After an exhausting day in a V.O studio in London, I arrived in Brighton at 5.30. I made my way down to Western Road to find something to eat for dinner.
Walking ahead of me were three thirty year olds, beautifully dressed, laughing and talking excitedly in a language I couldn’t place.
I saw on my left a man in a suit and tie scrabbling around in a bin. He was about seventy, wearing a hat, he seemed like a man who had a good position in earlier years. But feeling around in this this bin for half an sandwich or a fag end, and seeing these booted and suited gigging youngsters was very disturbing. Even more so was that at distance this man looked like Barry Cryer. But, of course, Barry would be looking for class fag ends outside the Dorchester. The old tart.
Next night I go to see Barry in the The Space in London Road in Brighton. The person selling he tickets for Barry’s show hadn’t arrived yet so I shot off to the pub opposite to the theatre. Bloody hell. It was a noisy place, televisions blasting out competing with musac for the top volume slot. The beer though was excellent. The door opened and a young man came over to me.
‘Heard you were here. I’m Wayne, I interviewed you on the radio Reverb four years ago. I’ve put you on the Guest list.’
I bought him a drink.
Barry arrived at 7.30 to be told that he wasn’t on ’til 9.00. He was a bit pissed off. But when he got on he was sensational. They loved him. And the woman interviewing him was well boned up on his past achievements so it was easier for him to roar on.
After, we walked dow the road to a recommended pub followed by a few of his ‘fans’. We had a jolly time. I must say that he always seems pleased to see me. A few rounds later we get a taxi. It’s 12.00. Drop him off at his hotel and I go on back to the flat. Scrambled eggs on toast.
But I can’t get the man and bin out of head. Me feeling aggrieved about a hard day in the studio. I suddenly realised that without these VO’s and my amazing agent Wendy Noel I would have been on my uppers now. My acting career would never have kept me afloat. So that man and me would have been both at the same bin searching for dog ends.
Yes, I’ve lucky and that poor man hasn’t been Count your blessings Ray.