Thursday, March 29, 2007

Celebrities - just like the rest (or worst!) of us.

I was working in an edit suite recently and overheard a well known TV personality making a call to book train tickets. They wanted to go to Glasgow first class (hey, if you've got the cash why not travel in comfort?) but booking four tickets (around the same table) so that...
...I don't have to sit next to any common people

Now, this person has a column in The Independent and presents themselves as fair-minded, liberal, person-of-the-people in their writing/TV presenting!

One celeb I've got a bit of experience of is Jeremy Paxman - In the late eighties I was working as a maintenance engineer in BBC Television News and was doing the late shift one night (essentially what was the Nine O'clock News and then Newsnight) and was on the studio floor in Studio Two, BBC Television Centre trying to fix Paxman's 'cought-cut' (a button on a long cable that the newsreader keeps to hand to momentarily mute his microphone if he has a coughing fit). Not really noticing the time and my brain having long blanked out the seemingly unending re-cueing of the theme music over the studio's monitors I didn't realise that while scrabbling about under the programme desk the Studio Manager had counted the crew down for the live transmission. As I emerged from under the desk by Paxman's legs he put a gentle yet very firm hand on my head and pushed me back under the table-top and as he finished delivering his piece to camera introducing the first report on video tape he let go and said with a broad grin "you didn't know we were on the air, did you?" - what a gentleman! Not at all like the media-types I have to deal with nowadays.

Paxman anecdote no.2

One of the guys who was an engineer on my team used to do a monthly comic strip featuring the adventures of "Paxman" - a caped crusader who always won the day with his hard-questioning of politicians(!) - The strip would get photo-copied and put up on staff noticeboards around the building (the days before the web!) - eventually the weight of 'stop abusing the noticeboards' emails meant my colleague stopped the cartoon. One day a few months later another colleague had to go and fix the vt100 terminal in Paxman's office and noticed the complete set of cartoons on his pinboard.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Real celebrities don't book their own train tickets. 'nuff said.

ben said...

perhaps that's all it takes to claim to be a 'person-of-the-people'...