Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I've never before tried to collate them. I've probably forgotten a few but I remember where I saw each and every one of those who I remember.

Chance sightings of people in the public eye. Don't you just love it when it happens? And don't you think later of the things you would have asked them if you'd only had the guts to go up and speak to them?

Here's a couple of lists of people I've seen, where I've seen them and what I wished I'd asked them...


1. Peter Stringfellow, walking towards Covent Garden. "I'm guessing you're wearing tight leopard-print pants. You are, aren't you?"

2. Frank Skinner, walking towards Covent Garden. "As you delight in telling your audience about your love for it, do you also talk to your priest about anal sex with the ladies? If so, does he approve of it as a contraceptive method?"

3. Martin Fry, walking towards Covent Garden. "Do you think you are able to influence events psychically? If not, why when I bought Poison Arrow, on the very same day did my dad leave home to live with a tart?"

4. Dennis Skinner, crossing the road at Trafalgar Square. "You're the Beast of Bolsover. Why don't you rip Margaret Thatcher's neck open and do us all a favour?"

5. Lenny Henry, filming a scene under Charing Cross Station. "How can you laugh when people are starving?"

6. Geoffrey Palmer, shopping in Tesco's. "Bit of a cock-up on the catering front?"

7. Robbie Williams, crossing the road at Trafalgar Square. "Will you have your song Angels played at your funeral?"

8. Anthony Howard, walking towards The Strand. "Why should I take you more seriously than Kermit?"

9. Matthew Kelly, in a health food shop in Theobalds Road. "If you're Game For A Laugh, why not try the aduki bean pie?"

10. Boris Johnson, cycling towards Whitehall, twice! "Why don't you wear a helmet, twat head?"

11. Jack Straw, walking extremely quickly towards Whitehall. "Why did you allow Pinochet to return to Chile?"

12. Kevin Kennedy, walking past my office. "How's the music career going, Kev?"


1. Trevor MacDonald, in the National Gallery. "What's it like to share a few bongs with the nation every night?"

2. David Hepworth & Mark Ellen, standing around, arms crossed, wearing suits with orange shirts, in Soho. "If there's a good face for radio, is there a good voice for print?"

3. Roy Wood, eating a curry in the West Midlands. "Do you really wish it could be Christmas every day? You'd prefer roast turkey to a nice chicken dansak?"

4. Pete Townshend, walking the streets in Cambridge. "Still not dead, Pete?"

5. Christopher Quinten, wearing a silver bomber jacket at the Wimbledon tennis championships. "I'm guessing you're wearing tight leopard-print pants. You are, aren't you?"

6. John Peel, at a Fall gig in Cambridge. "Why am I not surprised you're here?"

7. Lemmy, playing Space Invaders of a venue's upstairs bar whilst NWOBHM band More rock the place's foundations. "Why don't you shoot them with the pus from your boils?"

8. Paul Shane, eating a "chicken tikka masala" in Llandudno. "Go on, Paul. Do You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Please? Pretty, pretty please?

9. George Melly, waiting for a train at Diss railway station. "Can I try your hat on?"

10. Vini Reilly, taking twenty minutes to order a large, crusty baguette and a mountain of cress in a cafe in Manchester. "Do you want a hand with that?"

11. Jim Davidson, telling jokes to his mates, outside a pub in Bexley. "Do you know why the BBC have over the years spent part of our licence fee keeping a known racist and homophobe in the lap of luxury?"

12. Ken Livingstone, not seen but heard in a Tottenham Court Road cinema. "What names did you give your newts?"

13. Dermot O'Leary, walking in Soho. "I've got no personality. Can you tell me how I can become famous?"

14. Bob Geldof, fingering and eating fruit from an outdoor greengrocer's stall in Faversham, accompanied by his lovely young family. "How's the music career going, Bob?"

15. Paul Gambaccini, in the cafe of the NFT. "Was Limahl ever too shy?"

You will notice that every single one of them is male. I did once see an actress who had a minor role in Coronation Street in a queue for jacket potatoes but I can't remember her name.

Why do I not see famous women? Are they better at disguising themselves in public?


  1. An extremely interesting post.. One that I am associated with, if only on the outside looking in.

    Christopher Quinten.. I once stopped him from coming into a club in Glasgow, because he was wearing a pink vest and lycra shorts. I'm not ashamed to say that he felt the back of my hand across his face, which must have made the cocky wanker sneeze blood for a week.

    Geoffrey Palmer, one of my all time heroes of irony.. He is the supreme master of the deadpan line.

    Lemmy, he was always very polite and nae bother in any club that I controlled the door in. A great pal of many many naughty people who ride motorbikes.

    Roy Wood.. met him backstage at a Slade concert in Brum, way back in 1976. Crazy as fuck, but funny with it. He does a great trick involving polo mints, a tube of chapstick, and his arse.

  2. I sat at the table next to Allen Ginsberg for lunch at Veselka in Manhattan’s East Village.

    And nearly tripped Spike Lee as I was getting into a cab on 5th Avenue.

  3. What an impressive list - we only tend to see Corrie stars up 'ere.
    Apart from Jeremy Paxman on Market street recently.
    I should have said " Why do you act so concescending with contestants that get Shakespeare wrong when you can't even pronounce the science questions properly yourself?"

    P.S. Don't be too hard on Martin Fry.

  4. Anonymous9:25 PM

    An impressive list. I rarely see anyone famous.

    I saw Trevor McDonald in Peter Jones, Sloane Sq, the one and only time I visited the shop.

    I saw luvvie Tom Wilkinson at a press screening for a detective thingy he was in.

    I saw the one that died out of Auf Wiedershein, Pet in a bar next door to a theatre.

    I saw the back of Will Self's head when I was last in London.

    But my favourite occupation is pointing out people who bear very little resemblance to famous people and pointing them out to my friend as if they are famous.

  5. Anonymous9:27 PM

    Gah! I wish I'd read that through before posting it!

  6. Jimmy - I love Geoffrey Palmer and Roy Wood. Lemmy I'm a little scared of. Christopher Quinten is a twat.

    MJ - Did you get the subterranean homesick blues? You only went to New York to meet the stars!

    Kaz - I'd like to see Paxman grilled about his politics. Martin Fry's a lovely man and did not influence my parents divorce in any way.

    Bob - Gary Holton in a bar? Still, he did leave us with this hilarious offering. Funnier than Spinal Tap any day. Bad lookalikes are an endless source of fun.

  7. Can't compete with this in rural France.

    I did once kiss a von Bismarck.

    Isn't George Melly dead? Was this a recent sighting?

  8. George Melly was probably still waiting for that blinking 8.44.

    I saw Ian Hislop in the Natural History Museum once. Not in a case of course.

  9. Christopher - I saw George in 1992, during Euro 92. I was on my way to a scriptwriting class where I learnt absolutely nothing. I should have asked George to teach me to sing the blues instead.

    Murph - Not bad, though T Rex would have been better.

  10. Regarding famous ladies: I saw Jenny Agutter at an art fair once. I suppose I could have said "I've seen you naked. Lots." but I bet she's used to that.

  11. Ive only seen famous men but my list is a lot shorter than yours; Rod Stewart having a pint in the Town of Ramsgate, Graham Norton walking his little dog, Adam Faith in Covent Garden just walking. A friend of mine did see Chrissie Hind once in Kenwood house but she told my friend to fuck off. My sister met Jarvis Cocker and he told her to fuck off as well.

  12. Tim - I've seen Robbie Williams, Frank Skinner, Lenny Henry and Peter Stringfellow almost naked (in print and on telly). I kind of wish I never had.

    Realdoc - That's a good mixture. Now Chrissie Hynde and Jarvis Cocker you'd like to think you could get on with. I think Bob Geldof was kind of insinuating we should fuck off as everywhere we turned during our walk round the town we'd suddenly be facing the Geldof family and I'd say in a not too quiet voice "Not again!"

  13. I saw Gary Holton several times in Norway. Otherwise I've only seen Honey out of Eastenders and that bloke with the funny ears who presents Dragon's Den.

  14. I've never seen the bloke with funny ears, only Paul Whitehouse's impression.