Friday, 19 May 2006


At a post film-preview screening party London’s West End the other evening, I spotted Anthony Daniels, aka C3PO, the gilded droid from the ‘Star Wars’ mythology. Some years ago, I interviewed Mr D, but decided that it was far too tenuous a link from which to try and launch a conversation.

What could I have said? "If I told you half the things I've heard about this Jabba the Hutt, you'd probably short circuit." No, he’d have heard that before…

And yet, I wish I’d spoken, because the majority of partygoers clearly didn’t identify him as the man who played what is - whether you’re a ‘Star Wars’ fan or not - a veritable icon of cinema. The one couple I noticed who did recognise him, waited until he had passed by and then did a not very good parody of C3PO’s jerky head and arm movements…

How very curious, I thought, to be as famous as Mr D and yet still to be able to walk through life virtually incognito. There are, of course, a lot of famous (and infamous) people who’re able to push a trolley round Tesco’s without fear of being mobbed: scientists, inventors, architects, financiers, serial killers and most writers - with notable exceptions such as Jackie Collins and Salman Rushdie.

So, for a performer, it may well feel good to have a degree of anonymity denied to ‘X Factor’ contestants or the inmates of the ‘Big Brother’ house. But, there again, maybe it sometimes feels a little lonely, as if part of your psyche had been left somewhere else - such as in a corner of George Lucas’ wardrobe department!

Now, I really do wish I’d said “Hello…”

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