10 August, 2006

Face time

Since moving to London I've chanced to spot a number of celebrities strolling around the West End close to where I work, most of them defiantly C-list, a few quite possibly edging towards E-list.

Within a few days of starting my new job I happened to spy tousle-haired funnyman Neil Morrissey schlepping along the street looking discomfited. Shortly after that I spotted erstwhile TV wife-of-a-jailbird Linda Robson appearing equally riled clutching a few bags of heavy shopping. At this point I thought I was going to be in for a parade of stars nigh-on daily.

Then it all went quiet. A sighting of that grumpy one off of The Office, the one who went on to play Arthur Dent (my ignorance is, of course, calculated), did little to improve matters, nor did a glimpse of veteran troublemaker and gay activist Peter Tatchell in a tasteless glittery shirt.

I thought I walked past John Hurt a month or so ago, looking about 85 years old. Him, not me. When I noticed the same gentleman the following morning strolling down precisely the same street, however, I concluded it must be a lookalike. A very crap lookalike, sure, but enough to get me wondering.

Then yesterday I was going down the escalator at Piccadilly Circus station, when who should pass me coming up the other side but former angry young man turned middle aged balladeer James Dean Bradfield.

He was completely alone with only a rucksack for company, and he looked very hassled. Still, he was making no attempt not to catch your eye, as he did mine for a couple of seconds. Nobody was talking to him and nobody seemed the slightest bit interested in troubling him for, say, an autograph.

For all I know I might well have passed him many times before, such was his affable nonchalence. And for all I know I might well have passed his former bandmate Richey James many times before, despite him being missing for over a decade and despite the demented assertion of Noel Gallagher than Richey is simply "with some bird, and he's lost his passport, and he doesn't know where the fuck he is." An affliction with which Noel obviously has a great deal of affinity.

London is no less filled with stars as it is paved with gold. I'm not so fussed about the former, but I'm most put out about the latter. They'll be saying Father Christmas doesn't exist next.


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