Mark Kermode live as a birthday surprise

Hey peeps, I hope you are all doing well.

I am going to rewind to last week- I had a very busy week at work including a very important meeting on Friday morning (also my birthday, but that was not in the forefront of my mind!)- I had arranged to go to The Waffle House after work with some friends (if only they did a loyalty card) and then Andy sent me a text at lunchtime to tell me I had to be home by 7. I checked that we weren’t going out for dinner, as I wanted to have a waffle, but he would not tell me any more. At the end of the day I found out that the meeting had gone well, so I was in the mood to celebrate and finally enjoy my birthday.

The waffle of course was delicious- I went for a banana flapjack waffle, which is basically a waffle covered in sliced banana, a sort of granola (meant to be crumbled flapjack but I don’t think it is quite like that) and toffee sauce. The waffles there by the way are not like american waffles, and they are not like Belgium gauffres either- the waffles themselves aren’t sweet or rich, which is why they work with savoury toppings too.

I got home just before 7, and we then started walking. At first I thought we might be going to the cinema (as we can walk up to our local one, although that is not the one that Andy is a member of as they don’t do those cards) but then we got to the Uni – it was only when we got to the entrance hall that I saw a sign saying “Mark Kermode- this way”.

We listen to the film podcast from radio 5 (Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode) every Friday- and we take old ones with us on long car journeys, so it was great to see him live.

We went into a very fancy auditorium (it is a new campus, not the same as when I was there!) and relaxed. The evening was raising money for various local projects, and so we heard someone talk about The Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted- I grew up there and it used to be a cinema, then it was left vacant for ages, and then a group of people got together and converted it into an amazing cinema. In St Albans there used to be a cinema, but again that was left empty (I think the cinema company moved to an out of town development) and the same group are now converting it into a new cinema called The Odyssey (opening in the Autumn).

Anyway, after they talked about it a bit, it was over to Mark. He was talking about his new book:

Which was all about how no press is bad press, and how you remember a bad review (his rant about Sex and the city 2 is rather legendary- and funnier because he didn’t want to talk about it because he knew that even if he ranted people would see it just to see why it was so bad).

I like films, but I am no film buff so there were films mentioned that I had not heard of, but that didn’t matter as he explained about them and was very engaging and humorous. Then he did a Q&A session with people from the audience which was great- he would go into great depth for each question and the evening flew by.

Then we queued up to have our book signed. I was a bit nervous- I get so easily star struck (Andy loves to tease me about when I met Minnie Mouse at DisneyWorld- yes I was an adult and yes I was star struck) but Andy said that he would get it signed. Anyway, the queue was long and slow moving, and he then mentioned that it would be a great present for my Dad, who also loves Mark Kermode, so I then went to buy another book to have it signed for my Dad. Good, but this meant that I would have to say something.

When we got to the front he was very friendly indeed- I can’t even remember what we said but he chatted for a bit (and Andy thanked him for coming to Hatfield as we don’t get much here)- it was amazing really that he had talked all evening, and then was spending time talking to every person in the queue too.

I have not read the book yet- I am half way through a Martin Beck story at the moment so will start it after that. But it was a great evening, a great surprise, a lovely souvenir and also fab that we could just walk home.

Do you get star struck easily? I loved reading Anna’s recap of the Marathon Talk running weekend but I think I would be so self conscious I am not sure I would end up saying anything!

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14 thoughts on “Mark Kermode live as a birthday surprise”

  1. This is hugely exciting to me. I am so so jealous. I would have been star struck as well. I got overly excited when they read my email out on the podcast let alone meat the man himself. What a great surprise! It’s funny because I always get giddy when he mentions how he goes to the Odeon in Southampton or Eastleigh because they’re my local cinemas!
    I haven’t heard about this book but I think it’s one I’d love to read so I might check it out on Amazon 🙂
    Glad you had a good birthday and the meeting went well!

    1. Ha ha I have never emailed them, but I do get that feeling when marathon talk read out bits from me!
      I think when Andy goes to the football in Southampton he keeps half an eye out for him!
      I think the book is only just out- hope you enjoy it if you read it.

  2. How lovely that he was so chatty with everyone queuing for his autograph. Gives you a much nicer impression of someone. I went to a book signing with Jodi Picoult a few years ago and she chatted to me and my friend about how long it had taken us to travel down (4 hours! We went out for the day too. ) – For someone that had probably already been making several hours of small talk with several more still to go, we were pleased that she had made the effort to pay an interest and engage with us.

    1. Ah there is one in Norwich if you are nearer there? They are amazing though, I keep looking at waffle makers to buy but I don’t think they would be the same!

  3. Ah what a nice birthday surprise 🙂 Happy Birthday for last week!
    Ha ha I love that you were star-struck by Minnie Mouse 🙂

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