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On celebrity spotting

Celebrities! They’re just like us! And when spotting one in real life, act cool and don’t-lose-your-shit-because-they’re-just-people-and-it-would-be-inadvisable-to-become-a-hysterical-maniac-in-front-of-one.

The above mantra is, I’m sure, how most people think when they find themselves in the orbit of famous people, especially in cities like New York or London. Whether A-list or Z-list, a celebrity spotting should be a brief moment of eye contact to confirm that, yes, you’re aware of said person’s status, and then you’re supposed to move on with your life. Self-respect intact. Much like living in London/New York, you’re not supposed to run around screaming about how much YOU LOVE THIS TOWN/CELEBRITY. You’re supposed to just keep calm and carry on.

My I’ve-just-spotted-a-celebrity-in-the-wild reaction hadn’t really been tested prior to my move back to London. I like to think it was because I wasn’t bothered, but it’s more likely that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh and before my laser eye surgery, my eyesight was rubbish. However, if my fangirl-like gushing about living in London was anything to go by, I knew I’d fail at keeping my cool. More often than not, I am that person running around screaming I LOVE THIS TOWN!

And then eight months ago (eight months ago!), I was back in old Blighty and greeted by a definite shift in the famousphere. Maybe it was because I watched a lot more British TV and so added many more famous British faces to my memory bank, or maybe I was just more observant, but suddenly, the famous were everywhere.

Some were spotted on purpose through a little light stalking (Wills, Kate, Harry). Some came out of nowhere and left my hart racing (Howard Charles aka Porthos from The Musketeers – that was a good day). Some filled me with utter joy (Queen Victoria and Prince Albert aka Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes walking towards me along Stoke Newinton Church Street. Amanda Abbington aka Mary from Sherlock at a pub in Camden where I had to use all my self control not to go up and give her a hug and ask what happened with Martin Freeman).

Yes, I now see how stalking is bad
Others left my mouth hanging open (Helena Bonham Carter looking suitably eccentric riding her bike around Primrose Hill, Mark Francis from Made in Chelsea in his fur sauntering around Knightsbridge, Gilbert & George at a local Turkish restaurant). Some took me a minute to place them (Julia Davis aka Dawn from Gavin and Stacey, Davina McCall sitting behind me at Don Juan in Soho, Oliver Chris aka Ricky from The Office at the Soho Theatre bar), and some happened on an actual red carpet and after party because what-is-my-life (Helen Mirren and Edward Norton).

I promise I will no longer take stalker-like pics of celebrities
Then there's the one. The celebrity spot that makes you want to yell it from the rooftops. The celebrity spot that makes you want to tell every.single.person (hence today’s post). The celebrity spot that you think will make you completely lose your cool.

Last night, I had that spot.

I was headed to the National Theatre after buying a last-minute ticket to see Twelfth Night with Tamsin Greig (utter perfection, she is everything, so glad I went). As I neared the stairs that would lead me from Waterloo Bridge to the theatre, I spotted a familiar face walking towards me.

It took the shortest of moments before…


And then I died.

My hysterics were, however, firmly on the inside. I walked by Spider-man as if he was just another annoying person I had to navigate around so I could get to where I needed to be. Result! I had graduated from Royal Stalker to Proper Harassed Londoner in under a year.

And while every now and again I will still scream about how much I love this town, I will keep calm and carry on, even when I see someone famous. (Unless, of course, I spot Cumberbatch/Hiddleston/Alex Turner/Idris Elba, in which case I won’t be held responsible for my actions.)


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