admin   August 2nd, 2018   No Comments

The London and film comic con is one of the few events that I truly look forward to in the year. Although it is always hot, packed and stressful at times, the joy I get from meeting my idols far outreaches any anxiety and stress.

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my lifelong heroes Jurassic Park actor (amongst many other TV/Film credits) Sam Neill was announced and then cancelled a few days later much to my and many others devastation. At every opportunity I had let SM know how badly I wanted him back for another year. Two years later it actually happened. He was announced a week before the comic con itself in fact. The diamond pass for him seemed to be a lot cheaper this time round but still a fair old price. Sam is too important to risk the VT system and not get to meet him so I purchased a diamond pass which give those guarantees.

 

As always with me my anxiety kicks in a week or so before the event so the nerves were building in the days leading up to the con. To make matters worse my usual easy train route which is a direct train to the London Olympia didn’t happen because of a 2 day strike so it meant me travelling into London and a journey on the tube and bus giving me even more stress before I had even got there.

I eventually arrived at just after 8.10am. I had my entry ticket scanned, collected my Sam Neill Diamond pass and got into the queue. The last couple of years the queue lines for entering the main hall have been very good making it easy and quick to get in when the doors open at 9am. In recent years you would have been queueing around the outside the Olympia in various weathers.

 

I managed to enter the main hall within about 10 minutes of opening and went to find the Photo area for Sam’s photoshoot which was originally at 9.30am to discover that it had been rescheduled for 1pm because Sam would not be arriving for a couple of hours. Although this left me more anxious as I had geared myself up to meet him and then had to wait for several hours until it’s rescheduled time this meant I was able to go straight to Photo area G for my photo shoot with Iwan Rheon (Ramsey Bolton in Game of Thrones). A photo clash was averted. Iwan was lovely, very slim, polite and good looking, shook my hand said ‘nice to meet you’. The photo shoots are very quick business. Guests usually have a lot of fans to see and an allocated time slot for the shoot, so it’s a quick hello, photographer takes photo and then move onto the next person. I would have loved to have had an autograph too but I couldn’t stretch to the diamond pass this year so I decided to ty and catch him another time.

Sam actually didn’t arrive until after 10.30am but I did eventually soon after his arrival manage to get myself in the diamond pass queue. I had a few things in my head ready to tell him and Jurassic Park poster for him to sign. I actually had the most amazing moment with Sam. I remembered to say everything I had planned to say to him about how long I had been a fan and how much I loved his work. I thanked him for coming and said I never thought he would do such an event, how I had waited nearly 25 to meet him so it really made my year. He said Thank you so much your very kind. He asked if the poster was for me and when I said yes he wrote on it ‘Sarah, thank you so much! Sam Neill’. I was so lucky that a mate of mine was also in the queue several rows behind me took a photo of Sam chatting to me which is unbelievably precious to me. He looks as engaging and lovely as he was.

 

I also had 4 members of the Blackadder cast on my list of those I really wanted meet and sign my Blackadder series 1-5 DVD (Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson and Helen Atkinson Wood). Miranda and Tony both had diamond passes however I wasn’t able to purchase them so I managed to get a VT ticket for them but both were high numbers so I wasn’t sure I would get the opportunity to meet them. Luckily Miranda’s queue seemed to go quickly so I got to see her early afternoon. It was a very brief interaction. She smiled but she didn’t try to engage with me atall. I was a little gutted as I had wanted to ask her a couple of Blackadder related questions but it didn’t feel right. She looked like she didn’t really want to be there. L My main disappointment of the day! This was my first comic con guest that didn’t meet my expectations.

Tom McInnerny and Helen Atkinson Wood on the other hand were a totally different experience. Both very friendly and engaging. Happy to have selfies etc. I had already met Tim at the London con in 2015 and had his auto but I managed to grab him for a few moments before lunch to say hello. It was my first time meeting Helen so I didn’t know what to expect. She was really nice and chatty. Talked abit about her Blackadder scenes and her filming experiences.

The photo shoot with the Blackadder cast was a quick affair. I put myself in between them all. Tim said ‘hello’ in a funny voice and everyone except Miranda laughed including me. As you can see from the photo I was really really laughing. Lol I didn’t like the photo atall but when you have a second to pose and then your moved along so quickly you don’t have time to really think.

I spent a little time mooching around the stalls on the grounds floor before finding my mate J. The floors were filling up with people and it was getting really hot although I am informed that it was hotter the day before we were lucky that the rain had started on Friday afternoon so it clearly had cooled down the venue abit.

Sam’s photo shoot was busy and packed with different queues of fans with different passes/batch numbers. As a diamond pass holder I was in the front line. Getting steadily more nervous and trying to talk myself into plucking up the courage to ask Sam for a hug for our photo together I got closer and closer till it was my turn. Sadly I bottled it. I was so worried of rejection (as has happened before) I decided to just put my arm around him. I deeply regret that now. Sam was lovely as always and seemed to recognise me from the auto he said ‘Hi again’ we stood together, the photographer said 3.2.1 the photo is taken Sam said ‘thank you’ as did I and then your shuffled along so the next person can have their photo. The photo came out okay but I sorely wished I had asked him for a hug. NEXT TIME!!!

 

Tony Robinson was the last on my list to meet but he didn’t arrive until much later in the day and went straight to do a photo shoot. I didn’t have diamond pass so got a Virtual ticket. Unfortunately my number was high 304 and by 3pm they were still on the 0-100 VT’s. I had a banging headache by then and was really wanting to go home so sadly I didn’t manage to Tony’s auto on my DVD.

I found my mate J again and just before I was due to leave an announcement came over the loud speaker that Dr Who actor David Tennant was to attend the following day. There was a massive cheer around the venue. The website crashed (not surprise there) as fans were desperately trying to buy diamond passes and photo shoots including J who luckily managed to get one.

By then I was exhausted. I had been up since 5am that morning so left J heading for the sale desk and made my way home. I never really enjoy these experiences properly until I am home and can relax and look back at the day/s. The whole process is so stressful for me but I will always push myself to go and I never regret it!

 

 

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