Friday, May 18, 2007

The Wright Stuff

London Town

We woke early that morning to make sure that we were not late for the show, emerging from the Queensway tube stop to virtually empty streets. London doesn’t really seem to be an early morning City I thought to myself. The Whitely Centre must have been a grand dame of elegant shopping in her heyday, when people dressed up for that special treat of going into the City to shop at a fine department store. The building still maintains the charm. On the second floor we join the group already assembled and I immediately sense that something is amiss. First, I am the sole male in a sea of women and, second, they all seemed to be dressed in mod, bygone fashions.

Amol, the audience coordinator, steps up: “Mac, how are you?” he asks, instantly nicknaming me. He then goes on to explain that the guest panelist today is none other than 70s American pop idol David Cassidy. I can never in my life be accused of perfect timing.

We snack on pastries and coffee from Starbucks and wait for the show to begin. I am sat front and center, a camera devoted to me alone as Matthew Wright, host of Channel Five’s “The Wright Stuff” steps onto the set to begin that morning’s live chat show. After the opening, of course, the camera zooms right in on me for my “interview” and fifteen minutes of London fame. “How does it feel to be here with all these gorgeous women?” Wright asks. I shrug my shoulders. “If I had known all of this I would have joined the fan club years ago, “I say and the audience bursts into laughter. Oh well. At least we learned what a “ginger head” is!

When I am not appearing on morning chat shows in London I am troving the City, like everywhere else I go, looking and booking, as I call it, searching for nice restaurants and making reservations. Today, however, is busy and the first quick break we catch we head into Prêt A Manger , Leicester Square, hardly a gastronomic palace but really not a bad lunchtime spot for a quick bite. We scarf down a sandwich and soup with the noon day business crowd and are off again, eventually ending back at the hotel to dress for our booked afternoon tea at St. James.

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