Famous Fellow Passengers

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 83 total)

  • CheerUp

    Travelling back from Helsinki in March 2020, when Finland was closing down, the comedian Sarah Pascoe was on the flight sat directly in front of me. Wasn’t until much later in the year, I was wathcing a BBC programme and she was being interviewed, that she indeed had the dreaded ‘C’ word n the flight – that was a close one!

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    Anyone who flies the Heathrow to Newcastle flight with British Airways will be unable to avoid tripping over footballers. List is too long to mention but I have set next to Keiron Dyer on my way back from a match where Newcastle had lost 1-0 and I felt he and his midfielders were on a different wavelength to our strikers that day. I also sat next to Sven Goran Eriksson twice when he was England manager (never got chatting) plus Gerard Houllier sat behind me.

    Other than those, I stood next to Gordon Ramsey at baggage reclaim in LHR Terminal 1 (lot shorter than you think on the screen).

    On the trains, I recall standing next Joanna Lumley at Kings Cross (again a lot shorter than you think), saw Robin Cook just after his resignation as Foreign Secretary and Jeremy Wade of River Monsters on the train between Paddington and Bath.

    I know there’s been others but can’t recall at the moment.

    Probably the most amusing one was a work colleague who sat next to and chatted with the nanny of some very famous Hollywood star (possibly Madonna) on Concorde. It amused me that the star flew private jet but the nanny had to slum it on Concorde.

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    Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, – I didn’t speak to her but a lovely lady from what I could make out, talking with crew and passengers and even happy to swap seats. (CE)
    Craig David – Happily taking pictures with fans and crew (CW)
    Lando Norris (T5)
    Hugh Grant (T5)
    Piers Morgan (Chelsea Lounge JFK)

    Arsene Wenger (Four Seasons)
    Michelle Keegan (Corinthia)

    Donald Trump – In New York many years ago well before the start of his political career. Lovely hospitable guy who came over to our table briefly to check if we were enjoying our meals as he owned the place.

    Nigel Farage – In London outside a pub, just after the 2023 Conservative Party conference -lots of young people posing for selfies with the guy.

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    Showing my age here, but in 1983 I flew to Moscow, and sat next to Arthur Scargill, then leader of the (very militant, very left wing) National Union of Mineworkers. We joked he was going off to the Kremlin to get instructions. As soon after his return the NUM launched a bitter, destructive and ultimately disastrous strike, it might not have been far from the truth.

    Even earlier, in the early 1970s, I travelled by train from London to Norwich to watch Norwich play QPR in the then First Division. QPR were a side studded with stars, challenging for the title – and the team were on the train with us. They had a carriage to themselves, but there were no guards on it and I just wandered in. Amazing as it may seem given modern footballers’ attitudes, they were smoking, drinking and playing cards – and quite happy to chat to a star-struck fan!

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    Sir Bob Geldof was in 1A whilst I was in 1D on a flight back from Madrid. He looked very scruffy.

    I was behind ex-Brighton manager Gus Poyet in the passport control queue at T5 – we must have been on the same flight from Athens as he was manager of AEK at the time. ( I am a Brighton supporter )

    My niece was exciting to be sitting in the row ahead of two of the Manic Street Preachers on a flight to Prague

    When the Icelandic volcano erupted I was stranded in Madrid. Finally managed to get a train to the French border four days later. In the seat opposite was comedian Arthur Smith, who got off at every stop for a cigarette break.

    Finally, snooker player Doug Mountjoy was once at the next urinal……..

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    I saw Brian May with his new ‘Eastenders’ bride in the BA lounge at LHR, I sat next to Elliot Gould on Virgin flight from US to LHR & also passed in the aisle a nervous looking Martin McGuiness

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    Back in the late 1990s, my only fellow business class traveller on a flight from Ljubljana to London was the amazing Catherine, Dutchess of Kent (the one who used to present the trophies at Wiimbledon).

    She had been visiting to attend the funeral of a minor European royal and was bowled over by the beauty of Slovenia, where I was living at the time. We chatted most of the way back and she was absolutely delightful. Mainly about Slovenia and tennis and a bit about Kent.

    Also had the privilege of sharing a hotel lounge in Sofia, and a fascinating talk with Mikael Gorbachev in around 2010. He was receiving a State award. We talked about the changes in central and Eastern Europe for about an hour.

    Last month, at a theatre in London, I enjoyed 5 minutes with the incredible Joanna Lumley during the interval. My heart is still beating slightly faster than it should!

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    Bruce Jenner LAX-MIA. He was so nice, a real doll. Charming, interested in my life & asking questions about me. I was utterly captivated by his charisma.

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    My partner and I were not “High Rollers” in any way but were seated in row 2 behind Pierce Brosnan who was alone on Concorde.
    About to land it was clear he was not minded to raise his seat back, and on Concord our evacuation space was limited.
    Meanwhile the BA stewardesses clearly would not repremand him so I shoved the seat back up!
    On leaving the aircraft he flashed me a withering look and marched off with his tennis racket.
    I advised the staff to do their job regardless of the stars in their eyes.

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    Had the dubious pleasure of The Hoff across the aisle on a flight from Chicago to Manchester a few years back. It was a red eye , but boy did he like getting attention, pacing around and calling the crew over frequently making it almost impossible for anyone to get some sleep. Didn’t grow his fan base on that flight!

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    Around 1992, Delta Air Lines business class ATL-SNN, I think an L1011! 2-2-2. Sitting in the lounge before departure, chatting on the phone (we actually used courtesy phones in the lounges back then, before ubiquitous cheap mobile telephony!) and a fellow walked behind me to pick up another phone to make a call – I said “Hold on a moment dear” to my wife on the phone, and turned to the fellow, who looked familiar – I said “Pardon me, but aren’t you Colm Meaney?”. He replied “yes”, and I thanked him and excused myself and turned back to my phone call, saying “Chief Engineer O’Brien just walked past me” (yes, yes, I know, crass of us, knowing a well-regarded stage actor for a TV sci-fi role; well, we were young and geeky). She went, I believe the correct term is, “ape-sh*t” screaming over the phone “Really?! Get his autograph!”. Which I apologetically did for her.
    By chance we were seated side-by-side on the flight (he and his wife and their charming, precocious young daughter had connected through Atlanta on their way home to Ireland from I think Los Angeles); charming, 100% down to Earth chap, didn’t draw the slightest attention to himself; we chatted mostly not about acting.

    Years earlier I had met “Bob” from Sesame Street in a city somewhere.
    And then there was Hillary Clinton, checking in to a hotel in San Francisco .. I addressed how I appreciated her attempts to improve public healthcare.. then noticed that she was 1. a bit younger than I’d expected; 2. completely alone; and 3. a celebrity impersonator arriving for the same computer industry tradeshadow for which I was there :facepalm. She was pleasantly amused.

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    I seem to have been very lucky with famous passengers I have actually been seated next to:

    Claudia Schiffer (Club Europe BA DUS – LHR).

    I was in the window seat and she was in the aisle (obviously with the middle seat free).

    Her son was in the aisle seat opposite her and I asked her if she wanted the swop with me.

    We were speaking German and she replied with the equivalent of “for heavens sake, no” (with a big smile on her face – was a lovely woman)

    I remember her disappearing to the bathroom about 20 minutes before landing to don very large sunglasses and a hat in an attempt to “blend in” on arrival (not sure it worked).

    Cate Blanchett (LAX – JFK on QF in Business – was in the days when QF decanted it’s OZ – LAX passengers into a single aircraft without F class for the LAX – JFK sector, in a 2-2-2 configuration).

    Also a lovely person but I left her alone going through a huge script – hard copy – before we had a bit of chat before landing in JFK.

    Nathalie Imbruglia (BA BKK – SYD in Business).

    Upper Deck on 747 with the “yin / yang” seats and neither of us seemed inclined to raise the screen (thought she might have!) and we had a lovely chat, including about the women’s health charity which she did a lot of work with in Thailand.

    Mind you, to balance the above out, I was once at the next urinal to Bill Clinton at a hotel in Connecticut…

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    Very funny episode on a now defunct Air Estonia flight from LHR to Tallin. We waited a little and a large group of mostly men boarded and sat around the emergency exits in economy. I was with 3 friends and we stuck into the free sprits in large bottles and very little tonic. During the flight I got talking to one of the men, he said they were all in the Government and were just on the way back from a pre EU meeting in Dublin. He pointed out the PM and I said I would love to met him. On disembarking the Foreign Sec introduced me to the PM and we talked as we walked to the airport, I was a little drunk and didn’t notice much. Once inside he shook my hand and wished me a pleasant stay in his country. I then looked round to find my friends who were in a long cue for immigration. I had walked through the diplomatic channel and no one thought to dared to stop me.

    Sadly my brother flew out Kenneth Williams and his mother on a Tri Star to Tenerife, all was going well and he gave him far to much G&T’s and Williams performed his hole act on the flight. The flight was diverted due to fog and the rest is sad history.

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    Many moons ago not long after Virgin Atlantic had launched I flew upper class to LAX.I was just getting comfy in my seat when a lady asked if I would swap seats with her friend who had the single seat right in the nose of the 747.Of course I obliged.That lady was Dame Arlene Phillips the choreographer and her friend was Sir Ian McKellern the actor.

    On deplaning in LAX it appeared David Hasselhof and the cast of Baywatch had been enjoying the upper deck of the 747.

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    Kate Bush a few months ago on a flight from LHR to Cairo. She was just lovely, friendly to all flight attendants, not as shy as I thought she might be and absolutely angelic. By the way this was my second brush with Kate. Years ago I also saw her at LHR and she was also going to Cairo, however I was going to another destination then.

    Claudia Cardinale in the 1990’s on a flight from Rome to Paris. Beautiful, classy and very friendly.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 83 total)
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