After the fun and games of the Best of Britain show at the Excel London arena last week, I had been asked to join the Visit Kent Stand at the Kent 2020 Business Exhibition at Detling Showground midway between Sittingbourne and Maidstone. I was due at the stand at 12 noon and would be finished by 3pm. So not too bad. I stayed the night before at my sister's in Stockbury which is only about a mile or so from Detling as the crow flies. However, as the King trudges it's a bit further as you have to navigate the joys of the dual carriageway on the A249. I had left Somerset the day before basking in beautiful early spring sunshine, so I wore a fairly cool outfit for the morning down to Detling. WRONG! It was like Siberia up on the showground, no sunshine and a howling cold wind. I parked near the main pavilion and then began the "where the hell am I going to get changed" routine. There was a baby changing unit in a portakabin type thing, but it was firmly locked. Eventually I was pointed to the main office for the showground and there was a disabled toilet which proved perfect.
I had a great time wandering round the show, chatting, leafleting, being photographed and spreading the word about Visit Kent. I headed back to the stand and stood by ready to dish out more leaflets when I saw a lady helping herself to some of the free Cadbury's Mini Eggs on our stand - I turned round just as the egg she'd popped in her mouth shot out and landed with a resounding "clang" back in the metal bowl it had come from. She looked at me like an errant school child and a big embarrassed grin on her face. I laughed with her and made a Henry type comment about her fishing it out and don't just leave it there. I also did the usual kissing of the hand and asked her name. She replied "Janet" - and suddenly I recognised her. It was Janet Fielding - JANET FIELDING! Formerly of Doctor Who from 1981 to 1984 where she played Australian air hostess Tegan Jovanka opposite Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor (is my anorak showing now?) I was a big fan of both her and Sarah Sutton in those days as I was aged about 14-16 during that time and they were both drop dead gorgeous and would occasionally interrupt my sleep pattern - but enough of that. She was absolutely lovely and we had a great chat and she revealed she is working hard to get a Ramsgate Arts Festival going. I recommended a one man Henry VIIIth show - she didn't say no. She even didn't mind when I requested someone take a photo of us together - even after we had to have the photo taken three times as they lady who's camera phone we borrowed wasn't entirely sure how it worked.
The afternoon finished and I was a happy man - great company on the stall, lots of nice people to chat to and I had got to meet Janet Fielding. Great stuff. Almost as good as meeting Cherie Lunghi back in 2005 at the Rolf on Art TV programme I was on. But that's another story.
Coming soon - Henry VIIIth is back in "Henry's Horrid History" at Barrington Court on April 18th. Be there!
By the way - hope you like the picture of Janet from 1984.