So this happened!
As I posted yesterday, I have been waiting nearly forty years to meet the incomparable Sir Derek Jacobi - and here we are^…
What can I say? It was well worth the wait and far from being disappointed after such a monumental build-up, this National Treasure exceeded all my expectations.
*WARNING - SOME SERIOUS FANGIRLING FOLLOWS*
At the tender age of 13, when all my school friends were swooning over The Bay City Rollers etc (if you don’t know, don’t ask - seriously!) I was taken to see Derek Jacobi play Hamlet at The Old Vic - and I thought that he was the most wonderful actor that I had ever seen. The following 37 years have done little to alter that initial impression and I have been following him (sometimes, literally!) ever since.
Last night, I went to see him speak at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and he was as warm, witty and utterly charming as I expected. What I did not expect was the book-signing session in the Waterstones tent afterwards! It was a good job that I had not yet bought a copy of his new autobiography or I would have had to buy another one just for the opportunity to finally tell this man how important he and his work have been to me (well, that was the plan anyway!) However…
When I first met Benedict Cumberbatch, I just could not shut up, jabbering on like some kind of idiot (what do I mean - some kind? ;) ) but as I eventually got to the front of the line to meet Mr Jacobi yesterday, I found myself struck dumb! It’s as if I had so much that I wanted to say to him that in the end, I could say almost nothing at all! He politely ignored my goldfish impressions, thanked me for the little unintelligible gibberish that I did manage, told me that I had a lovely name and that he would be pleased to have a photo with me.
I used to be a journalist for crying out loud! I’ve met famous people before (without turning into a puddle of slush)! But this was different. This was personal x
And he was equally gracious with everyone who had come to see him - obviously loving to talk to them (many of an older demographic but just as hopeless fangirl/boys) and genuinely flattered by their praise (yes, I know he’s an actor but even so…)
He has such beautifully expressive eyes (even more so up close) and such quiet, gentle way about him that I was totally and utterly charmed (oh, you noticed?!?) as I said, to the point of speechlessness. Now I shall have to write him a letter to say all the things that I couldn’t manage in person (not that I would have been able to fit all that into a couple of minutes anyway!)
As I said yesterday; they say never meet your heroes because you’ll only be disappointed - I say it depends who your heroes are xxx