Saturday, March 15

NEC Outdoor Show Report - Sat 15 March: Meet the Celebs

We all have our personal heroes and role models. Our own idea of Celebrity.

Having rubbed shoulders with the TV Celebs yesterday I'd swiftly spotted that the carefully managed mask often dropped once away from the gaze of the general public. Even more so as they became just one amongst many show attendees with a job to do.

I'd watched Johnny Kingdom, looking overdressed in camo gear and hat, but clearly uncomfortable outside his usual habitat and love, the wilds of Exmoor. I guessed the clothing was part pantomime, to portray his TV persona on stage later that day, but possibly part armour within which he could distance himself from the environment he now found himself in. At the time I reflected 'Poor sod' and was thinking about wandering over on a pretence of a blog interview, but really to provide him with some form of a distraction. But still feeling my way through this press gig I paused, and then saw some of the PR team had reached the same conclusion and professionally moved in.

Such is fame I guess. At heart whatever the Celeb status and however its gained, there's always a real person behind it all.

Earlier in the day I'd sadly failed to get a ticket for the Brian Blessed talk, which at past shows I'd found an inspirational way to spend an hour. If I'm as passionate at 70 years old I'd be a happy and fulfilled individual.

So the sound of his distinctive banter coming from across the room made me prick up my ears, as I sat tapping notes into my laptop and slurping my coffee. But having made his entrance like anyone entering a room of strangers, he was looking for a safety zone to settle in and establish the lie of the land. Which is how I found myself having a pleasant chat with BB about life in general, and his continuing plans to complete his cosmonaut training in preparation for a trip to the International Space Station.

Well that was after I'd explained my status was Press and not Celeb. Naturally an easy mistake to make (lol)

It was the reminder that until recently he was President of the Council for National Parks that had me reaching for an E-Petition poster. See an opportunity? Grab it! And blow me down Alan Hinkes wanders in and my chance disappeared as the two mountaineers chatted about trips and plans (my lips are sealed!)

But at least I now know why Alan was sporting that distinctive damaged to his nose.

A golden moment.

And later as Darren tried to explain the concept of Blogging, and its potential usefulness to Doug Scott to publicise his CAN Charity I was once again able to rub shoulders with the mountain men. Magically producing a laptop to demonstrate a typical high quality Blog (Oops - sorry Darren somehow it loaded up mine automatically -lol)

We have learnt a lot from the exploits of such outdoor giants. So it was strange to turn the tables in some small way, explaining new ideas.

Star struck? No not at all. Just grateful to recognise an opportunity to see the real people behind so many stories and achievements. Eer -that's me speaking about them rather than the other way around!

Deep breath. Back to business. Time for the E-Petition meeting.

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No probs on demonstrating your blog instead of mine to Doug. Mine was all photos at that point from the bloggers meet. I think I have managed to sell the idea of bloggers to some of these guys as a mutually benificial relationship. We all have charities that we support, but been trying to sell the concept to some of these manufacturers (ok Alpkit at the moment) as well.
I'm hoping the coverage between us has been good enough to justify other bloggers getting press passes of their own next year.
Hope so to Darren. We've tried to be fair and not deliberately over critical.
More a view from the public gallery I hope
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