A few weeks ago I saw an advert for the premier of The Chronicles of Riddick and went along after work for a look. This is what happend.
6.30pm - You know those demented fans that stand behind barriers at film premiers waving autograph books at minor celebs and snapping photos of anything that moves? I'm one of them. But just for today, and only because I want to see Vin Diesel in the flesh.
I'm standing behind some barriers next to the UGC cinema in Leicester Sq with only 2 people in front of me and quite a good view of the red carpet. Grey clouds are looming overhead threatening to drench the assembled audience and a trio of drunken Canadians are standing behind me complaining that there is no one on the street selling beer.
6.40pm -It's not long before I start to get bored and pissed off. The advert in the paper said 6.30 was the start time and the only people I've seen are a bunch of random nobodies and some girl who used to be in Eastenders who's name I cant remember.
6.45pm - 2 actors dressed as extras from the film start marching up and down the carpet. The plebs in the audience get really excited.
7pm - I'm hungry.
7.03pm - Fern Cotton from Children's telly walks past mostly unnoticed by the rest of the crowd.
7.04pm - A silver people carrier pulls up at one end of the carpet, the plebes go mental? 'cos one of the hottest action stars in Hollywood is going to turn up in a people carrier, isn't he. Morons.
7.07pm - A sliver Merc pulls up. I'm willing to bet that this car
contains someone significant. A man with grey hair gets out, the crowd doesn't recognise him but a rumour begins like a Chinese whisper that it's the films director David Twoy.
7.12pm Damn, is it only 5 minutes since I last looked at my watch?
7.18pm The Director is working his way along the far side of the barriers, people are calling out his name and trying to attract his attention.
7.20pm Vanessa from Big brother 5 turns up. The crown get very excited.
7.22pm David Twoy walks past me. The people flanking me boo as he doesn't stop to sign any autographs but does stop for some fans a few meters away.
7.35pm MTV VJ Alex Zane walks past COMPLETELY unnoticed. 2 Asian girls who I don't recognise cause a stir with as small group of girls in the far corner who are getting very excited and asking for pictures and autographs.
7.36pm Vin Diesel finally arrives. He's looking very casual in a black short-sleeved shirt and jeans. I'm quite disappointed that he's wearing the regulation celebrity dark glasses. The impression I had of Vin was that he was beyond such pretensions. I guess I was wrong. Vin immediately starts working the crowd at the farthest end of the red
carpet, signing autographs and kissing a baby (I kid you not).
7.40pm Vin has worked his way around to where I am standing. I am
immediately barged out of the way by a sudden surge of 20-year-old men desperate to touch their hero. I'm also very nearly blinded by the flashes of about 50 cameras - OK I'll admit that maybe the dark glasses were more of a necessity than a vanity, I'm willing to give Vin the benefit of the doubt.
7.41pm Vin has moved on to another section of the crown and I'm going home. I've seen Vin in the flesh and I'm not sticking around under the threat of those rain clouds to see a couple more D listers and reality TV stars. I'm quite disappointed as Vin's actually not that impressive in the flesh. I expected him to be taller and more muscular and just generally more impressive. He's quite ordinary up close. Oh well, yet another cinematic illusion shattered.
I bet The Rock would be more impressive up close.