The day I met… (Competition Time)

Did you notice the owl? An owl!

Drum roll please – It’s the all-star celebrity competition.

I said I’d do it – and here it is. Inspired by Rasjacobson, I would very much like to have your stories of celebrity encounters. There’ll even be prizes. But before you rush to leave a comment, breathless with excitement, read on…

It’s partly Jackie Leven’s fault. Now he’s what I call a celeb. Never mind his transcendant singing and story telling – just look at his picture. Looks both rugged and fey. Gazing into the distance. On a motorbike. No helmet. With an owl. An owl!

I got an email from him today because I’ve been trying to track down a copy of an album he made. Turns out it was a private limited edition and sold out. So he’s given my the go-ahead to think laterally (a euphemism). Which I will. But how lovely to hear from the owl-meister personally.

It’s a far cry from the unfortunate encounter I had with one of my favourite writers when I finally got to meet him. I was very silly. He wasn’t impressed.

And that’s the sort of tale I’d like to hear most – how you got to meet someone (need not be someone well known, though fun if it was) and it did not go as planned. Perhaps you finally got to speak to Robert de Niro and spilled gravy in his lap.

"Psst! Can you pass me some loo roll. I know daarling, I know, it's a little embarrassing. But at least it may make an entertaining blog post some day. Goodness daarling, this toilet is very comfy. I hope I'm in the right place..."

Perhaps Liza Minnelli whispered quietly to you… to ask you to pass some toilet roll into her cubicle next to yours. Or you nipped in ahead of another driver, only to find you’d just stolen the Dalai Lama’s parking place. It’s over to you.

This is how it will work (I hope).

  1. Have a giggle or blush about that time when you met… yes, that time.
  2. Doesn’t have to involve a celebrity/icon/politician/etc – but good if it does. (If you’re worried about getting into trouble, we can use a pseudynom for the celeb.)
  3. Also good if it is funny.
  4. Length? Up to you.
  5. Write it down and email it to me at paulwaters99 at
  6. I will put it on this blog as a guest post – with a link back to you.
  7. You will bask in the satisfaction of seeing your story on a highly prestigious, critically acclaimed, hugely popular blog – er… this one. And if that’s not enough…
  8. I’ll also send you something lovely in the post  if you’d like (probably a book to be honest, I’ll give you the options,  you can choose). I’ll email you back for your postal address and won’t tell it to anyone else.
  9. Hang on – doesn’t that mean everyone who enters could win. Er… yes, I suppose so. I better buy in some stamps.

I’ll post on my embarrassing celeb encounter, but I’d love to hear yours. So have a think.

But in the meantime do leave a comment to let me know if this tickles your fancy, whether I should be bracing myself for overseas postage – or whether I should join the Foreign Legion to avoid having to look at an empty inbox for the next few years.

Have I left anything out? Any vital piece of information? Tell me.

But more importantly – tell me you’re joining in.

Yeeow - that hurts!

Here’s another prompt. It’s audio. It’s got me in it. (Oooh!) It’s an episode of a podcast on life in the UK that I used to do for a German media company. I’m interviewing Tanya who reveals how she accidentally assaulted Donald Rumsfeld, was dared to pinch Defence Secretary Jeff Hoon’s bottom, cried (with laughter) at Tom Cruise offset during Eyes Wide Shut – but did not have improper relations with George Bush Jr.  She also has a lovely laugh.

But it’s your stories I’m looking forward to. Yours. Email me.



Filed under Guest Posts, media

32 responses to “The day I met… (Competition Time)

  1. Ah! I recognise the voice. Now when and where did I hear it before?

  2. Do you want an Indian version as well…..I have many celeb meets that I can talk about in one blog including Aishwarya Rai and Amitav Ghosh!

  3. BWT, groupies want to meet me!

  4. I could not get through on your email for some reason. My story: The was a small convention for Republican Party on Miami Beach in 1965. I was able to attend a small luncheon with pre President Nixon and got his autograph and shook hands. I shook hands with him again in the rope line at Tampa airport in 1968 and again in the rope line at Miami airport in 1972. In 1973 I wrote him to appoint me Secretary of the Treasury. He never answered my letter. So much for being old friends, eh?

    • blackwatertown

      Try this
      I just spelled it out to avoid spam. But for you, I live dangerously.

      Re Nixon – More fool him. Just think, we might never have had the suffix “-gate”, we’d never have heard of Playa Giron, Lee Harvey Oswald would have retired on a state pension, Mark Lawson would never have written “Idlewild” and Jack Ruby… well, actually – whatever did happen to Jack Ruby?

  5. My fiance and I and a couple of our friends felt extraordinarily lucky to find good seating in a pub near the Gaiety in Dublin. My fiance went up to the bar to get us drinks and my friend nudged me and said:
    “Oh my gawd, here’s Micheál Mac Liammóir and he is heading straight over to you with his hand out!!”
    Well, I thought I would die. Surely he must have seen me on stage in Cork and OMG remembered me? My heart pounded in anticipation of his compliment.
    I got up to greet the Great One, in his red lined cape, his lipstick and his jet black hair.
    “Lady!” he thundered in that magnificent voice,”You’ve been sitting on my hat!”

  6. I’ve met quite a few celebs but no particularly amusing or embarrassing incidents, sorry. Tony Benn had some very funny anecdotes, Ken Livingstone was worrying about his increasing girth, and the Queen was looking for the toilet. Er, they’re all as mundane as that. And I don’t think I’ve ever met any famous actors or actresses.

  7. I only have a tale of a then not yet celeb whose work I admired, and still do. My bubble of excitement at being in his company was burst by him being arrogant, dismissive, and full of his own importance. It took me years to even consider paying for any of his work again.

    Years later again, he played one of the best concerts I was ever at. Him, practically everyone I know and a dodgy power source- when he played too loud the lights went out. A great night 😉

    Also, if I’d ever got to speak to Robert de Niro you would all have heard about it by now. The gravy would have been a certainty!

    • blackwatertown

      Oh good – more details of that not-yet-celeb please.
      My mates used to approach minor celebs in The Crown bar in Belfast and ask for their autograph – but in a particular way. “Oh you’re that fella off the telly/radio – can I have your autograph please – and then say the wrong name.” It only worked with the ones who were up themselves. Anyone else would just laugh.

  8. Macy

    So there I was in the gift shop in Edinburgh’s modern art gallery out at Dean. I was checking out the wee hurdy gurdy music machines, when I felt that the shop (it’s really quite small) had gone super quiet.
    Superquiet in a “we’re talking, but being supercareful what we say” sort of way.
    I had a quick check round, and spotted. Tilda Swinton. She was with her kids flicking through the books behind me.
    Then she came over to where I was with the hurdy gurdy music machines.

    And she tested one too.

    And I moved away.

    And er, that’s that…. Except to say, she was wearing a headscarf, and she totally rocked that headscarf.

    • blackwatertown

      You see? You’re the one the celebs copy – but only high class esoteric celebs like Tilda Swinton. You have a responsibility there – I hope you realise that. Don’t go leading cool people astray – they follwo your example.

  9. Is Anne Doyle still a newsreader on RTE? Years ago, when she was one, I was moonlighting in a second job in a coffee shop and she was in having a coffee one evening. Me and the girls were hanging on to her every word as she regaled us with the fascinating tale of how she had bought a curling tongs to get dolled up for her newsreading gig and it was a dud. “There wasn’t a kick out of it!” Them were her very words, I kid you not. Oh yes, it’s not easy being a celebrity, that was the message.

    Welcome to the LBC Paul. Here’s the link to my post in case you have a minute!

    • blackwatertown

      Ha ha – no doubt we’re all oozing with sympathy – though to be fair, women presenters can be given quite a hard time about their hair by TV executives.

  10. i am too lazy but i will tell u that i met pete sampras once. it was in the tennis era of my life. i was a teen, pimpled of course w big hair and really liked his ground strokes, quiet triumphs that implied inner strength. did i know that’s what i like then? who cares but i was w my brothers standing in line for buying laker’s tickets and he was standing right in front of me! why would he be in line and not on some golden rickshaw? i have no idea. but he was and i appropriately screamed, froze a moment long enough to make eye contact and then in anxiety turned my back to him long enough for him to disappear. i swear he still remembers me though. why? because i was that weird.
    thanks for asking.

    • blackwatertown

      I’ll forgive your laziness because of your weirdness. Poor Pete Sampras.
      If it had been John McEnroe he have reacted: “You cannot be serious!”

  11. Oh how darned fun! I just sent you an email with my story 🙂

    • blackwatertown

      Hooray – which makes you my favourite comment person.
      And, having read that email, I can reveal that people are in for a treat.

  12. Barbara Rodgers

    Can’t wait to read Laurie’s! I’ve met 3 relatively well-known people but the encounters weren’t humorous, just surprising and unexpected.
    Singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, who signed his CD as we exchanged a few words — he was much taller than I had imagined and I had no idea he was going to mingle with his audience after the show.
    Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy, when he was running for office — he walked up to our table in a restaurant while we were eating lunch and introduced himself.
    Author Nathaniel Philbrick, after attending a lecture he gave at a small historical society — he signed his book, “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community & War” — he had written about some of my ancestors in two of his books.

    • blackwatertown

      Yes – hers is a good one. Also got a couple of other goodies too – including one from a completely unexpected source, which seems almost tailormade to tickle my fancy. But still room for more.

  13. Well, I never met anyone really famous. I saw former United States president Bill Clinton from a distance once (while he was still president), plus I also distance-saw the actors that played Spock and Data from Star Trek at a comic convention. Also, at a convention, I did actually meet a few Star Wars actors (Darth Maul, Chewbacca, and kid Boba Fett) and got their autographs. And I met comic artist Mike Garcia. But, like I said, I never met any famous people.

    • blackwatertown

      Nobody famous then – merely presidents, Star Trek and Star Wars stars. Clinton once gave me a lascivious wink. Well, a wink anyway. In my direction anyway – sure there were a few (hundred) other people there. But I’m sure it was me he was after.

  14. So people really do meet famous/almost famous people in their every-day-lives???? And I thought that only happened in magazines!

    • blackwatertown

      It happens.
      I used to see people in London and say “I think that guy must have been in my class at primary school, he looks familiar.”
      Not surprisingly the whole of my Belfast primary school had not decamped to London to take it in turns walking past me. Every time it turned out they’d been on The Bill. (A UK TV police drama with so many episodes every UK actor ever has been in it.)
      So probably you have had an encounter yourself – and should really exorcise it by emailing me the story.

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