Sharing my Weird Claims to Fame -Life List

It seems to me that our own lives are always more interesting in retrospect. Mine hasn’t been easy of late, I’ve been down on myself and my luck. However I’d like to remedy that by practicing some self-appreciation on my blog and I’m starting by sharing some reminiscences about the fun stuff. So let’s begin the reverie with a somewhat silly list recounting my random brushes with celebrity…

I went to 30 Rock, but I did not meet Tina Fey

Like when I went to 30 Rock, but I didn’t see Tina Fey

  • Like that time I saw Amy Pohler, before she became a huge phenomenon with Parks and Recreations, MCing with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York.
  • Or the time I went on a sandwich run for the Sheriff of Nottingham? Alan Rickman was on the board of governors where I used to work and guess who was on catering duty ?
  • Then there was the time I spotted Stephen Hawking in his wheelchair on the streets of Petty Cury Cambridge.
  • Or that spell where I was always passing Sophie Aldred (Ace from Doctor Who) on the street  -I worked near a memorabilia store on The Strand which might explain it a little.
  • There was that time I worked on Sam Taylor Johnson (then Taylor-Wood’s) huge solo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and was in the room when she was giving a personal tour to celeb friends Elton John and David Furnish.
  • Or the time I shared some friendly banter with Kristin Hersh who was performing on stage at a tiny secret gig upstairs at the Camden Barfly.( And the time she retweeted my stitched portrait of her <3)
  • Once I sold Christopher Biggins make-up remover and cotton pads during panto-season, and we shared a knowing joke.
  • And I once spoke to punk’s favourite artist Jamie Reid on the phone about an art project that never came to be.
  • There was the time Australian singer Gotye (Someone that I used to know) got in touch to tell me he loved my felt rendition of the character from his video and asked me if I could make more just for him.
  • Or the time I stalked Ricky Gervais through North London on my way to work (he just happened to be walking in the same direction as me –the whole way– I wanted to shout ‘Just so you know,I’m not following you, Jerk!’)
  • I met one of the scientists who discovered DNA’s helical structure Maurice Wilkins on his lunch break at Guy’s campus of Kings Collge London.
  • Last but not least I did my training for my first job in London at Reynholm Industries from the IT Crowd -well the building that stands in for it anyway! (Cheers Google earth for the pic).

Reynholm Industries-Trinity Tower London

I did mention that some of these claims to fame were tenuous, right? Still, it was fun to share and I hope you found my curious confessions entertaining. So right about now I’m wondering if you have any brushes with greatness you feel like declaring? Go on, tell me all about them in the comments below!

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13 comments

  1. The Backstreet Boys performed at my high school (’95, I think?) for an assembly (we led the state in Pepsi sales or something ridiculous) and I got to see them do their set twice from the front row because my teacher had to be there for both (to run the stage). It was cheesy and everything you’d want it to be. We heckled them pretty good, if I remember right.

    And then there’s the time I just walked right by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in a store in New York and was totally oblivious until my husband told me about it later.

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    1. A ha ha ha! The Back street boys, my friend clare would have loved that 😉

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  2. My tenuous claims to fame are:
    * I once served a Tory cabinet minister in a bookshop, I can’t remember who it was now (this was back in the early 90s) but he was one of the ones who looked like he slept in a coffin (didn’t they all?). I remember his bodyguard came in first, looking exactly like a bodyguard and cased the joint first. The Tory bought a copy of the Wisden cricketing almanac, it was discounted, so being the friendly, small town book shop assistant I was, I made a cheerful comment about the fact, to which he sneered back “yes, I can see that”, you could feel the frosticles.
    * Talking of frost, I’m friends with the Norwegian Elsa, who is anything but frosty.
    * One of my ancestors is a ghost, who you can see apparently if you stand in the right Irish lane, at the right time, jumping a hedge on the ghost of a white horse.

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    1. Hey Jo, that made me chuckle. You’ve totally reminded me that I once banged a door into blind labour minister David Blunkett and his door as he was behing ushered in behind the scenes at the Barbican centre and I was taking a short cut through the back stairs. (I did work there at the time). I’m impressed with your Irish Ghost story too- more details are needed on that one!

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  3. Oh, I love this post so much! I really enjoyed reading about your brushes with fame. I can’t believe you did training at Reynholm Industries! 😉
    Mine that I can think of right now are:
    * I was introduced to Graham Linehan by his wife. I’ve even been to their house. They’re friends with the family I worked as a nanny for. He’s really lovely and humble. It was so great talking to the writer of three of my all-time favourite comedy shows.
    * I bumped into my favourite actor, Cillian Murphy in the park once. We lived in the same area for a while. I know he’s very private so I didn’t want to start a conversation with him as I wouldn’t have been able to not praise him for his acting skills!
    * When I worked in a shop in Notting Hill, I served lots of celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Minnie Driver.
    * I’ve spoken to Faris of The Horrors a few times and Rhys of The Horrors briefly once as they do a club night that I used to go to.
    * When I first moved to London, Noel Fielding’s art dealer wanted to introduce me to him when he came back from a trip because in her words he would love me but I chickened out!

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    1. Yours are all so perfectly suited to you they are almost too good to be true- its all being in the right place at the right time I’m sure! I can’t believe you chickened out of meeting Noel Feilding too, i’m laughing so hard at that. Bet you’re kicking yourself now! 😉 x

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      1. I know, right! It’s weird how the universe works. When I moved to London, I told my friends in Sweden that I was off to meet The Horrors, and a week later I did. 😉 I kicked myself for a while yes, haha! x

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    2. I love Graham Linehan shows (the few we get in Canada, anyway – Father Ted, The IT Crowd, etc.) and I’m pleased as punch to hear that he’s lovely.

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  4. These are awesome! This post make me happy 🙂

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    1. I’m glad to hear it Anne. Fancy sharing some of your own encounters with celebrity? 😉

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      1. I don’t really have any (at least, not that I can think of). My family have various “celebrity” encounters, but mostly with various politicians they were supporting who eventually became relatively famous in my home province. Granddad was even mentioned briefly by NDP leader Mulcair during a speech a year or so ago.

        I guess my grandfather’s kind of famous back home for other reasons. He’s a retired minister and was very well known (even today, I could probably walk into any Anglican church, find an older minister and say “Father Elliott’s my granddad” and they’d know who was was talking about). Back in the day, my grandfather was one of 4 ministers who were known as the “briefcase boys”. They were social activists.

        The only bragging I can do with regards to celebrities is the fact that I grew up on Brit Coms and love Brit murder mystery shows. So, unlike most of the people I know, I am/was familiar with a lot of British actors before they got “America-famous.” I had one person try to tell me that I must be mistaken when I claimed that I knew who Richard Armitage was before The Hobbit. I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from blurting out, “Vicar of Dibley, bitch!” Ha ha!

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  5. Oh Anne, I’m reading back over this today and all the comments on this thread are so funny! You’re family fame is very relate-able and reminds me of friends here who had relatives active in the civil rights movement or involved in some of the political atrocities that happened here in Northern Ireland during ‘the troubles’.

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  6. […] Talk , but there are still plenty of opportunities to see inspiring speakers live. Just like my ‘claims to fame’ list, I wanted to record the weird and wonderful talks I’ve been to as a means to remember […]

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