Fifteen minutes of fame; six days and more in the telling.
I did say it was rather a long story but I didn’t know just how long until I started writing it. I would apologise but it has been fun to remember.
The story so far…
- Short of money, I tell the council how I manage
- I eat art exhibits
- I get in the papers
- I go to London and visit a TV studio for a week
- Day One: early start; late breakfast
We were driven back to our hotel around eleven a.m. with a wad of cash and instructions to access the Tube that afternoon and present ourselves at the Planetarium, the adjacent Madame Tussaud’s, and then Planet Hollywood.
Tory Boy, 11, took it upon himself to study the Tube map and had great fun the whole week, steering us in the right direction. He never got it wrong.
We presented ourselves at the Planetarium, as instructed, admitting that we were the Family of the Week from The Big Breakfast. We were immediately chided for not jumping to the head of the queue, given free passes, and allowed to wander where we would.
While we admired the planets and the waxworks, people gave us funny looks, as if they knew us. Eventually, one brave woman asked if we were from The Big Breakfast? She had watched us in her hotel room! We all had a giggle about her goggle. Hub and I knew she was a smart woman by the way she admired our ‘adorable boys’.
Feeling rather kef at the great day we were having, we ambled on over to Planet Hollywood, telling them we’d been sent by TBB. We were given a VIP table, told to order whatever we liked and as much of it as we wanted; and presented with gifts for the boys: Planet Hollywood caps and t-shirts and souvenirs. Some of the wad was meant to be used for food but they gave us our meal for free (we made sure to tip the waitress, however). We did spend a few quid on Tube fares and a photograph of TB and Spud with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (wax).
Safe back at our hotel, we were all asleep by six o’clock.
And so the week went on – early starts, lots of laughter, the occasional slice of burnt toast, and fun fun fun!
Some of the celebrity guests (in no particular order; just as I remember them):
Boxer Chris Eubank: had a handshake that was surely compensating hard for that lisp, and signed photographs ready in his pocket for the boys when they asked.
Actor Scott Wright: played stripper Sam on Coronation Street. I watched it back then so I was really excited to meet him. He was so sweet – the Hub asked if I could have a picture taken with him when he had finished his breakfast but he jumped up there and then to oblige. A lovely man.
Presenter Mike McClean: working on TBB, mostly outside broadcasts. A funny man but I found him rude: the morning he came in to the studio, we were all sitting on a couch and he said Hello, how are you? to the Hub, Tory Boy and Spud, shaking hands with each in turn. He blanked me. Hard to believe he is a big Man City fan like the Hub, because City fans are pretty good-natured. We have to be, the way City throw chances away.
A researcher was sent off on a train one afternoon with a team shirt, instructed to find the then City manager, Kevin Keegan, and get him to sign it. Once the shirt came back signed, they ran a quiz between the Hub and MM to test their MCFC knowledge. The winner got the shirt; the loser had to be photographed wearing a United shirt. The Hub would never in his life wear a United shirt but he wanted that prize and they hadn’t said on what part of the body it had to be worn so we hatched a plan that if he lost – as if! – I would take a photograph of him sitting on the toilet with the shirt covering his, um, well you get the idea.
The Hub won the quiz, which included a karaoke version of Blue Moon, City’s anthem. MM flat refused to wear that shirt, on pain of losing his job. Once a City fan, always a City fan, even rude ones.
The Hub was also given three tickets for him and the boys to see City play at home to Crystal Palace (footy fans, that should date this week for you).
Photo credit: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxpn49j6MS1r7zo0ho1_500.jpg
So Solid Crew: a garage band, whatever that is. They had some Top Ten hits. There were about twenty in the band but only three or four were on TBB. They had a reputation for being hard and edgy and they lived up to it on TBB. A member of their crew was imprisoned for murder a few years ago, if I remember correctly. They were not the sort of young people I want my boys to emulate. As they left the set, they smiled at our boys and ruffled their hair in a friendly way. Just the kind of young people I want my boys to emulate.
Any truly famous people were interviewed somewhere like the Ritz or the Clarendon, where TBB kept a replica of the famous bed. The bed at the house was filthy. I wouldn’t have let my dog sleep on it.
I’ll wrap up the story tomorrow, you’ll be relieved to hear.
Yesterday’s word was jejune: