We all have one. A list of famous people we’ve spotted on the street or noticed feeling up the avocados in our local Tesco Metro. But shouldn’t they… I don’t know… have a designated feeler for that sort of thing?
It’s a question I often curiously ask people: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I might as well tell you, my own list isn’t going to win any prizes. It’s a bit on the lean side and none too heavy on the old ‘international superstars’. If you’re looking to find the likes of Hugh Jackman or Dustin Hoffman on this list I’m sorry but you’re going to come away very disappointed.
Pierce is probably my most impressive spot. I know he’s Irish, which should elicit an: “Ah now, who hasn’t seen him knocking about the place? I’d be more impressed if you said you never saw him,” but Pierce was James Bond so my hands are tied.
I saw Pierce in Dun Laoghaire and he was really getting the star treatment as befits his status as Hollywood icon and national treasure. A man in an apron (a grocer?) was seeing Pierce and a mature lady (an esteemed relative?) across the street. Pierce looked slick, well dressed and a man at ease with himself. He had a very definite aura that said: I’m like you, only a bit more ‘glowy’ and famous.
Glen was my most recent spot. I was with friends outside a cafe, eating a goats cheese salad and feeling a frisson in the air that anything could happen. I wasn’t wrong. Glen walked past and my friend said matter-of-factly: “Oh look, there’s Glen. Isn’t he a bit of a ride?”
“Yes,” I said, “he’s got something about him alright. And he’s meant to be very nice in ‘real life’. He’s a man who looks happy with himself and his achievements. Not smug though. I like that.”
“No,” said another, more discerning friend, “no, he wouldn’t do it for me I’m afraid.”
So I concocted a story, hoping to change her mind: She’s heartbroken, so she goes to the Aran Islands to her grandfather’s cottage to heal. In a windswept landscape she writes poetry, wears woolly jumpers and looks fragile and beautiful. She sits on quite a lot of rocks, feeling like she will never love again. But wait, one stormy day she’s sitting on one of her rocks (her favourite one, it’s flat and there’s space for a coffee and her Sudoku book) and she sees a man fixing a boat on the beach, strong and ginger. It’s Glen. His beautiful hands are adroit and roughened, yet carefully trimmed nails reveal a fastidious, prideful man. He looks into her eyes acrosseth sand and shale with a passion that startles her. Instantly she knows she has found her soulmate. They make passionate love on the cold beach, rain whipping down as they cry out in a frenzy.
“No,” she says,” no, he still doesn’t do it for me.”
I walked passed him on Baggot Street Lower. He was wearing a white t-shirt and was deep in conversation with a duo of consorts. I left him to it.
Jimmy Doyle from Fair City
This one is brilliant in its randomness. It’s a small auld world and no mistake. I saw Jimmy (real name David Mitchell) in Maryland’s Baltimore airport.
Is that? It’s not. Is it? Is it Jimmy? Could it be? Ah no, sure what are the odds. I’ll get a bit closer. Well jimmy me timbers, it IS Jimmy Doyle, skilled mechanic and member of the Doyle dynasty, son of patriarch Bela.
Of course I had to say something. I had to prove this happened, for myself more than anyone.
“Hi, I’m a big fan of the show. Can I get a photo?”
It’s the only time I EVER asked a celebrity for a photo.
Sure enough Jimmy (real name David Mitchell) obliged. I still have the picture. I eh, won’t post it though because it was at the end of my J1 and after discovering Philly Cheesesteaks and corndogs I had put on about two stone.
If it came down to it in a court of law, by virtue of nationality and column inches, (dirty minds on ye!) Keith would probably be judged my best spot, which is a bit depressing because I have zero interest in country music and don’t find him sexually appealing in the least. He was very tanned and wore a black short sleeved shirt. Points were awarded for the sheen off his hair though. He was a sheeny little fecker.
At least my ‘spot’ area had a bit of glitz and glam to it though. I was outside The Standard Hotel in New York City, drinking a coffee and feeling brilliant. Keith was making his way to a black car, no doubt taking him to a pressing ‘Keith’ engagement.
One of the chaps from The Magic Numbers, Cathy Davey and Neil Hannon (all at once)
I once won a competition to be a reporter for Jack Daniel’s for a special gig they were putting on. The gig was a one-off performance of Vampire Weekend’s titular album so part of the prize was to come and watch one of the chaps from the Magic Numbers, Cathy Davey, Neil Hannon and Richie from Jape rehearse. They were all marvellously nice people, but after a couple of hours watching the rehearsal me and the friend I had brought with me were horribly, horribly bored (my fiance Alex has been playing in bands for years so such a thing holds no glamour for me, if anything it reminds me of wanting us to go away for the weekend but we can’t because he’s playing a gig to fifteen people in a pub in Tullamore).
We stayed as long as we could so we wouldn’t offend, (I’m sure they wouldn’t have cared a jot but even so) then finally when it all got too much tentatively butted in and said: “Thanks a million, we’re heading off now. Bye.”
I think that’s it. There might be more but I can’t think of any right now, which isn’t a great indictment on those that may have slipped my mind.
I wouldn’t say I’ve had a great run of it thus far but as they say, the night is still young.