Famous people

It’s time for a non-political thread for those who want to talk about something different. Mind you, there are a couple of political threads still running so feel free to continue the debate.

For this thread I ask: “Have you met any famous people?”

I’ve met a few.

In 1988 I was invited to the Adelaide Lord Mayor’s cocktail party in honour of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. I was an acquaintance of the Lord Mayor, Steve Condous, hence the invite.

The invitation came via a letter from the then Premier, John Bannon. The letter contained strict instructions on how guests were to address the royal couple if placed in the ‘awkward’ situation of a personal introduction. My wife at the time spent the afternoon practicing her greeting in front of the mirror; repeatedly curtseying to the accompanying “yes your Royal Highness”, which she practiced a dozen times at least.

She had it down pat.

At the party Charles himself thrust his hand forward to the ex and said “Hello, pleased to meet you”. Here practice was to no avail for her was response was “G’day. Pleased to meet you too”. 😳

She turned to me later and said he had the most sloppy of handshakes. I wondered if he was just being a gentleman and shaking the hand of a lady gracefully, or whether he was a wimp. A few years later I sat next to a Texan on a flight to Alice Springs who started bragging to me in his deep Texan accent that he’d met Prince Charles when he toured the USA and that he shook his hand. “What was the handshake like?”, I asked. “Nice and firm, like they should be” he responded. Well that answered my old question.

Anyway, back to the party . . .

Another guest took a liking to me, probably because I was the only other person there demonstrably interested in nothing much else but the free drinks. His name was David Hookes (Hookesy). Hookesy was later dragged away to meet the royal couple, no doubt to be introduced to them as he was the South Australian cricket captain. The royal tour, after all, had created some interest in the cricket circles as the little Ashes urn accompanied them to Australia for public viewing.

After the brief meeting Hookesy came back to me and said: “Wow, is she stupid” (referring to Lady Di). “She thought the ashes in the urn were the remains of the English cricket team that lost the first ever Test Match to Australia. The stupid b**** thought they were put to death for losing and their ashes were put in the urn!” Hookesy certainly spoke and drank as adventurous as he played his cricket.

Australian cricket will always miss Hookesy. Not so Lady Di, I’d imagine.

About 16 months ago, incidentally, I drove over the exact spot in Paris where she was killed in 1997.

Another famous person I met was Imran Khan, also a cricketer, now a politician. I spent an evening with both he and another Pakistani cricketer, Zaheer Abbas. Zaheer was the consummate gentleman. Imran, only 21 at the time, was a big-headed upstart who loved nothing better than to tell everyone how much he loved himself.

Around that time of my life I looked a bit like Imran and I was often mistaken for him. A few months ago I was telling a young Pakistani check-out operator how I used to be mistaken for Imran when I was in my early twenties, but it would happen these days as I’ve grown old an ugly.

“NO”, she loudly objected.

I was starting to like the girl.

“He’s grown old and ugly too”.


Deutsch: Korso nach der Hochzeit von Andrew Mo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

47 comments on “Famous people

  1. Hey Miglo. I met the Royal couple in Renmark in 1988. They drove thru the town as if they were in a Grand Prix race. I found Princess Di a lovely girl but on meeting Charles was like meeting a dead fish. He had no interest in what the Mayor was saying and seemed quite bored. My other famous person was the great man himself (sorry not u K> Rudd) Gough Whitlam. I sat with my husband Don and Gough in the garden at the A.B.C. in Adelaide with a plate of sandwiches and a cup of tea. This will stay with me forever. I went to Margarets book launch in the Barossa Valley and met with her and Susan Mitchell. I could go on but do not want to sound big headed, but my latest and possibly second best meet was when I shared a cup of tea with JG at a Party get together here in Brisbane last year.

  2. I met English comedian Dick Emery (“Oh, you are awful, but I like you!”) after producing a cookbook featuring his characters. We were prepping him for publicity photographs when I picked a piece of lint off his coat lapel. He went berserk! I think he was miffed that I had written short intro pieces to the recipes, making up dialogue in the style of his characters. The one above was used by Mandy. I’ve met only a few people in the entertainment industry who don’t have an ego problem.

    Sammy Davis Jnr was an exception. I interviewed him at Sydney Airport the day after he and his minders got pulled up for carrying handguns in an Hawaiian hotel. He had incredible presence. When he walked into the interview lounge the place lit up like a lightning bolt had hit the room. Electrifying!

    Sammy sat opposite me, holding a can of Fosters. “They gave me this on the ‘plane. It’s shit. Does anyone want to finish it?” I took a sip from the can. It was warm. No wonder he thought it was shit. I should have kept the damn can. What a memento!

    We spoke about handguns, gangsters and violence in the USA. I was about to ask him about the time Frank Sinatra saved Sammy from his cocaine addiction when his minders terminated the interview.

  3. I have worked in the Arts, and been privileged to have moved in those circles with music and arts royalty aside from working with dad on political & social campaigns since I was a small boy. I can honestly say meeting Prime Minister Whitlam on the steps of Rockdale Town hall with dad, a respected trade unionist when Hawkey rubbed my head and said ” Gday young fella”

    I’m not a name dropper, I wont but a lovely private conversation with Brett Whitley in his gallery when I just wandered in was also a highlight.

  4. Yes, Miglo, I too thought Prime Minister Julia Gillard was the most approachable of all the famous or powerful people I have ever encountered.

    I met her recently at one of those Community Cabinets, an innovation of hers, where so many Australians are now getting a real chance to meet the people running their country face to face. I was tickled pink at the chance to talk at length Nicola Roxon, Tanya Plibersek and Kate Ellis, just them and me! All were really happy to hear how popular the PM is out here with many of us, and told me that she is really sensational work with! I eventually got the chance to meet PM herself. She was busy signing autographs with one hand, but hugged me around the shoulders with her free arm. Imagine being hugged by the PM herself! I found myself willingly hugging her back! What’s all this nonsense about her being cold and wooden? She is very warm and happy to chat as I found while she multi-tasked, talking to me while signing scores of autographs and holding babies.

    I’ll treasure this picture of myself with her forever.

  5. Wracking my brain, but cannot recall any people of note. There is one, I had much time for, especially when I got to know him better, that was Jack Munday.

  6. One from the distant past was Cardinal Gilroy. He was a gentle and caring man. Much different from our present Cardinal.

  7. Was racking my brains wrt someone famous i had met and remembered I met Gough & Margaret Whitlam at a restaurant on Norwood Parade, many years ago. They were both gracious and extremely pleasant to the hordes of people who spoke to them.

    I also met Ann Louise Lambert who played Lucrezia Borgia in the 1981 BBC series the Borgias. And of course Miranda in Picnic at Hanging Rock Also a very unaffected, gracious and very beautiful young woman at the time I met her.


  8. I’ve run into a few “famous” people. I was hugely surprised to see Roy & H.G. on TV in the 1980’s and realised “HG” was one of the surfing crew I used to “hit the coast” with in my uni days at Flinders. 😎

    While working as a ranger, I got to drive Lord Snowden (previously married to Princess Margaret) around a park while he photographed the local wildlife (mainly forester kangaroos). Our vehicle was a short wheelbase Toyota, and the Lord had an “offsider” who carried different camera bodies and lenses, which he supplied on demand to the lord from his undoubtedly uncomfortable position in the back. Inevitably, we approached a closed gate, so I pulled up – the Lord seemingly thinking nothing of it, jumped out and opened the gate, closing it after we passed through. The “lackey” 🙂 was not impressed -“do you know who he is ?” he hissed at me while his boss was outside. “Yes,” I replied, “but inobody expects a driver to open and close gates while carrying a passenger, in Australia, at least ”

  9. I’ve told Frank Sartor to get fucked and Eric Rosendale he was Carrs slimy branch stacking ass jockey after he involved an N40 and told me to my face in a Kogarah branch meeting that a branch preselection is not the best opinion for the electorate and installed Cherie Burton. I guess they are infamous not famous. Barry Crocker is a nice bloke and never get caught drinking with Doug Walters and Lenny Pascoe.

  10. I went to the same school as Angus Young, and played guitar with him a couple of times, long before ACDC, he was never that good, his brother george was much better.
    I also met a few famous people when I worked at channel 7, Bill Collins was a decent man, Garry McDonald (Norman Gunston) was an egotistical knob, Bellinda
    Green was pretty/very stuck up, Roger Climpson was a real gentleman and the cast of Doctors downunder were all pretty decent, to name but a few.Cheers 😀

  11. … on TV in the 1980′s …

    1980′s For the life of me I can’t understand why an obviously intelligent contributor uses an apostrophe seemingly because the symbol ends in ‘s’. The 1990s doesn’t require an apostrophe unless it’s used as a possessive such as the 1990’s era.or whatever

    What’s next hi’s, her’s u’s i’s. a’s or perhaps MSM’s.

    I do note that all the MSM, including Rupert’s MSM, doesn’t make that cardinal sin of not knowing how to handle/use the apostrophe.

    Put simply. Use an apostrophe to indicate either a ‘contraction’ or a ‘possessive’ is in play. Certainly it’s never necessary with a ‘plural’ or should I say in a smart arse way with ‘plural’s’. Shakes head.

  12. Crikey’…… feel’n’ better’ now’ …. umm,’ ….Pedant’s ,’ gots’ ta get’s s’hit like’ that outta ya system, ay …….. P.S.’s ..love your works’…. PPS’ss t’aint an english gramma blog, ay….. seems to be more aboot ideas and info…. 🙄
    ….. and just on the by and by, whom have you met that…is…. famous, ..sorry for being perdantik, oh wot eva 😀

  13. Ah, the apostrophe S
    I confess….
    I don’t’s k’nows where to puts’ her
    ..and might I say..
    in a somewhat Skeptical way 😉
    …. and I don’t want to sound obsessive
    but your but a pohm away from being..
    I thinks’…
    apostrophe S possessive.

  14. Here is another meeting with Gough (always a hero of mine) story. In 1987, I was escorting a group of high school students on a language/cultural trip to France. A parent of one of the students had connections and arranged for us to visit an apartment in Paris – don’t know if it was his home or not. Here Gough welcomed us warmly, offered refreshments, briefly addressed us and was most affable. I was, of course, most excited; the students, being teenagers, not so much.

  15. @PEDANT
    buggered if I know why I put an apostrophe on “the 1980’s”. 😳 Being somewhat of a “spelling nazi” myself, I find such misplacements entirely cringeworthy.
    In my defence, (OT, and possibly to the troll Hall’s satisfaction 😈 ) I cite my recent stroke as justification for such a glaring error, and hereby undertake to earnestly strive to achieve the neural reprogramming required to prevent further errors of this nature in commenting. 😆

  16. Still pterosaur spelling and grammar Nazis on the web are a pain and don’t add anything to a debate or conversation unless it’s one on grammar and spelling, for which there are plenty online.

    They are also selective in that if they were honest about correcting grammar and spelling online they would do so for all and not just selected blogs and forums, usually ones they have an angst or opposition against. This would mean all the online spelling and grammar Nazis in the world would be spending their entire waking lives correcting sites, but who am I to stand in the way of someone wanting to better the online world.

  17. I’m attempting to find ways of telling some of the stories of famous or infamous people I’ve met without making it sound like I’m name dropping.

    I’ll start with an infamous person I’ve met twice, John Winston Howard.

    I met him once on a frigate for the Australia Day Bicentenary when he was opposition leader and the second time at an official function when he was PM.

    I can tell you that the Howard in 1988 was a very different person to the one I met as PM some 10+ years later. The 1988 Howard was an umming stuttering speaker who came across as shifty and a typical say anything pollie whilst lying through his teeth. The latter one was more polished and perspicuous but no less shifty and untrustworthy in manner.

    I voted for the Coalition in 1996 and it was that second meeting with Howard that had me looking more closely at the shortcomings of the man as leader and no longer voting for the Liberals. Incidently having voted for Kennett in 1992 and then moving to NSW before Kennett’s second term, knowing I would not have voted for Kennett in ’96 if I had remained in Victoria, I should have learnt from the Kennett experience when voting for Howard that first time.

  18. Three tall blokes spring to mind, the Duke of Edinburgh and Garry McDonald and my mentor who shall remain anonymous. All are 6ft 2 or more and all famous in their own right.

    Met the Duke in Bulolo during a short visit in to PNG in 1956. I was seven years old and my sister was in tears because our little dog had been run over that morning. The Duke towered over us and told my sister how sorry he was…

    Garry McDonald was much taller than expected when we met backstage in Toowoomba mid eighties before asking my my gal and I to watch from the wings. Bloody awesome!

    My mentor is a wealthy philanthropist and two things I most value learned from him:
    1. It’s no use sawing sawdust
    2. The more people involved in decision making the less likelihood of a reasonable outcome.

  19. Interested to know why there’s a full-stop after your ‘nym.

    Well spotted, Cuppa. Posting at a blog under several names is a pretty low act.

    Sorry if you’ve got me wrong, Scaper. I wasn’t implying anything about sock-puppeting or whatever. I was just curious on a technical/punctuation note, as to why the commenter places a full-stop at the end of their ‘nym.

  20. The most famous person I ever met was one of Australia’s better known mass murderers. Can’t say who. I’m pretty sure he only embarked on this line of endeavour some time after our acquaintance ceased. I have to say I liked him. But I’m much better at picking psychopaths now.

  21. 1. “It’s no use sawing sawdust”………Damned if he didn’t keep tryin’ though…had to give it away after he learnt it was the jaggedy edge you are supposed to use!
    Another fav’ saying of his : “You cain’t polish a turd”….”Tried for months!”
    “Say!…can youse lend me a dime?”

  22. Met Douglas Mawson as a tacker….also met Hans Heysen in the early sixties….Niether of them remembered me!

  23. “Jaycee, who was the “tacker”? You or Mawson?”
    Dougie, of course…grew up to be the greatest carpet layer/tacker in the southern hemiphere!

  24. Mobius…I hope Treason sees that vid…he’s been going about it the wrong way!…..He’s been tryin’ : “Lick n’ polish” with one of Newman’s!

  25. Migs, what a name to be able to drop. I bow to your superior dropped name. I met Mark Bickley when I went into an AFL store to buy my kids some Power stuff.

    My daughter happened upon Wangers in Myers or somewhere, bailed him up and asked for his autograph. He very graciously signed the piece of paper she proffered., chatted briefly to her and continued on his way.

    ME, I have to say that from the moment I first laid eyes on the Rodent, I knew he was an untrustworthy lying toerag. And I must say he has never disappointed me; he was born an untrustworthy lying toerag and has never deviated from that path.

  26. Min
    FEBRUARY 17, 2013 @ 11:04 AM
    I once dated Beeb Birtles..for you youngies (are there any here ), of Zoot fame and later of Little River Band fame..

    Wow that’s cool. Actually Rick Springfield is in Dave Growls “Sound City” new movie and still looks amazing, he also did a guest spot in Californication…. My ex wife dated Micheal Hutchence for 6 months and until I recently let it go, I purchased and owned the console from the INXS studio “Rhinocerous” off Kirk Pengilly. Recorded lots of musicians but that would be telling 🙄

    One of my faves was usually reserved for record executives, “I can dip the turd in chocolate and your welcome to take a bite, but its still a chocolate covered turd”.

  27. I’ve met Allan Border…twice!

    First time was in Sussex when he was playing a warm-up match against the county side on an Ashes tour…that was the days when our cricket team actually did more than play backyard cricket and flog vitamins.

    I also met him again a few years later. We played for the same local club and I happened to be in the club house on one of his rare turnouts for 1st grade. the really funny thing was that he saw standing right next to Matt Hayden during the break…you couldn’t imagine a bigger contrast in sizes.

    I’ve also bowled to Matt Hayden in the nets….it wasn’t pretty.

  28. He took pity on me and didn’t cart me out of the ground….mostly I think because he didn’t want to have to wait for me to get back and continue. My slow left arm nude deliveries were very tempting (to clarify that’s not me bowling “tackle out”…that nude as in “nothing on it”).

  29. My cricket balls have nothing on them after a couple of overs. The leather had been stripped clean after landing in all those trees. 😦

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