Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meeting Mick and all that jazz

Celebrity spotting is great fun. Well, I don't care cos I met him and I am very happy to have met him. On the Underground I saw Mick from Eastenders. The bald guy with sideburns and a tash. He was a jazz musician who, at times, had a CD stall on the market and worked in the cafe - responsible for turning it into the Night Cafe.
I had been at a birthday party for Gutbuster in Clapham and whilst it was a good night I was faced with a daunting Northern/Central Line journey home. Being in South London, I was obviously keeping my eyes peeled and then I saw him and recognised him instantly. What to do? Emboldened by alcohol, although not drunk (in case you're reading Mum), I thought I'll go over and get his autograph and risk that it was him. Of course it was him, I'd know Mick from Eastenders anywhere. He was with a friend, which made going over a more testing task. And then I realised - much to my horror - that I didn't have anything for him to sign. Any part of my body would quite rightly have been viewed as scary, so I settled for the back of a Second Class book of stamps that I always carry in my wallet (I must say regularly I use stamps for posting letters/birthday cards/competition entries rather than autographs).
Anyway, as we came into Bank - where I had to change for the Central Line - I was overjoyed that Mick from Eastenders was changing too and, to my delight, he was walking in the direction of the Central Line and, luck be a lady, he was going Eastbound. I got on the same train, the same carriage to be sure and was over-the-moon that it transpired to be the right train for me anyway.
At Liverpool Street his mate alighted. Get in! However, Mick from Eastenders sat down and I was temporarily defeated. However, many people got off at Mile End and showing immense determination, I got to sit down next to him. I started talking to him and he said it was strange that he left Stenders 5 years ago and nobody recognises him but that this was the second time in the evening he had been recognised. Still clearly star-struck, I answered that I had never seen him on the eastbound Central Line before, I must have sounded either autistic or like a stalker. Or both.
Anyway he was a lovely guy and when my pen didn't work on the back of a Second Class book of stamps, he delved into his bag and gave me a sheet from his own notepad, and signed it.
I asked some quick Stenders questions and I was happy that he thought both the Mitchells were good guys.
I also apologised that I didn't know his real first name (what kind of fan am I?) but it is Sylvester Williams and he is now running a drama school in East London. A nice guy, I shook his hand and wished him all the best for the future and meant it. And then he got off at Stratford. What a Friday night. For me, probably not so memorable for him.
However, my Mum and erstwhile Beef source (sauce?) Brandy Nipples didn't recall him. A friend at home did and my work colleagues including Dudley Eyebrows knew who it was when they saw the pic although were unsure they'd recognise him on the Underground.

Update: Congratulations to my boss for instantly knowing who Mick from Eastenders was. Just another instance of Labour being in touch with the people they govern.

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"Peace, Mick Eastenders" what a great way to sign your autograph. However, was he a bit dyslexic as he seems to have spelt Barry wrong?
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