Skip to main content

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.)


Popular posts from this blog

On the existential crisis of the weekend

  Weekends used to be what life was for. Two days of freedom and relief from the weekday routine, from the grind of office life, from waking up with an alarm. The sweet, giddy euphoria of a Friday night was made all the more intoxicating if you had plans to socialise, go to a gig, watch a film, eat at your local Italian. Not only did you get your socialising/culture/food fix in, but you then had two more days of doing the very same thing. The weekend also offered endless pottering-around-the-house hours since usually it was a space you scarcely saw during the week. A Saturday started with a little light cleaning was one sure way to make you feel as if you were ahead in the productivity stakes, and made the Netflix binge that followed feel earned.   Friday night was balanced out by the cold sweats of Sunday evening but still, the weekend was always worth it, regardless of whether you didn’t move from the couch after Friday night work drinks, or because you p

On my first trip abroad

  I took my first overseas trip when I was in year eleven. It was to Noum é a, New Caledonia and it almost didn’t happen. The trip’s purpose was to improve the French language skills of those of us insistent on studying French during our last two years of school, believing the subject a necessity for our futures when we would most certainly be in Paris living our best French lives being all Parisian and speaking fluent French and just being all chic in our Frenchness and you get the picture. The first step on this road to being so Frenchy so chic, was a week’s trip to this South Pacific island wherein we would live with the locals, have 3-hour French lessons each day and immerse ourselves in the otherworldness that comes with visiting a place far removed from that in which you live. But whether it was the 3-hour lessons or the 3-hour flight, not enough of my classmates put their hands up to make this trip a reality. Cue teenage woe-is-me angst, the shedding of many tears, threats

On learning a new skill

So how many new skills have you mastered during this Covid-19? Are you fluent in Latin? French? Turkish? Is your personal brand lighting up Twitter/Instagram/Facebook as you sell the wellness candles you cooked up in the kitchen after you created an online festival but before finishing a new dress made from scraps around the house you can wear when you next meet a friend for ‘exercise’ with a keep cup full of ‘coffee’? Spoiler, it has wine inside. Thought so. But guess what. It seems that if you haven’t managed to generally improve yourself, and a substantial number of people online, during this dire time of unprecedented crappness, then apparently you’re doing it wrong. (Bonus points if said improvement was expressed in a language other than that with which you were born). Having missed this chance at enlightenment earlier in the Covid-19 mayhem, this week I decided to give it a go. To change up lockdown life for the better. I vowed that no longer would I spend my