I meet a celebrity!!!

In London, before we leave. We have not even got to Disneyland yet, and already I am meeting celebrities. Not that I am overawed by this, being one myself. I would not even mention it, except that it will probably be interesting to non-celebrity readers who would not take such an encounter in their stride, as that is not the sphere that they move in. Although I have an internationally-successful private secret diary, I have not lost touch with the non-celebrity world. I just thought that you would be interested. I certainly don’t want to be patronising to the civilians.

It is Andrei Arshavin, legendary Russian international footballer now playing for the Arsenal!!! He is in the municipal play area on the South Bank with his family, his children playing on the swings and slide with the other London kids.

He clearly has a lot to learn about being a Premiership footballer.

A small child shyly asks for his autograph, which he provides obligingly. The small child does not recognise me, as I have my sunglasses on – he will kick himself when he reads this! The afternoon draws on; the premiership legend-in-waiting gathers up his family and disappears off towards the river and a man painted silver, pretending to be a statue.

I am sometimes a bit nervous about going out in public, in case I am approached. So I am impressed with his ‘man of the people’ casualness.

Then I realise that it is easy for him. Being approached by members of the public is nothing intimidating for a man with his background. He grew up in a region dominated by gangsters, of crime and casual drunkenness, in a society made corrupt by the gushing influx of money, money, money cascading into the hands of those socially and morally ill-equipped to do anything but selfishly exploit this excess of capitalism.

Whereas I grew up in Essex.

22 thoughts on “Mouse #2.

  1. Andria says:

    But Jonny, how would the child recognise you since you preserve your annonymity so zealously? Perhaps you could post a picture of yourself so that we could recpgnise you? Who knows how many times a fan may have inadvertently passed you in the street, not knowing how to account for the unexplained frisson your passing must have caused?

    P.S. I am wearing a smashing blouse today.

  2. Lola says:

    I grew up in Essex too! Perhaps I inadvertently failed to ask you for your autograph last time we were both in Essex and I recognised you despite the false nose and moustache. If so, I humbly apologise. I would definitely have asked you for your autograph if I’d known who you are.

  3. admin says:


  4. tillylil says:

    Good job you moved to Norfolk to maintain your anonymous celebrity status and left the trappings of fame in Essex.

  5. Born in Essex and moved to Norfolk? Cue the old “and so he raised the average IQ of both counties” joke.

    Anyway, seeing as you did not actually speak to Mr Arshavin, you cannot technically be said to have “met” him, except in the sense that breaking into Carol Vorderman’s flat and masturbating into her laundry basket constitutes a formal introduction. The word you’re looking for is stalked. No wonder you had your sunglasses on. You’re still on probation for that whole Vorderman business, aren’t you?

  6. Brennig says:

    I didn’t grow up in Essex but I did live there for a number of years.

    Jonny, why is your twitter profile photo that of a hideously scarred child?

  7. Megan says:

    Ivan, that comparison sounded rather disturbingly like personal reminiscence rather than conjecture. I’m not entirely convinced that Jonny is the one on probation.

  8. AndyB says:

    On the dating site I inadvertently find myself browsing occasionally, all the good-lookers seem to come from Essex. That’s the best link I can offer, I’m afraid! Still, it’s the thought that counts.

  9. admin says:


  10. Richard says:

    I was in Essex on Monday, in the sense that I was on the M25 and M11. I think I was in a traffic jam next to Madhur Jaffrey, if Madhur Jaffrey drives a blue Fiesta that is. Does my celeb trump yours?

  11. Now then, Megan, I’d be the first to hold my hand up to that Jill Dando affair, but there’s no way you’re pinning Carol’s laundry basket on me. Sometimes, DNA evidence is on the side of the angels. “Not a big enough sample to test” they said. Well, that’s got to be Jonny, hasn’t it?

  12. Megan says:

    Fair enough Ivan, and full points for nearly drawing me into saying they can do some magical polymerase woojam thing and multiply one or two cells into billions. Having already given one such loverly opening for Jonny baiting I’m over my limit for the evening.

  13. fumier says:

    By an astonishing coincidence, I too am from Essex – indeed, a mere stone’s throw from poor Miss Goody’s two deprived children. Although I haven’t set foot there since the year before last.

  14. Oli says:

    “Whereas I grew up in Essex.”

    Where you just have plenty of loose peroxyde blondes? 😛

  15. Sam says:

    I realise that I was born into a privileged existence merely by dint of not having been born in Essex and for that I am grateful. I thought I’d been born with a silver spoon in my mouth for many years, but it turns out they did the forceps wrong.

  16. Pat says:

    ESSEX? Oh Jonny please don’t tell me you wear the white stilettos in private.

  17. Damian says:

    “Whereas I grew up in Essex.”

    Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. I was driving down the A127 two weeks ago and passed the sign for the turn-off to Billericay.

    It made me think of you.
    It made me think specifically of your post about seeing Her Majesty, The Queen driving her Landrover.

    I looked around, but there were no Landrovers near me on the A127.

  18. jonathan says:

    According to family legend my great great (great?) grandfather may or may not have been a navy man hailing from somewhere on the Essex coast who jumped ship at Cullercoats- or a farmhand from outside Bishop Stortford who ran away with the circus and eventually decamped at South Shileds. It depends which of my aunties is telling the story. What seems to be agreed is that in some small measure we are all rural cockneys on my mam’s side.

    Anyway this is not what I came here to say. I came here to commend you for using the definite article before ‘Arsenal’, which is a detail you don’t often enough see attended to nowadays. Adrian Chiles’ insistence on this usage, as well as ‘The Villa’, ‘The Albion’, and ‘The Wolves’ is the main reason why any right-thinking person should prefer Match of the Day 2 to Match of the Day 1 (hosted by Gary Lineker, formerly of ‘The Spurs’ and ‘The Leicester’.

  19. Rufus S Later says:

    How to recognise Jonny, famous Norfolk celebrity: 1) Born Essex, hence blonde. 2) Berberry cap? (see 1). 3) Smells faintly of rabbits, chickens and baby sick. 4) Wearing old yet somewhat unused running shoes, 5) carrying a snooker cue and bowls-carrier, 6) Trying to surreptitiously twitter using a pink phone, 7) Trail of old pants, 8) Unused to places with hills. It ought to be easy really.

  20. guyana gyal says:

    I don’t know anything about Essex but why do I think that it’s somewhat like that place you just described, ‘…dominated by gangsters, of crime and casual drunkenness…’

  21. guyana gyal says:

    Not that I’m saying it IS, I’m just wondering, y’know…

  22. admin says:

    Nonono, it is lovely. Don’t know how you get that impression.

    Frankly, I think Essex gets a raw deal whilst Hertfordshire gets away with it. But I am biased.

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