Sunday, 20 July 2008


Reflecting on that recent birthday...

One of the anxieties about getting older is an increasingly tendency to suffer from 'Seyler's Disease': a condition which occurs when you are so old that no one in the business in which you notionally work - for me, writing and broadcasting - any longer knows who you are.

In my case it's so bad that I frequently dream that I am, in fact, dead but that no one's got around to burying me yet!

I've named this curious state of affairs (or stage of life) after ATHENE SEYLER, CBE, veteran actress of numerous plays, films and TV appearances and sometime President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

It is said that Miss Seyler (right) once arrived at the BBC for an interview and was collected from reception by a young secretary who was clearly unaware of the extent of the actress' career.

"So, Miss Seyler," she said, making conversation in the lift, "what else have you done?"

Athene Seyler looked at the child and replied in a vaguely puzzled tone: "Do you mean this morning?"


Boll Weavil said...

This reminds me of the conversations I first had with Brian Sibley (who is most well-known for loads of stuff). Typically, knowing he was interested in a subject e.g. Disney, I would ask him whether he ever used to watch the Bank Holiday specials that were on. There was then a pause as he worked out out how to tell me that he'd scripted them.... I wonder whatever happened to that guy.He was quite well known at one time.He'd done loads of things.I think he did that thing, on second thoughts, that was someone else.Anyway, I knew him and he was dead famous, ages ago anyway.And he scores 18% on the Star Meter on IMDb so he's dead well known.

Brian Sibley said...

I think I know the fellow you mean... If I ever run into him, I'll ask him what he's doing these days... ;-)

Brian Sibley said...

Actually, I just checked the IMDb Star Meter (a device I'd never heard of before) and found that the rating for the chap you're talking about isn't 18%, it's DOWN 18% since last week!! Probably tells you all you need to know!

Phil said...

Only a sufferer of Seyler's disease would check their own star rating on IMDB!

Seyler's complaint sounds related to Ricardo Montalban's five stages of the actor. Have you heard of this? It goes:

Who is Ricardo Montalban?
Get me Ricardo Montalban.
Get me a Ricardo Montalbantype.
Get me a young Ricardo Montalban.
Who is Ricardo Montalban?

Brian Sibley said...

But who WAS Ricardo Montalban? ;-)