Saturday, 21 May 2016
My day at the London Film Convention
What a day. I set out at the crack of dawn this morning for the London Film Convention. I am a fairly recent convert to these events, always being slightly wary of meeting my idols in the flesh. However, after my previous experience at the Convention last September, when I met the gorgeous Amanda Barrie and Anita Harris, I was keen to give it another go.
This time I had my heart set on meeting legendary comedy actors Liz Fraser and Jacki Piper. Arriving at the Convention at 10am, I was yet again excited and nervous at the prospect of meeting familiar faces who had brought such laughter and entertainment into my life for as long as I could remember. As you know, I hold all these actors in high esteem and as usual, they didn't disappoint.
Although there was a much smaller turn out compared to the September event, it was still terrific fun. We became aware quite quickly that we had arrived well before any of the stars so passed the time browsing through some of the wonderful film memorabilia on display. Returning to the hall after a coffee and a bun, we spotted the lovely Jacki Piper and Fenella Fielding. As yet, no sign of Ms Fraser... I approached Fenella first and as usual she was a complete joy. What amazes me most is how down to earth these actors are. They all seem genuinely proud of the Carry Ons and enjoy meeting fans new and old. I met Fenella a few years back when she attended a special screening of Carry On Screaming. She was delightful then and she was again on this occasion. It was smashing to get to meet such a legend of British film comedy.
Next to Fenella was another of my comedy heroines, the lovely Jacki Piper. I hadn't met Jacki before but had heard from others that she was very friendly, warm and welcoming. And she absolutely was. She also looked fantastic. We had a great chat with both Jacki and her husband Douglas. As it turns out Douglas hails from my part of the world and they both regaled us with tales of their trips back to Ayrshire, a part of Scotland I know very well indeed! What struck me most about Jacki was how normal and down to earth she was. I felt I could happily have chatted to her all day and she instantly put me at my ease.
By now we were ready to get on our way to a local hostelry for some much needed refreshment, however sadly there was still no sign of Liz Fraser. I was a bit sad about this as I very much wanted to meet her. Liz has long been a favourite of mine, not just for her wonderful on-screen performances but also for being such a close and loyal friend to my ultimate heroine, Joan Sims. As we came up the stairs into the main foyer, who did I spot but Liz herself! Although over an hour late, it was still a thrill to see her. I then faced a quandry on whether to approach the great lady. As we left the building we spotted her going into a nearby cafe, leaving her beautiful basset hound to guard her handbag (!)
I'm not quite sure what it was, but something told me not to impinge on Liz as she sat having coffee with her dog. I didn't want to intrude although I'm sure she would have been gracious and welcoming. So I missed out on telling her how much I loved her in Double Bunk or in the Miss Marple story Nemesis. Despite this, I shall always remember my brief encounter with Liz and her lovely dog.
All in all a memorable day out! I got to meet some ladies I've admired greatly since I was a child and they didn't disappoint. I can't wait for the next film convention!
Many thanks to my friend Alison for venturing forth this morning with me and for being part of another special day.
You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook