Tuesday, 15 May 2007


Yari was desperately excited! It was a few weeks ago: we had gone to our local Italian restaurant, Amici, and were energetically greeted from the above the pots and pans in the kitchen by Yari, the pizza chef.

“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…


Phil said...

That's the first time I've ever seen inside Hello magazine. What a terrific publication.

I note that Fay Ripley also has the alternative identity of James Mason. I also note that Princess Anne meets Lorraine Chase (I would have put it the other way round).

I also note the picture of Donald McDonald, who must be the Scots equivalent of Robert Robinson (or Magnus Magnusson).

Brian Sibley said...

PHIL - There are PAGES of this stuff as well as extensive profiles in which the celebrity is photographed (in different outfits) in every single room (bar one) of their Thames-side mansion.

Actually, reading about any event in HELLO is almost like being there - but without having to cope with holding a glass of champagne and a plate of canapes and pose for a HELLO photographer at the same time!

Boll Weavil said...

However, you are now Brian Sibley, as seen in Hello ! You have arrived.
(By the way my word verification seems to describe the magazine quite well- 'misyap'