So today I’m walking down the street where I work, and I spot former England footballer and TV pundit Peter Reid. He’s dressed smartly, has a suit-bag slung casually over one shoulder, but otherwise looks a little flustered. He quite clearly doesn’t know quite where he is. I decide to get involved.
Me: Hey Peter! Are you lost?
Peter Reid: I am actually. Do you know where this is? (hands me a business card)
Me: St. Martin’s Court? No. But it’ll be over that way – St. Martin’s Lane is two streets ahead of you, and St. Martin’s Church is round the corner.
Peter Reid: Great, cheers.
Me: No worries.
I believe that this is the first time I’ve had to give a celebrity directions since I misled Princess Diana as to the whereabouts of Marylebone Lane in 1989, causing a delay in her journey which may ultimately have contributed to her death.
Please feel free to leave any casual celebrity encounter stories in the comments below. I’d be delighted to host them.
Last night I had Ross from Machine Gun Fellatio at my house for a BBQ. He asked me where the toilet was and I said ‘through the doors and to the right’.
About 7 years ago I went to a book signing with Dee Dee Ramone. As you approached him you had to say your name so he could write it on the inside cover of the book. He started to write ‘Si…’ and paused. I directed him how to spell Simon and we went on our merry ways. Him to hell (I assume) and me back Sydney.
Gabba Gabba Hey.
I was at a lunch at the British Council offices in Hanoi to welcome Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. There was a cheap Vietnamese buffet on the table in the centre of the room. As she was standing next to me, paper plate in one hand, plastic fork in the other and looking a bit underwhelmed, I thought I’d help by pointing at the spring rolls, “These are famous in Vietnam,” I said. She didn’t reply, but gave me a look that said “Oh dear, you’re a bit thick, aren’t you”
I was once hurtling my way through Customs, past the officers who were being oh-so-entertained at the time by fellow airport-er Lionel Blair, who’d generously stopped to have a giggle…
And on a separate trip, found myself waiting by the luggage collection point at Lisbon airport beside an even-crueller-than-crimson Andy Townsend, who had clearly spent too much time under the sun than, er, joshing with Ally McCoist.
And let’s face it, who can really blame him…
Reid may be a terrible pundit and occasional manager these days, but I do remember reading his 1986-87 Everton diary, while I was a teenager (I really don’t know why…) and finding it rather entertaining. If only for confirming suspicions that erstwhile England team-mate Kenny Sansom really must have been the most tiresome tosser…
I grew up in Maine but now live in Washington state, one day while walking down the street I saw this guy who I thought I went to High School with and gave him that I-think-I-know-you look, until then I realized that I didn’t know him, which was followed by very slight embarrassment.
About a half a block later I realized it was John Corbit (of Twin Peaks & Sex in the City fame.)
Another time I was in this bar across from the theatre I worked in, I ran into Tom Skerrit (of Top Gun, Alien and Picket Fences to name a few), the only thing to mention about him is that his head is disproportionately enormous compared to the rest of his body.
A selection of casual and not-so-casual personal celebrity encounters.
1982 – Train from B’ham New Street to London Euston for a University interview. Sat opposite Robert Plant. He wished me luck.
1987 – Train from London Euston to B’ham New Street – shared a First Class carriage with Angie Best. Blimey. Dropped her off in a taxi at the ATV studios on the way to my flat – smooth, or what? She wished me luck.
1997 – Wedged between Rory Bremner and Rory McGrath in the gents’ at the Groucho Club. I wished them luck – they looked like they needed it.
1999 – Heathrow Airport, terminal 1, posh lounge – bumped into Tim (“come on our Tim”) Henman. I wished him luck. He said “and you” for no apparent reason.
2002 – Fisherman’s Bar, Speightstown, Barbados – numerous beers in the presence of Mick McCarthy. It was World Cup year. I lished him wuck, I mean pished his duck, spliffed his puck . . .
I used to work in a designer tat shop in Soho, resulting in a high incidence of celeb encounters. I flogged stuff to Donna Air, all the cast members of This Life, and was once asked the price of some minging gold cherubs by Jeremy Irons. I nearly collided with Peter Stringfellow on the pedestrian crossing on Charing Cross Road, and Richard Branson in Soho Square- both very tall, and Branson carries his own folders, which is nice. Myself and a friend drunkenly accosted Nicky Clarke in the Saint Bar, Leicester Square, cos he had an incredibly fit assistant who we both fancied.
I visited a friend in Bangalore a couple of years ago. When I met him at the airport I was informed that he’d been invited to have lunch with Jack Straw at the British Council, and that he could bring a friend. Straw, who was on some kind of state visit, wanted to meet Indians who had been funded to study in Britain by the Foreign Office or some such.
It was during the period just after the Iraq war, and I (jet-lagged as I was) spent most of the buffet lunch arguing with Straw’s Chief of Staff about the legalities of the conflict. Straw, who was circulating round the edge of the room meeting and greeting, got to the people next to us, heard the conversation we were having and decided to circulate back the other way. This left all the people the other side of us very upset that they didn’t get to meet him.
My friend managed to distract the Chief of Staff long enough to allow me to get a photo of myself carrying Straw’s ministerial red box, which makes me look like I’m about to deliver the budget. Happy days.
Back in around 1990, I worked for a bank in the City of London and commuted daily on London’s fabulous London Underground
One cold friday morning, I was on the 4 minute walk from home to the tube station in me whistle and flute, and a Mercedes pulls up along side me, window comes down and I hear a voice beckonning me over. Someone obviously lost and looking for directions. So I peer in and its none other than Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne. Now bare in mind that although Gazza is now a fat, washed up piss head, back in 1990 he was the David Beckham of his day. THEE most famous footballer in Britain
So I help Gazza out with some directions and he offers to give me a lift to the station as its in the same direction. I could have walked in about 2 minutes, but I thought “if Gazza wants to give me a lift, who am I to argue?”
The best bit was when he pulled onto the station concourse and I asked him for the obvious autograph. Neither off had a pen so he says “no bother” and promptly hops out of the car and starts rummaging around in his boot for a biro
I’m still sat in the front seat waiting for his return and can see virtually every single one of the hundreds of commuters pouring into the station nudging their mates and pointing saying “Fuck me, that’s Gazza isn’t it?”
He finally returns, signs autograph, and I alight his vehicle with a cheery “see you later, Gaz” and feel ten feet tall as everyone from my area nows thinks I’m one of Gazza’s best mates
I once wanked off that Paul Burrell… oh, no, wait… that was a pig
…hang on, that wasn’t me, that was Rebecca Loos. Doh…
I once accosted* that useless pile of DNA that is Kenneth Clarke, that Tory f*cker.
He wasn’t best pleased as he chowed down on his pub lunch in Paddington Station when I told him that he was a “complete and total F*CKING C*NT”, the capital letters do indeed mean that I shouted it at him.
Even his bouncer / bodyguard was a bit shocked when I told him he could “stay where you f*cking are, I’m leaving”.
*I sue the word accosted in the original meaning of the word, “To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively”, not it’s more recent description, ” To solicit for sex”. Just thought it best was I cleared that up for you.
I used to run a rather funky and trendy bar in Hong Kong and we had all sort of famous people dropping in.
I had the chance of meeting quite a few of them but unfortunately I don’t have any particular humourous tale to tell.
However I can promise you Madonna is a real bitch from hell and we made sure that her super-skinny latte had full fat cream in it.
Purile, I know.
Marcell Marceau used to fancy my Mum.
I done Two-Loos Latreque up the bum.
Oh, wait… lying again…
I once nearly got run over by Steve Interesting Davies, the snooker player. And I directed some BBC reporter to Charing Cross station: that would be a better story if I could remember his name. Both of which are beaten by my mum meeting Bob Monkhouse on the escalator in Debenhams in Sheffield.
I know some smaller famous people…like authors and stuff Tim Wynne-Jones and the like. My grandfather played cards with H. G Wells cause they lived next door to him. and I know all ther small musicians in my area cause I live in small-town in Canda.
I once stood a few metres aways from christian baiter himself, Stewart Lee, at a Bjork concert. Me, my sister and my friend stared at him for a while thinking about the days of the curious orange. He caught us staring and looked very uncomfortable thereafter.
I’m in “Sex: The Annabelle Chong Story”. Better that.
AND I’ve been sick on Lucie Arnaz.
I was at a cheesy tourist luau in Hawaii with Dennis Leary and Cindy Crawford; I have a picture of her grabbing her boobs.
Jerry O’Connell came to the local art gallery with my Art History class.
Shopped for shoes with Rebecca De Mornay.
Many sightings of Johnny Depp back in his 21 Jump Street Days.
Flew from Calgary to Vancouver with the Chieftains.
Etc, etc, etc.
I few years ago, I’ve seen Massive Attack’s Daddy G in Bristol. I was at a small party, and everybody seemed to know each other (me not, I’m from Switzerland, and me and my friend were probably a bit like Heidi in Frankfurt). I asked Daddy G for an autograph which I wanted to give to one of my friends who also likes Massive Attack. As I had not a single piece of paper, the tall man wrote “For Carola, Love, Daddy G” on the back of a cigarette box. I gave this to Carola, she was pleased. And six months later she told me about that joke which I made with this worn out piece of card. But it’s real, and now Carola believes me.
I’ve eaten next to Tricky in a Zurich restaurant, and I’ve got an autograph from Roisin Murphy in the same restaurant (yes, for Carola as well). And I’ve once met Aimee Mann for an interview, and Per Christian Ellefsen, a Norwegian actor (“Elling”). And Kuno Lauener lives in my neigbourhood in Berne. Go google or altavista or whatever for him, as he sings in Bernese and may not be known in UK (very probably).
My Dad has played on stage with John Lennon, my mum not only had a “dalliance” with Bill Wyman but also bought Slade their first tour van, and my stepdad introduced me to Jimmy Page when i was three, as he ran the pub where Page drank. Ive bought Paul Weller and Bobby Gillespie a pint each (neither bought me one back), and know the bassist from the kaiser cheifs a bit as we share a mutual friend, but thats it, i try and leave celebrities alone.
My friend Giles has a nice one though – hes a paralympic athlete with a bunch of gold medals to his name. After winning gold at (i think it was) Atlanta, on his return he was invited to buckingham palace to meet with the queen, along with the other paralympian medalists. Now, a combination of jet lag, tiredness, not having eaten and standing around a very hot room for ages meant he fainted. Squirrelled away by an aide, he was revived, refreshed, and then met the Queen and Prince Phillip, who said something like “You look much better vertical”. No harm done you may think, but The Daily Star ran a piece the next day titled “ATHLETE FAINTS IN AWE OF QUEEN”.
I forgot. Micky Quinn from Supergrass. I used to work with his Dad.
My father met the last hangman Albert Peirrepoint very briefly, then Pierrepoint hung him.
I worked in the port of Dover years back. As I was sorting some freight paperwork with a Customs officer a bloke with a mullet doing the “I’m too cool for this bit” wandered past, the Customs officer rather loudly commented “Blimey that wanker looks like Bill Wyman” at which point the aforementioned wanker turned round and said “Thanks, I am Bill Wyman”. Marvellous moment – I loathed that Customs officer and have never seen that arrogant officious prat look quite so sheepish. Turns out that the Stones tour crew was passing through and Bill decided to join them for the novelty rather than slum it 1st class on the plane.
Alan Bennett when I was working at Oddbins, asked me for “a bottle of posh white”,(you have to say it in an Alan Bennet voice), because he was going to Jonathan Miller’s house for dinner. Then he proceeded to ask me the best route to chez Miller. Amazingly I kew the way, as I had delivered some not very posh white wine there just that morning.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Daily Mail headline: BLOGGER KILLED DI
Not quite giving directions, but I did discuss the roundabouts of Swindon with Prince Charles. We agreed that there were far too many.
Melbourne is a small place. I gave some male Neighbours star directions on how to get out of a shopping centre complex
David Blunkett touched my bottom, the manky old bugger.
I met Robert Plant backstage at a concert in Stockholm Sweden once. Very big moment. and… I’ve seen Viggo (Lord of the rings dude) in Soho Square, he looked a little bit lost too – maybe I should have offered him my super knowledge of the backstreets of Soho…?
Scary duck – Mr Blunkett isn’t to blame, he’s blind do you know.
Don’t believe it. It’s all just a rouse. He can even see right round the back of his head.
The funniest thing about this thread, to me, is that I haven’t heard of half of the celebrities mentioned. Starting with this “Peter Reid” character.
I have to say jg’s Alan Bennett story is great though.
I once stood next to Jimmy Hill in the toilets at Fulham FC.
You’ve got to look, haven’t you? And it’s nowhere near as big as his chin.
for jonathan sawyer – my grandfather used to play dominoes with albert pierrepoint (the last hangman). i have the dominoes, they are ivory faced with ebony backs and are very grubby.
i sat next to rowan atkinson in a pub. he ate pie, chips and peas. so di i. his lips were very rubbery. so was the pie.
i got stuck in a doorway at heathrow with sir john harvey jones. he was utterly charming. if he had been 5 stones lighter we would not have got stuck.
By the way, has anybody seen Mike Hunt ?
No, buit i did see russel crowe being driven down the strand yesterday afternoon. He had his phone out and was video the whole ride. Prolly to pick out people to fight later
I think my most memorable one is travelling from King’s Cross on the train to the Frozen North, and loaning Kevin Keegan my radio walkman in 1996 because he wanted to hear the football score. He was my childhood hero, and a really nice bloke.
I also saw Nicholas Parsons at Heathrow Airport, just in time to witness someone drop their suitcase on his foot. He displeasure was distinctly amdram.. On the other end of that journey, at Hewonarra Airport in St Lucia, I saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I swear, I have never seen anyone ooze reverence like that.
My mum once bumped into Pat Phoenix in Manchester – remember Elsie Tanner from Corrie? Mum said she was like royalty, but utterly lovely.
I deliberately shoulder-checked Roy Hattersly in Winchester High Street, just so I could say “Sorry, Roy”.
A bit lame, I know.
I’m a big fan of the tenuous, convoluted ‘low quality’ star spot, and also the ‘low quality star’ spot. Coffin-dodgers among you may remember the ITV series Edward and Mrs Simpson, the theme toon to which went, “I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales”…that shit’s celebrity-crack to me.
– Anyway, in that vein, I went to the same piss-poor comp as Shaun Ryder and have had my arse repeatedly slapped by the same (left) Dunlop Green Flash.
– Had a (really) shit pizza with Mylo and 13 stippers.
– Owe Hard-Fi’s guitarist three packs of fags.
– Shared oysters with Barney from New Order, who tried to order in French in a Spanish restaurant. In Spain.
– And a wrestling ring with Mick McManus. Sir Mick, a gentleman.
– Went out with a bird whose best mate was shagging Lee Sharpe
– And our kid’s marrying a bird out of Hollyoaks next week!
– Oh, and my dad was the only kid allowed to play with Ben Kingsley, in his back garden, when he was a kid, and called Krishna Banjee. Ben Kingsley that is, not my dad. My dad was called Tony. Still is.
I went on a Bridget Jones style weekend mini break to the channel islands. Clubbing on Saturday night, the going rate for pills there was Â£15!
Next morning feeling a bit jaded, I went to the paper shop and stood behind Matt Le Tissier who was buying a paper and 20 B&H. I looked at him, he looked at me, nodded and that was that.
Hey, stop picking on Paul I know Paul he’s not sleazey or anything, he’s a lovely, decent guy and it’s not fair all you attacking him when you don’t really know him. He’s been through hell and back all because he stayed loyal to Princess Diana, Prince Charles and The Queen, he’s suffered a great deal.
His so called friends turned on him selling lies and filth to the newspapers in order to destroy him because he didn’t sell his story to the other newspapers, he sold it to The Mirror all the others turned on him and got people to get paid for telling lies about him in order to make people read there newspaper rather than the newspaper of which Paul’s selling his story too. He didn’t go to the highest bidder he went to the lowest, I have read his book he is fiercely loyal to every member of the royal family, that of which people should give him credit for because he’s not what the papers make out he is.
Paul has suffered health wise he has a blood condition of which lead to a nervous condition during his trial and was taken into hospital because of the pressure scotland yard put on him, if you notice scotland yard have made an awful lot of mistakes. The reason the trial went on was because The Spencers were jealous of the relationship that Paul & Diana had therefore sent scotland yard knocking on his door and were heard saying “we want to crush the rock”. The spencers never accepted the princess in life but in death they’re quick to make a profit of Â£10 a visit to see her grave.
In the jungle Paul was brilliant, he didn’t moan about lack of food etc. He didn’t whine or anything, he was himself the happy, jolly, game for a laugh person he is. He wasn’t sleazy and isn’t sleazy, he wasn’t looking up all the woman and coming onto them, he was simply a gentleman.
Paul is not a knob, quite frankly if you don’t know someone I suggest you don’t judge them because I am damn sure you wouldn’t want to be judge in the harsh way you’ve all judged Paul.
I love Paul, I think he’s a great guy and I don’t give a damn what you lot say you won’t change my opinion he doesn’t have just one fan he has hunderds and thousand, millions even.
Yes of course everyone’s entitle to an opinion but you’re not entitle to put someone down and judge them and change someone else’s view about them.
Errr… that is an opinion. Something we’re all entitled to. According to you.
i want to play football for any club that needs a defender email me firstname.lastname@example.org so that i can send my cv to any interested club for trial or signing.
Whoww…. meeting Alan Bennett in person and actually being able to help. jg , you’re a lucky guy!