It was a weekday in the big smoke but when did that ever stop a party? The sun had set and with every step closer to the Strands world famous Savoy Hotel, another glimmer of moonlight is sent shooting off my shoes freshly shined by Shoeshine UK in to the abyss of London smog, populated by obscene opportunity and the sweet smell of piss chased with a sharp shot of broken dreams. And with each step I’m a foot (size 8 1/2) closer to a private party with royalty and celebrities.Not a stranger to events at the Savoy I’m welcomed by the event organisers and shown the green room where I’m made comfortable. I begin to prepare my magic apparatus for the evening, a can of lighter fluid sitting on the table while I’m testing a James Bond-esq device that emits a substance in to the air when two heavily armed policemen walk in to the room. They are not alone. They brought a canine friend with them.
So I’m sat in the Savoy playing with things I probably shouldn’t be at the very moment sniffer dogs and armed police walk in to the room. I later found out that the reason for this was because there was a surprise appearance from royalty. They were checking the building for anything suspicious. As I start to sweat, thinking that the dog is going to pick up on the obviously alien and volatile substances I have with me and start furiously barking at me any second followed by armed police pointing their sub-machine guns at my face, they pass. Great. Dodged a bullet there. I wasn’t in the mood to explain the reason for the odd assortment of items I was carrying. I was concentrating on doing my job.
Although I played it cool and no one suspected that I was freaking out on the inside, the saving grace for my mild panic attack was that as I walk to the door of the green room so does the legendary British actress Joanna Lumley, sharing this with me “That’s a fabulous suit, darling”. We’ve been best friends ever since, even though she doesn’t return my calls.