Here is every celebrity I've ever seen. This excludes celebrities seen in locations where you might expect to see celebrities, e.g. at a football match, theatre, comedy gig, etc. My friends seem to have better luck than me - a friend once saw Rod Hull sitting on his own in a Happy Eater. If there's a better description of pathos than that then I have yet to see it.
1. Dennis Waterman, Wimbledon, c 1988.
I'd gone to Wimbledon to buy a new joystick for my ZX Spectrum, and there was Denis Waterman, in a brown leather jacket and slightly tinted glasses. Just walking down the road, like any normal person might be. I think he was doing panto at the time which might explain why he was there. We didn't exchange any words. He just walked by. But I was a bit starstruck.
2. Paul Coia, tube station (possibly Tottenham Court Road), c 1991.
I think I was on my way to Tower Records or something. And there was Paul Coia, host of many now-forgotten TV quiz shows, just standing there. I did not see Debbie Greenwood. To be honest I was not as starstruck as when I saw Denis Waterman. It felt like my celebrity spotting was on a downward trajectory.
3. Roland Rivron, some garage in Sutton, possibly Shell, c 1993.
The 'Raw Sex' star was at the night pay window, asking for a pint of milk.
4. Mmloki Chrystie, outside Baker Street tube station, 1995.
That was better. Just standing there, on a bricky early mobile phone IIRC, outside the tube station, was the bloke out of Press Gang.
5. Jesse Birdsall, some bar possibly near Wardour Street which for some inexplicable reason had a Swiss theme (in fact it might have been called St Moritz), 1996.
I'd been to see a mate's band play to a crowd of about 10, which included the bloke out of Eldorado.
6. Chris Evans, accident and emergency department, UCL Hospital (I think), c 1998.
He'd broken his arm or had somesuch similar injury. He was wearing sunglasses. It was night-time. We all knew it was him but no-one went up to him. We were all hanging around with various injuries and illnesses. "Phone call for Christopher Evans?" said the receptionist, lazily. He walked up to the desk with a 'Yes, it's me' look on his face.
7. Tony Hawks, some pub in Wimbledon, about 2001.
It had been a fairly lean time of rubbing shoulders with the great and good. But when Tony Hawks (not the skateboarding man, the other one) sat at the next table and had a pint, that made up for it.
8. Jimmy White, dreadful pub somewhere, 2002.
He returned his burnt steak as he didn't like it. He was wearing a leather jacket and looked a little bit fed up.
9. James Brown, Dublin airport, 2004.
I was minding my own business in some tacky gift shop when I bumped into the Godfather of Soul. There he was! This is probably my biggest brush with celebrity to date.
10. Kevin McCloud, struggling with a pushchair in the Glastonbury mud, 2007.
I also narrowly missed seeing Charlie Brooker and Aisleyne Horgan Wallace as I was taking a shit in the long drop as they walked past. A regret.
So, there you have it. All the celebrities I've ever seen. I think in a lot of ways I've been lucky, in others I haven't. Maybe I missed Lemmy from Motorhead by a couple of seconds here, maybe I saw Paul Coia and was fortunate to do so. Who knows?
Since writing this I've remembered other celebrity spots from my past:
11. Graham Norton, somewhere near Covent Garden, about 2002. Looked a bit pissed off. Shorter than he looks on telly.
12. Phil Tufnell, on his way home from what appeared to have been a fairly nice evening out, at about 8am, near where I used to live, about 2003.
13. Mark Lamarr, at a Beautiful South gig back in about 1993.
14. Jonathan King, prowling around in what appeared, even in those days, to be quite an eerie fashion, Reading Festival, 1994.