September 22, 2008
Small WorldI was walking back along Charing Cross Road in London yesterday afternoon from a lazy Sunday lunch, when who should I bump into?
Only bloody Scott Ambler! Yes, that Scott Ambler, who lives in Canada.
That particular area - near Cambridge Circus - is a hotspot for such bizarre coincidences, as it happens.
A few weeks back I walked away from some potentially very lucrative work because I genuinely felt it was the right thing to do professionally and ethically. And I sat outside a pub called The Spice of Life - the Ground Zero for coincidences - and agonized over whether I'd done the right thing. I know so many people who would have advised me to just smile and take the money. Was I being too precious about my work? I looked for a sign. And at that exact moment, film director Terry Gilliam walked right by me. He would have walked away if he felt it wasn't right, I thought to myself. I don't usually pester celebrities (I mean REAL celebtrities, not just people who've dropped their trousers on live TV), but I just had to run up and shake his hand. Partly for showing up at exactly the right moment. Mostly because he's Terry ****ing Gilliam.
And a few weeks before that I'd organised a party to screen the series finale of Dr Who at a venue not far away. I invited, among others, the 6th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. Due to a monumental cock-up on my part, his tickets didn't reach him until the monday after the party. He very kindly called my mobile and left a message explaining that he wasn't really a time traveller and would therefore be unable to attend.
I was relaying this anecdote to a friend visiting from Paris on business sitting in - yes, you've guessed it, The Spice of Life recently. We left the pub to go find somewhere to eat, and who should we bump into crossing the road outside? Sylvester McCoy! Ask Dave Chaplin if you don't believe me.
Another person I invited to the finale party was the gorgeous Nicola Bryant, who played a very critical role in my teenage development.
Her guest was going to be Toby Hadoke, who writes and performs a stand-up routine called Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf. They couldn't make it in the end, due to a last minute job offer that meant Nicola had to stay home and learn her lines.
One guest who did make it was new series writer Rob Shearman. And who should I bump into one afternoon having lunch in The Spice of Life? Yep. Rob Shearman. Who was he having lunch with? Yes, again. Toby Hadoke.
And those are just the most recent examples of weird coincidences in "The Charing Cross Triangle" (technically, it's a square, but you get my drift.)
So I've gotten used to it. But seeing Scott striding up Charing Cross Road yesterday still managed to throw me. The guy was a loooooong way from home.
And I'd just been out buying books on FIT (really gotta get into that stuff now, think.) Scott's books were right there, too, on the same shelves. How close did I come to bumping into Scott Ambler with one of his books in my shopping bag? I think that would have made my head explode...
Posted 10 years, 11 months ago on September 22, 2008