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Thursday, June 16, 2005

McReadie In Meeting Famous Person Shock

It seems to be a commonly held belief that living in London means that you run into celebrities each and every day. I mean - just check out that page in Heat Magazine where they list celebrities who've been spotted out and about. Nine out of ten of 'em are in London: "Will Smith, spotted going for a coffee with a few mates in a posh Italian cafe on Bond Street." Anyone would think that Londoners must see a celebrity a day.

The reality, for me at least, has been quite different. I seem to average about one celebrity sighting a year.

Yesterday I got to add to my list. For the record, until yesterday the list stood as follows:

- Jarvis Cocker. Twice. He lived near my old offices.
- Armando Iannucci on Oxford Street.
- Natasha Kaplinsky in Fulham Broadway station Starbucks.
- Former TV chef Michael Barry. It's a long story.

OK, so yesterday I'm on the tube. It's packed. Anyway, we eventually reach a station where a few people get off, and in the subsequent space rearrangement, I realise that I've been standing right next to Andy Hamilton, co-creator of Drop The Dead Donkey and, as a Google has just told me, a regular on Radio 4's News Quiz.

Being socially awkward at the best of times, I get incredibly star struck when in the precense of anyone even slightly famous. And so, of course, I spent my whole tube journey nervously trying to look natural while sneaking enough glances at the chap opposite me in order to determine whether in fact he was indeed Andy Hamilton. Needless to say, I probably looked incredibly shifty.

I did briefly flirt with the idea of saying "Hey: aren't you the guy who co-wrote Drop The Dead Donkey?" but rapidly thought better of it. Firstly, I would undoubtedly have stumbled over the sentence (maybe something like: "Aren't you the guy who rode a dead donkey?") and, secondly, I assume he rarely gets noticed on the streets being, as he is, probably only recognisible to a handful of TV geeks. Certainly no one else on the tube was paying much attention to him.

Let's be honest: I just can't imagine Heat being interested in it: "Andy Hamilton, co-created of Drop The Dead Donkey, travelling east on the District line, and alighting at Wimbledon Park". Ah, well.

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