Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shallow? Moi?

Last week, I was accused by Pia of being a Sloane, a criticism which stung me until I caught sight of myself in the mirror yesterday on the way to work and took in the lace headband, V-neck pearl-buttoned cardigan, knee-length flouncy A line skirt and my brand new grown-up pointy shoes with the grosgrain bows. All that was missing was the pearls - and that was only because I'd left them on the dressing table.

Obviously, my days of grubby student living are psychologically (if alas not fiscally) behind me. I blame my colleagues, who are constantly plying me with Marks & Spencers chocolate buttons ("They're low GI!"), telling me about vintage shoe shops in Notting Hill, and trying to make me drink champagne at lunchtime. My Scottish coal-mining grandfather is probably turning in his grave.

Anyway, I am feeling even less profound than usual this weekend. I'll spare you the story of how I fell out of a changing room in Zara on Friday half-in, half-out of a pair of skinny jeans (which, you'll be pleased to know, I did not buy). Instead, I'm going to embrace the Popbitch-y vibe, and give you a round-up of my Top Ten Best Ever Rubbish Celebrity Encounters.

1. Interviewing the Chuckle brothers with the world's most dangerous student journalist, P. Question: "You've done a lot of work for children - have you ever considered adult entertainment?" He then wrote that they looked like "the missing link between the animal and gypsy kingdoms", and was last seen trying to convince the university authorities to let him dress as a woman for his finals exams by posing as a transsexual.

2. Staring at David Blaine's unshaven neck. Honestly, man, you've come to talk to the cream (rich and thick) of Britain's young bucks at the Oxford Union. Buy a razor.

3. Watching Chris Eubank brandish his cane at a tramp, shouting, "Give you money? The only thing I'll give you is a plane ticket to Nigeria so you can see what real poverty's like!". Mere moments before he had answered my question, "What would you have done if you had not become a boxer?" by touching my thigh and saying, "I know.. I would have married you."

4. Rod Liddle looking down my top at a drinks party. If only I had known at the time that he was up for impregnating an impressionable twentysomething, I could be the proud mother of Liddle Jr and living in Bermondsey with him right now.

5. Playing the Elbow Game with Derren Brown at a performance of the League of Gentlemen pantomime in Hammersmith (more details here).

6. Interviewing Matthew Perry (aka The Day My Adolescence Ended). It is no overstatement to say that I loved Matthew Perry, or rather Chandler, with a passion I have never again experienced for a man. (That's teenage hormones for you.) So imagine my disappointment upon turning up to interview him to find him sitting in the corner, nervously sucking on a Marlboro Light and not being wry or deadpan at all. He compounded the offence by beginning his speech with the phrase, "Could there BE any more people here?" which rates as the cheapest laugh it's possible to get. Anyway, from that day on, I was a wiser and better person, for I knew that celebrities were intrinsically disappointing in person, and also smaller. (P.S. I actually have photographic evidence of this.)

7. Trying not to listen to Patrick Stewart's then-wife going to the loo. Yeah, I know that's a pretty weird celebrity encounter, and I swear it wasn't deliberate. She didn't know where the loo was, I did. I showed her, then realised I would have to stay to show her the way back. What the hell do you do in that situation - make conversation? Hum? Fake a heart attack? In the end I just stood there going slowly redder. When she came out of the cubicle, it was apparent that she was not in the least bit bothered, and I suddenly felt very, very British.

8. Touching Gail Porter's slaphead. (See number five.) She was so nice I wanted to tell her not to talk to journo scum like me.

9. John Rhys Davies' wife being humilated by an uppity 17-year-old. The Lord of the Rings and Sliders star came to the Oxford Union, and brought his wife, who seemed very nice. However, it quickly transpired that she was a Mormon. Cue Uppity 17-year-old, younger brother of a guest: "Is it true that Mormons believe black people have no souls?" She spluttered, and Uppity 17-year-old continued, "Because James Brown - he's the King of Soul!" Cue one very chastised-looking Mormon.

10. Arriving at the Pen Pusher party to find we were sharing the bar with the Grange Hill Cast Reunion.

For bonus points, celebrity encounters at one degree of separation: Weave being late for her hen party because she was in Sierra Leone with Midge Ure; Myleene Klass offering my ex-housemates a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts; A blogger who shall remain nameless making Rory Bremner wait half an hour to use the office loo because he was in the cubicle with his minidisc on, defecating extravagantly.


Anonymous Laura said...

Joshua Jackson taught me the Chandler-lesson. How disappointing to find that I really wanted to be "friends" with him but just couldn't muster anything beyond that once locked within the same four walls as him.

5/30/2006 2:38 pm  
Anonymous lb said...

There's always my Iron Chef story (OK, it may not actually have been Iron Chef, but close enough).

5/30/2006 4:04 pm  
Anonymous paul haine said...

""What would you have done if you had not become a boxer?" by touching my thigh and saying, "I know.. I would have married you.""

That's so smooth. I'm going to pack in this whole 'web designer' thing and become a famous boxer, just so I can use that line in a future interview.

5/30/2006 6:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Galatea I was very amused by your post, but most annoyed to see that a classic celebrity encounter of a friend of yours was missing.

Wither the anecdote about the dangerously pissed journo-hack ambling straight up to Norman Lamont following a speech Lamont gave at the Oxford Union, to say: "Hiya Norm. Black Wednesday then? Bit of a fuck up."

5/31/2006 10:47 am  
Anonymous galatea said...

Would this be the same journo-hack who stumbled up to Marina Hyde and said, "I hear you're shagging Piers Morgan?" and then stumbled up to Piers Morgan and said, "I hear you're shagging Marina Hyde".

And indeed, the same dangerously pissed journo hack who texted a recently sacked editor to tell him not to listen to the others, and that he was "ein legend"? And was then sick *all over* my curtains?

If only I could remember his name.

5/31/2006 3:10 pm  
Anonymous galatea said...

Erica can probably put me right on this, but I think this is Iron Chef? I hope this is the man to whom your story pertains.

And Paul, surely you can just adapt the "...I would have married you?" e.g. "So Paul, why did you decide to become a web designer?"

"I don't know... But I know what I should have done, though. I should have married you."


5/31/2006 3:15 pm  
Anonymous lb said...

Iron Chef appears to be dressed as a Christmas cracker, for some reason.

5/31/2006 3:36 pm  
Blogger Aidan said...

Eubank was always good value when I was living and working down in Be-right-on, strutting his way around town in bizarre combinations of tweed slacks and hideously large motorcycle helmets - or else, veering this way and that in his mini-tanks, parking them across someone's drive before leaping carelessly free... All the time nodding beningly to his "subjects" all surrounding...
Once got to see him working as a cafe waiter for an afternoon, after losing a pool table bet to the owner. He managed to charm all the customers without getting much work done - and making perhaps the most extravagantly-ugly cup of coffee imaginable - and, I'm afraid to say, there were a few what-coulda-been intimations of marriage offered by him (not to me, obviously, but his dumbfounded clients...).
Of course, he turned up for his shift an hour late. The abashed-and-apologetic explanation from his long-suffering manager: "He's having trouble deciding what to wear..."
Sadly I never got to see the hopefully-not-apocryphal legend of him emerging out of a sunroof with a loudspeaker, announcing to the world as he glided ceremonially by: "Eubank ith here! Eubank ith here! ..."

6/01/2006 1:13 pm  

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