How I Nearly Married A TV Star......
The brilliant and fragrant actor, Anna Friel, is back on British TV screens this week in gritty police drama, "Marcella". Many years ago, I could - and should - have married her, were it not for a catastrophic brain to mouth malfunction........
it is the Channel 4 Season Launch for Autumn 1993 and the channel has invited journalists from all over the country to watch a 20-minute "highlights" video, ask a few relevant questions and then share a plate of cold meats and quiche with a selection of celebrities from the roster
I am there to celebrate the new intake of American imported programming - new Friends, Frasier, The Wonder Years - but I am also there to gaze longingly at Anna Friel, then plying her trade as Beth Jordache in popular grimsville soap, Brookside.
After spending a fascinating 30 minutes chatting to various freelance folk about the comic genius of Bakersfield (oddly Caitlin Moran's favourite), I wander over to the buffet to see what the C4 Press Office budget has managed to pull together.
Suddenly, a voice next to me cuts through the throng. It is a beautiful, delicate, Northern voice. It is Anna Friel's voice. And it says: "Do you think I should try the pasta salad or the rice?" In that moment, my brain frantically attempts to think of something witty and super-smart; something which will make Anna fall passionately in love with me and will mean that she will never have to suffer the indignity of future relationships with Darren Day et al.
Tragically, my dry mouth says something which sounds very much like, "Wibble fibble pobble gibble". I blush. Anna's look managed to express confusion, pity and slight terror. "Um, Thanks," she says and walks away, doomed to eventually date Rhys Ifans, whilst I look at my shoes and take in the enormity of what just happened