I went to bed last night laughing at the memory of my childhood encounter with Sue Lawley.
I saw her in a branch of Waitrose in south-west London when I was ten or so. I was in a bad mood for a reason I don’t recall and, as I passed by, I muttered audibly: “Hmph. Another Sue Lawley impersonator.”
I remember her smiling, which struck me as rather gracious given the scorn I had just poured upon her. It did not occur to me at the time (or indeed for another two decades) that she was amused by the sheer absurdity of my comment. It’s quite far-fetched to imagine that there is one Sue Lawley impersonator out there, let alone sufficent numbers to justify irritation with seeing yet another one.
(It is worth noting, however, that the market for look-alikes is staggeringly broad. I have whiled away many happy hours perusing the small ads at the back of The Stage newspaper, a terrific resource for impersonators of anyone from Posh Spice to Karl Marx.)
I was reminded of the incident by Tenuous ’08 – a blogger’s inspired competition to find people’s most tenuous connection to a celebrity. Last year’s winner was an absolute corker: “My cousin’s great grandmother was in the car crash with Sammy Davis Jr when he lost his left eye.” My Lawley story clearly wasn’t going to cut it, so I entered instead the time I was in Oddbins in Wapping, east London, to buy several crates of cava for a housewarming party. The bill was at least £100, and I remarked to the staff that it wasn’t a bad sale for them. “Not really,” the assistant said. “We just had Suzie Quattro in here. She bought so much that we had to run her card through twice.”