ReplyDelete
I had no idea that one of Spike's passions was soft furnishings! That made me laugh Jean!Delete
I met Eric Morecambe in the street in Harpenden, where he used to live and he said hello as we passed each other. Joan, his wife, is still in the same house and I see her in Waitrose occasionally....a few years after Eric's death I spent about half an hour chatting to her as we walked round a football pitch . She was, at the time, the President of the Harpenden Colts...kids football, and she had arrived at a special match to show her support. I saw her arrive on the field and talk to one of the club men, and then she was left entirely on her own. I had met her briefly a few weeks before at a mutual friend's house, so I went to talk to her and we had a lovely chat. Not seen her recently...she was looking quite frail last time, but still driving!ReplyDelete
It must be pretty strange - being the spouse of a big celebrity like Eric Morecambe. I wonder if he began cracking jokes the minute he woke up.Delete
Not into celebrity, and have never knowingly met one. These days I have no idea who many of them are, and would probably give them all a wide berth anyway - or vice versa!ReplyDelete
Down there on the "costas", I bet you have met a few fugitives from the law CG.Delete
You're probably right YP, but not the sort of thig to boast about!Delete
Just remembered that I once met Richard Chamberlain at a party to celebrate the laying of a foundation stone for the new Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He was a very pleasant and friendly, and something of a heartthrob in those days. He was in the UK performing in Shakespeare at Stratford on Avon.
"Chamberlain" is a name that has long been associated with Birmingham. I wonder if Richard was somehow connected to that same influential family?Delete
Back in 1968 I was travelling with my family to visit relatives in Australia. Sitting opposite us on the airport transfer bus was Dave Allen. He realised that we had recognised him so winked and wiggled his missing finger at me.ReplyDelete
Later, in the mid 70s I was working for British Airways at Heathrow. My boss had a meeting with Walter Gotell, who was a businessman as well as a Bond film actor. He was utterly charming and thanked me for the tea I made him. It made my day.
Thanks for sharing these memories JayCee. It was a little surprising to discover that you once worked as a tea lady.Delete
Thijs Van Leer, Barbara Castle, Bill Owen, Billy Bragg, Andy Cole, Kev Ratcliffe, Pat Phoenix.ReplyDelete
That is what they call an eclectic mix Dave! Pat Phoenix's real name was Patricia Frederica Manfield. She married her lover, Tony Booth, on her deathbed. She died at the age of 62 - killed by cigarettes. Was she smoking when you met her?Delete
I was at an Agricultural show and I queued up for an an autographed photo of her for my mum. This was opposite the beer tent. A wit holding a pint shouted: "Elsie, Elsie. Lend us a tenner."ReplyDelete
She laughed and said: "Young man. Flattery will get you nowhere".
She was sheer class. I can't remember her smoking.
That should say. "Lend us a tanner". Silly autocorrect.ReplyDelete
Ha-ha! Now I get it.Delete
Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey). He lived on the opposite part of the valley to us in Bath, and was always lighting bonfires and others would complain. And that rich actor's voice would roll round our valley of gardens with expletives!ReplyDelete
Sounds like he was a bit of an arse...I mean arsonist!Delete
Seymour Papert, Donald Michie, Jim Howe, Tim O'Shea, Margaret Boden, and others like them. Oh, and Philip Larkin.ReplyDelete
Of course I am very familiar with Philip Larkin but the others? Were they members of The Seekers?Delete
We met Daly Thomson on the seafront and he was obnoxious sad to say. Also met Esther Rantzen who was quite the reverse.ReplyDelete
Tom has obviously met lots of celebs and reports that most of them are nice, all except Johnny Depp who was also obnoxious.
And of course Celeste has sat in my kitchen.
Good to know that Esther Rantzen was nice in real life. Hope you got a picture of Celeste at your table.Delete
Not in the kitchen but have one of her and Tom outside the house.Delete
Depends on what you mean by "met." I really met (shook hands with) astronaut Neil Armstrong, singer Melanie, actress Rue McLanahan, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and lots of well-known news and journalism people. I covered campaign appearances by politicians including George Bush Sr. and Al Gore. And I crossed paths with tons of people when I lived in New York, like finding myself next to them in restaurants: Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, Elaine May, Barbara Walters, Natasha Lyonne and some others. Didn't talk to them, though, so that probably doesn't count. :)ReplyDelete
Melanie Safka? Good heavens - how she changed. Like an entirely different person now.Delete
Of your list I recognize only the Queen Mother and Ringi Starr. No one else. Cro wins the commenter’s prize, I think, and Steve’s restaurant group. My restaurant group includes Angie Dickinson and Burt Bacharach. I was on American Bandstand in Philadelphia when I was 17 and breathed the same air as Dick Clark. Oh, John Howard Griffin who wrote Black Like Me was a neighbor and friend of our family.ReplyDelete
I believe Ringi Starr was Ringo's twin brother.Delete
Too many to mention but Fred Trueman came to tea at the family home when we lived in Yorkshire and I once shared a haunted house in Disney World with Chris de Burgh.ReplyDelete
See above...Meike also met Chris de Burgh! Maybe you were the "lady in red" Sue! Fred Trueman? Brilliant! I hope he didn't bowl you a googly.Delete
I have only heard of one of these people ... Queen Elizabeth. Well, I met the Mayor of Red Deer . Does that count? I met the premier of the Northwest Territories before she became premier!ReplyDelete
Do you mean the current mayor of Red Deer - Tara Veer? Did you tell The Micro Manager you were off to meet Tara?Delete
I mean the current Red Deer Mayor. The Micro Manager knows her too!Delete
I don't know that I've met anyone famous. My mum had lunch with Linda McCartney, they were my auntie's neighbors and good friends.ReplyDelete
I sat next to a doctor on a flight to Chicago once who was part of the team working on the Edmonton protocol. We had a very interesting conversation about diabetes.
I just remembered, I did meet Ken Wahl, an American actor that my sister in law had the hots for, which I didn't know; my husband and I spent an evening with him and my sister in law and he and I chatted all evening. He was a nice guy but apparently my sister in law was pissed with me because it was to have been her evening and she was going to make a move on him. He was married so it never even entered my head.
Your sister-in-law must have been near the end of the line when morals were handed out.Delete
My husband met Princess Anne when she opened the leisure facility where he worked. I was shocked when he told me that they had to have a toilet put in especially for her to use. She didn't but they still had to smash it up after the visit!ReplyDelete
I haven't met anyone famous but I stood at the bottom of our driveway to see Prince Charles go past in his car. There was only me there. He waved and smiled. Incredibly I got a photo!
How fortunate for Prince Charles that he got to see you!Delete
I met Colin Powell. Years later, when Bush lifted off in his helicopter during Obama's Inauguration, my youngest daughter met Colin Powell too. I guess it's how you define 'fame'. I went to church with John Poindexter of the Iran Contra scandal. His wife was our priest. I met John Fetterman who is a hero in my book. I met Carol Burnett. I once was walking through the Reagan International Airport and saw John Williams talking on the phone.ReplyDelete
Mr Fetterman looks kind of scary - like a professional wrestler who has steroids for breakfast. Appearances can be deceptive.Delete
He's an intelligent man who really does stand up to Donald tRUMP whenever he gets a chance.Delete
If there was a wrestling match between them, I rather think that Mr Fetterman would slaughter "The Donald". Afterwards, no doubt, "The Donald" would say that he had won.Delete
During my early career I did a great deal of protocol work so met many 'famous' people often in Government but also in the arts and many other areas. The strange thing is that in those situations I learned that the more important the person the less they were concerned with their importance.ReplyDelete
I do recall one occasion spending a lot more time than usual alone with VIPs when I was looking after Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine in the Green Room of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall at their Commonwealth Arts Festival appearance. That was a revelation.
A "revelation"? Intriguing. Were they drinking the Green Room dry? Were they nice people to deal with?Delete
It would be hard to drink a Green Room dry. Unlike some I attended to over the years they were very pleasant to deal with.Delete
I've met and briefed various ministers- Sally Oppenheim, Cecil Parkinson, Michael Howard to name a few. Stood next to Robert Hardy in the BBC canteen. James Nesbitt sat next to me on our commuter train one evening My husband also once shared a room with Ralph Mctell when Ralph was just becoming a famous singer. He did a gig at our uni and had nowhere to stay so my husband offered him a place to stay overnight.ReplyDelete
When you say "briefed" them - what do you mean ADDY? Was this to do with translation? And which university were you at? I forget.Delete
I was a civil servant so had to brief them for meetings which were relevant to my area of work.Delete
Joan Bias, Gordon lLightfoot, Patrick Sky, a few others who were famous for a minute or two but the best of all and the one who had the most profound influence on me was Pete Seeger.ReplyDelete
Pete Seeger - such a legend. He said, "“The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.”Delete
I was at a posh do at the Savoy, I was invited three times. Women of the Year Luncheon. First time, Princess Diana passed within touching distance while walking through the reception hall, she didn't speak to me. Second time it was Sarah Ferguson, she didn't speak to me. Third time it was Princess Margaret, she did speak to me. Chuffed.ReplyDelete
Was Princess Margaret asking for some money saving tips Ilona?Delete
She asked me if I drove horse boxes, in a very posh voice. I said I do, thought she might be able to get me some work with Princess Anne. I lied, I didn't.Delete
No need to be rude about Princess Anne. She is not a horse!Delete
No, but she has horses and drives her own horse boxes. The joke was that I could help out if she was too busy.Delete
Pretty well a fail on my part. The last time Her Maj came to Australia I was about twenty metres away from her as she and Phil the Greek alighted from a tram.ReplyDelete
I hope that they paid their fares like everybody else.Delete
I forgot to mention that when my OH was a little boy, Princess Margaret came to tea. His dad was a vicar and it was the grand opening of the new village hall. She had tea in the vicarage. Gone are the days when our Royals did that kind of thing I think.ReplyDelete
Are you also a princess? Princess Jean has a nice ring to it don't you think?Delete