“Mr Sibley! Mr Sibley!” shouted Yari, “I saw you, hello, with Gino D’Acampo!” This sounded like gibberish, so I said "Hello!" back and smiled politely as one has been taught to do when confronted by excitable foreigners talking unintelligibly. “He is my favourite chef,” Yari continued, “You both go to the opening of new restaurant!”
I shook my head and explained that I hadn’t gone to any restaurant openings and that I didn’t know Signor D’Acampo. I didn’t, at the time, confess to not actually knowing who he was…
“Yes, yes!” Yari insisted, "you and Gino were there in Hello magazine!”
I gave up the struggle, laughed and shrugged and Yari, convinced that I was an idiot, went back to his pizzas.
I did, idly, flick through the current copy of Hello when I next went to a newsagent, but (not too surprisingly) didn’t find anything about Gino and/or myself.
It remained a mystery. In fact, I naturally assumed I had been mistaken for Francis Ford Coppola - as has happened!
Then, the other day, a publicist with the Walt Disney Company sent me a clipping from a recent issue of Hello magazine which featured a picture of Gino D’Acampo attending the opening of a restaurant in Hampstead and close by (but unrelated) a photo of myself at the recent press launch for the new DVD release of Peter Pan, snapped with my friend Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy in the film) and so, at last, Yari’s excitement was explained!
[Unless you've got 20/20 vision, click on the image to enlarge]
I am still amused by the fact that Kathy needed to be identified, while my celebrity status was clearly taken for granted!! In fact, it can only be a matter of time before they request an exclusive tour of my most gracious home…