Jun 8, 2010

RA Fan Highlight: Deb~ my new hero.

One of the first online buddies I met thanks to this blog was Deb, a friendly gal from Texas. 
We emailed back and forth and she invited me to become a member of a fun, private forum
(which no longer exists as of this month *sniff, sniff*) where I met many other awesome ladies,
discussing everything from Richard Armitage and other actors, to every day life... uncensored.
(I have to take a moment to give a shout-out to my NJTS friends.  Miss you guys!)

Deb is a big fan of Toby Stephens and Richard Armitage.
She met Toby in person after seeing him perform in a play a few summers ago.
One of her friends took a picture of her getting his autograph. (I was so excited
when she told me all about it and saw the pics, being a fan of Toby myself.)

If that experience weren't enough...
guess who Deb recently met on the red carpet of the BAFTAs
while she was on her most recent trip to London last week!?

That's right...
Richard HANDSOME-PANTS Armitage himself.
Here are some of the photos Deb took while floating on cloud 9:
She was close enough to reach out and grope... not that she'd do such a thing! :)

Look at how nice Richard is, signing autographs and looking all handsome while he's at it:

For Spooks Fans~ she also met "Harry" and "Ruth"...

and "Jo!"

*By the way, Deb's photos are not to be posted
elsewhere without her permission.  Please be respectful of these wishes.*

I knew Deb was going to be in London last week, since she had had this trip planned
for quite a while. Many of her RA buddies told her to stalk him for us while she was there,
thinking she'd show up at the Spooks set or something. When I heard that Richard was going
to be at the BAFTAs, I totally spaced the fact that Deb  was in that neck of the woods! 
 It didn't even occur to me that she would be there until I was browsing one of the forums and
(For Deb's privacy, I will not be posting that photo.) My eyes almost popped out of my head and
kept saying "No way!"  I sat there staring at my computer screen forever with a grin from ear to
ear.  (That lady seriously has the best luck/timing when it comes to meeing her favorite actors!)

The tired traveler just arrived home yesterday,
but I had to send her an email and pepper her with tons of questions.
She graciously gave me permission to share her answers with the rest of you.

Nat's interview with Deb, a lucky RA fan who
is going to have a side-kick the next time
she ventures off to London:

 How did you find out that Richard was going to be at the BAFTAs?
I knew that the BAFTAS were going to be held while I was in London on vacation.
I was checking my email at the hotel on Friday (I think?) and there was one that caught my eye.
It was from a friend in the US and she said "HE WILL BE THERE."
So I opened it and she told me that Richard Armitage was going to be at the
BAFTAS presenting. She said that I had to go and send her pictures when I got home.

How early did you have to arrive/wait in line to get such a great red carpet view?
Well, in this case. We were instructed via the web site to be there early Sunday morning
to get wristbands. But it turned out that after all the wrist banded people were in place
front row at the barriers, they allowed other people to fill in behind us. So the
wristband was well worth the wait - in my opinion.

Here is how my morning went:
I left the hotel at about 7:30 am to catch the tube from the Elephant and Castle area of London.
It was a short ride to Oxford Circus. I asked the attendants at the Tube Station for
directions to the Palladium.  It was a very easy 5 minute walk.  So I guess that I arrived
about 8:00 am?  I found the line for the wristband. They didn't actually start handing them
out until about 9:30 am (I think)? I didn't have a watch on to give you the exact time.
I was number 56. We were told to return at noon to the same  spot to be escorted
 by the staff to the viewing area. So I went back to my hotel. Ate breakfast. Filled my bag
with bottled water, fruit, my magazine, camera and sharpee pen. We had to line up in single file
according to the number on our wrist. Then they took us in in groups of about 20.

Who accompanied you there?
I went alone to London. I had been to see Toby Stephens final
performance at THE REAL THING with some friends the night before.
I met and spent time speaking to some Armitage forum members.
And I would like to thank them all so much - BTW.  Mostly for helping this Texan out
while I was there. Without such a group screaming to get his attention and
waving any magazine or photo we had to get his attention...
he might just have passed me by?

Did you talk to Richard?  If yes, what did you say to each other? 
Yes. very shortly. It seemed that there were many people behind me
shouting questions about the filming schedule of SPOOKS and he was
trying to sign autographs and answer questions.

One lady had a SPOOKS book and asked him to sign it.
He asked her where she got it. She told him that it was for
Series 1 through 6.   He seemed intrigued.

While he was chatting to everyone throwing Spooks questions at him,
he started to write over his face on my Magazine cover. So I had to stop him.
I think he asked me where to put it?  I showed him below his chin.
***thank goodness - I caught him before he put the pen on his face***
He signed the TV and Satellite Week Magazine from May 1-7.
It had a really large head shot on the cover.

This is the one she mentioned:

What does Richard smell like?
Although I was very close and could see every whisker on his face and his extremely
blue eyes.  There was a strong breeze blowing the opposite direction because of the
rain showers were in the London area. So, I'm sorry to say. I did not smell him.
***that's a funny question -BTW*** 
(You know I had to ask that question!!!)

Did you notice any details about him that you hadn't before?
Just that he is so much more attractive in person. Photos don't seem to do him justice.
***can you imagine that?**  He had his Lucas tattoos on his wrists and said
that he'd been busy filming "Spooks."

Did you faint or drool, and if not... how did you keep your composure!?
No fainting. No drooling. I wasn't even a little bit nervous.
I guess at my age, I have stopped getting butterflies about such things.

How did you act when you met him? (shy? friendly?)
Friendly - I would say. (Me shy? hahahaha)

What does Mr. Deb have to say about all of this? :)
I called him after I returned to the hotel to watch the BAFTAS on the television.
I feel sure that he was very happy that I fulfilled my goal of actually seeing Richard
and getting an autograph. My BIG regret is not having had him sign a copy of
the book STRIKE BACK for Mr Deb. There were a few people having him sign their
books and the thought had never even crossed my mind.

A big thanks to Deb for sharing her experience and photos with us.
I am so excited for her... you'd think I was the one who met RA! :)


Maria Grazia said...

Just want to say LUCKY , LUCKY , LUCKY Deb!!!
Thanks for sharing all this, pictures and impressions.
It was like being there ourselves too, wasn't it?
I just can't imagine how is it possible that Richard can be even more gorgeous in person than in photos or screen and Deb be so self-controlled? No drooling, no swooning?
Many thanks to you too, Nat, for this great post!

MillyMe said...

Absolutely amazing. What a lucky lady and such gorgeous clear pictures of Richard (and the others, but my focus is on RA)!

Thanks, Nat and Debs for sharing this unique experience with the rest of us green-with-envy, drooling-by- proxy women.

mg said...

OMG OMG OMG - lucky you Deb - thanks for sharing the experience. It really makes me happy to know that he actually IS a true gentleman as we think him to be - isnt it the main charm of RA? I still cant believe that "photos dont do him justice"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOAAAAA - sigh!!!!"thud" ... ok back up again :) - once more - thanks Deb and Nat for sharing :)


Ali said...

What a lovely report and great photos, many thanks Deb and Nat. Lovely to see Peter & Nicola together as well, there haven't been many pictures of them.

bZirk said...


Thank you so much for posting! Love this interview.

Leave it to those Texans. ;-) Yes, I'm just kidding -- sort of. :D

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing.

B* said...

Thank-you Nat for all your BAFTA updates, and special thanks to Deb for sharing your story with the rest of us - the stars were all in line for you on Sunday! Quelle Chance!

MillyMe said...

Doesn't Miranda Raison look absolutely gorgeous here, warm and womanly? She was my favourite female character on Spooks. And she got to sit next to Richard at the Baftas!

Debra said...

And Peter Firth winked at me when he handed me the autograph back.

I must say it was rather exciting.

(If I say so , myself.)


Phylly3 said...

Love this interview and the fabulous pictures! What? "The pictures don't do him justice?" OMG how handsome is it possible to be? **fanning self**
Many thanks for sharing your experience with us, Deb! :P

bZirk said...


Thank you for sharing with us. I'm like Phylly3, can hardly believe he's better looking in real life.

diveknit said...

Thank you Deb and Nat fro sharing this, what a great experience and nice story to read!

tyme_4_t said...

What a wonderful experience!! Thanks so much for sharing with all us jealous fangurls!!! wink wink
Wow! Being a major spooks fan I absolutely love ALL the pics - PF winked at you how cute!
And NW & MR - so beautiful!
And RA - up close - breathing, laughing, talking, and how sweet that he agreed not to sign across his face on the mag!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including the other pics for us Spooks fans. There's lots of Harry-heartthrobs out there!

Twinkling Moon said...

OMG! I had to calm down and reflect on this post before I commented, *sigh*

First off, THANK YOU Deb for being so kind as to allow Nat to share the pics and your experience with the rest of us! That is very gracious of you,

I haven't been to any red carpet event, so I had no idea how planned out they are in terms of organizing fans. Thanks for the insights.

As for the photos, my goodness! I can't believe the clarity, the close-ups, the idea that "photos don't seem to do him justice" is just inconceivable to me. My Lord! How stunning can he possibly be? I'm shocked that he still had his Spooks tatoos on. I mean, first off it was Sunday, right? they made him work on a Sunday, when they had an award show later. What the heck? Give our boy some time to rest, please.

And Deb, thanks so much for answering the "how does he smell" question, as weird as you may think that was, hee! hee! I appreciate all the detailed info you have given about your trip. It totally made me feel like I was there. I am barely composed now, I can't believe you were so well composed having a live experience with THE Richard Armitage that you were able to stop him from signing all over his face! I would so want to do that if I were in your shoes, but I wouldn't be able to breathe around him let alone form a complete sentence and stop him from signing across that beautiful picture. BTW, thanks for the pics with the other 'Spooksters.' They all look so nice and friendly. I have to ask, what was Nicola Walker wearing? I can't tell from the pic.

Well, Deb, I just hope someday I am lucky enough to fly from America and be able to see RA in real life. Imagine that! You are a lucky ducky twice blessed between your RA and TS experiences.

And Nat, I kept thinking, if only we had the "group letter" sent to Debra so she could hand deliver the note. I am almost passing out considering the remote possibility of that happening. Even though it's obviously too late for that, I'm getting giddy just imagining what that would have been like.

Ok, now I really need to get a life here. I'm getting excited about an opportunity that has passed for somebody else to pass yet another person's fan letter (admittedly of which we were all graciously allowed to participate in, thanks Nat!). I'm laughing at myself big time. What is it about this man that makes grown, and otherwise rational women act so goofy? Who knows! Ah, heck! Who really cares!

Thanks again Deb and Nat!

Fanny/iz4blue said...

What with Lucas tattoo to the BAFTA'S?

Thanks Nat & Deb for a delicious interview, a fangirl dream come true. Deb, Impressive the gorgeous shots you managed to take without fainting! I saw your comment on FB but never expected to hear the whole story in all it's glory here!

@Twinkling Moon: he's got that "Je ne sais quoi" end of story.

Debra said...

@ Twinkling Moon: About working on Sundays.

When asked by a Spooks Fan if he would be working next Sunday?

He actually said that he has to work every Sunday.
(I'm almost sure that he was referring to the duration of his work on series number nine.)

It was a very general answer.

The tattoos were on his wrist. He arrived at the Palladium theatre very early in the evening. Between 5:30 and 6:00 PM. Which gave him ample time with the media and the fans.

Shazad Latif (aka Tarik) came in even earlier than Richard Armitage. But wasn't as generous about taking photos. He hurried off in a rush. Maybe he had someone to meet?

The rest of the cast was lovely (as you can see in the photos).


Random Ann said...

Yeah Deb she is our hero, Nat! She is fearless! No need for her to wear purple she wears it all the time inside.

Miss you too a great deal. sniff sniff about our little home. Miss hearing about things. Hope you are doing just fine. Still keeping you in my prayers and thoughts.

Ann/aka Ramones

hedgeypig said...

Mildly jealous :-) Glad Deb had a great time. Bizarre old experience I feel. I was at work so had no chance of going.

MillyMe said...

@hedgeypig; we have to share the love. You had a lovely time last year and your pics were brilliant. It's Deb's turn this year. I hope that I will one day soon get a chance! *fingers and toes frantically crossed*!

fitzg said...

Thanks to Deb and Nat. Hard to believe Mr. A in person is more attractive than his photos,roles, etc. Animation of the "in-the-flesh", well-mannered,personalilty?

Debra said...

@ fitzg - That could be a very BIG part of it?

Celebrities always seem a little different when you actually meet them "in the flesh".

I don't know what it is? But he is definitely gorgeous on (or off) the screen.


@Rob said...

@DEB you lucky duck! what was he "like"? did he seem friendly, quiet, funny, sweet?

thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

@ Rob - actually he was friendly, a little quiet (possibly tired) and sweet.

But he was willing to answer the numerous questions that were being shouted at him. In such uncontrolled situations, it can get a little crazy...because people in the back are continually shouting questions and remarks. He was doing his best to comply and answer as many as he could.

Myrtle said...

How lovely!
Thankyou for sharing Deb.

There have been lots of comments about his piercing blue eyes.

@Rob said...

@Deb did mr armitage have a date for the event? what were the q's being shouted at him? what were the answers?

thanks for being so sweet and allowing us to ask all these questions!

*Chica Popcorn* said...

MORE HANDSOME IN REAL LIFE? OMG! I would have fainted really!!!

*Chica Popcorn* said...

MORE HANDSOME IN REAL LIFE? OMG! I would have fainted really!!!

Debra said...

@ Rob - He didn't have a date. None of the SPOOKS cast did as far as I could tell. They all seemed to be solo (or with representation of some sort?).

I don't know why?

Some of the other celebs had representatives (agents, publicists, assistants, etc) also.

There were some who actually came with their spouses. It was about 50/50 (I think??)

I was having camera troubles and missed some of the questions/conversations once he passed me. But if I speak to the people who were near...I'll see if they remember more?

Debra said...

@Rob - One more thing.

About the Spooks cast. I'll address them. Because they were the ones who I was there to see.

Although they all seemed to be solo (so to speak).

As a group, they seemed to have the BEST fan interaction.
Usually while waiting to be interviewed by the media.

Helena Bonham Carter had a whole entourage of women with her. So I guess the bigger you are in the industry...the bigger your entourage?
BTW - Miss Bonham Carter was very generous and friendly to her fans.

@rob said...

okay ladies what do we think of the pinstripped tux???

Twinkling Moon said...

@iz4spunk, you're right. He does have that "je ne sais quoi" quite literally, :)

@Debra, you have been such a good sport about answering all of our questions. Thanks a bunch!
Re: spooks filming on Sundays, I am totally surprised that they tape on sundays as a usual thing. Especially in the UK, as I think we in the States tend to work longer hours and get less vacation time than European countries so I am surprised that they work weekends, especially if they have a work related event to go to that night.

Interesting that Shazad Latif wasn't as gracious with his time, but maybe he was in a rush like you say.

It's great to hear that the Spooks cast seemed to have such a great interaction with the fans. I wonder if they have such a positive relationship with the fan base because the show is hugely popular and the actors recognize that is what allows them to essentially have a job to go to, or is it just that they are British? I don't mean to put our American actors down, but I always get the impression that they are annoyed by fans. Maybe that's not fair, I don't know.

But what you said about Helena Bonham Carter and her entourage is what I think of Hollywood stars as behaving as, but I'm glad to hear that she was so gracious with her fans. I think that behavior is what separates a true "star" from a celebrity.

Thanks again Debra! I'm trying not to be jealous of you ;)

PS, if you remember anything else, please do share :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they need to shot on location on Sundays (or at night/in the early morning hours) because the locations are less crowded than on weekdays? Spooks shots so much in London streets or in public buildings etc. . Just think of the buildings that acted as CIA headquarter or banks, company building etc..

Avalon said...

Finally I had the time to read all of this. Congratulations on meeting RA, pleased for you entirely. However I hope you had Tylenol, a crowd like that would have made me insane.

Debra said...

@ Avalon - yes it does seem a little hectic. But it's really hard to describe. I will try.

As each celeb arrives. You hear a LOUD cheer and you HAVE to look and see who has arrived in that particular auto.

As that celeb is being interviewed. The crowd is fairly respectful and quiet. Once the celeb has finished their interview...they are bombarded with a sea of fans shouting out their name. Then it's their decision whether or not to approach the fans and sign autographs.
Some celebs turn their noses up and walk on by like they could care less that people are shouting their name. (I won't mention names.)

John Hurt (from the Alien movie and many, many other projects) probably signed autographs the longest. He was a true STAR (IMO). And he appears to be a very nice man. I'm sorry that my camera wouldn't work when he was standing in front of me because I would have loved to have gotten his photo.

Debra said...

I'll add one more thing.

It's probably not for everybody.

But it was more of a controlled situation where I was standing at the barrier.
Thank goodness I arrived early and got a wristband. I don't think that I would have gotten any photos had I been behind the front row. As I am very short.

bZirk said...


Thanks again for sharing with us.

I'm not sure I would really ever want to be some place like that(after my experience taking my daughter to see Miley Cyrus on the Today Show), so your account was great. I feel like I was almost there.

Twinkling Moon said...

@Debra, yes, the way you described John Hurt is exactly the type of behavior I would expect of a STAR.

You are so nice not to name names of celebs that didn't have the time of day for their fans. However, I am dying to know! No pressure though! It's just I am a bit weird, if I come to find out someone is a really nice person (ie RA) then I make every effort to support their work, even if initially it is not my cup of tea. On the other hand, when I see an interview where the person comes across as a complete jacka**, well, I don't want to give my hard earned dollars to their project. Maybe I'm mean.

Anyhow Debra, thanks again! you rock!

mulubinba said...

Thanks Debra - I don't think I would have the courage to go to an event like this and ask for RA's autograph. I would quite possibly have been overcome with shyness and shrunk into the background if I saw RA and regretted it for ages later. Great that you were able to meet him!

Debra said...

The video of Richard at the Baftas is on YouTube. The one where he is signing the Spooks Book from the girl behind me.
He does like to talk to people. He so chatty, friendly and so very nice. I think that he could talk to anyone. Not shy at all.

squid just posted it on YouTube. Maybe Nat will embed or share the link?

Twinkling Moon said...

@Debra, thanks for passing on the info about the vid on Youtube. I will do a search to see if I can find it!

You're the best :)

Fanny/iz4blue said...

@Debra:thanks for the mention can't wait for the link as I couldn't find it on YT

Debra said...

With full credit to squid for filming this...I hope this works


Debra said...

BTW - I told you that he loves to talk to fans....he's a very friendly fellow.

**you will have to copy and paste to watch the link

Fanny/iz4blue said...

Thanks for the link and to see him soooo close. I'd sink in the ground, literally

Phylly3 said...

The video clip of Richard signing autographs is so great!! Thanks so much for the link Debra and to Squid for taking it!! I'd love to see more!

@R$ob said...

Love the clip. He has really turned into a dashing actor, you can see the progression from year to year. It was nice to see him so relaxed signing autographs and talking to fans.

I keep checking the site to look at those picys of him in the tux. My jaw drops everytime!

Sue said...

I must admit I would like to get the opportunity of meeting him in the flesh (oh such lovely flesh it is too!). I really don't envy Richard having to run the gauntlet of interviewers and fans on the red carpet. To be honest it reminds me rather of a cattle market where all the prize heifers are being shown off and having their nether regions prodded and poked (now there's a thought!). In England there is a regular cattle show called the "Cheshire Show" where cattle are paraded around a field and their behinds constantly powdered for best effect. Richard would win hands down there as a "Prize Beefcake". Boy would I like to prod and poke those hind quarters!

Debra said...

@ Sue:
I can see your point. And I have read that in the past he doesn't really like doing these events. But, from what I saw, he was having a blast and really enjoying himself.
Is it possible that he has become a little more secure talking to us (the television viewers) and the media?

I can honestly say that if he had wanted to get into the theatre (as one of his SPOOKS cast co-stars did) he could have done so at any time. I truly believe that he chose to spend as much time making himself available as he could before they told him that he HAD to get inside.

I hope that my viewpoint puts you a little more at ease about the matter?

bZirk said...

When I think of Richard Armitage, the first word that comes to mind is gentleman. The fact he was so accommodating to his fans is entirely believable. Thanks again for sharing your experience with us!

Sue said...


It's true he does seem more at ease on the red carpet than he used to do. Most actors dislike this kind of environment, but I also think he's kind and considerate and knowing that many of his fans have probably made a special effort to travel to see him, he doesn't want to disappoint them which is why he's willing to spend his time freely with fans and sign autographs.

I was interested in your comment about many of the actors taking representation with them as I believe I saw Richard's new agent Kirk Whelan-Foran hovering around him on the red carpet and also sitting next to Richard in the audience. It makes sense that such occasions are used as an opportunity to "network" with producers/directors/potential investors.

I agree he is a true "gent" and there's not too many of those around these days, which is another thing that makes him such a nice bloke in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

@ Sue:

I saw the agent. Thanks for putting a name to his face. I noticed many actors/actresses with (what seemed to be representation).

I was thinking that (by bringing them) it frees up their time to concentrate on the event and the after party.
By doing so, they are not having to do any networking themselves.

Just in case a network producer or director should want to talk business?

Debra said...

That last comment was me -BTW.


Sue said...


It's an agents job to network and promote clients on their books. Even if Richard wasn't going I suspect that his agent would still attend as he seems to have many high profile clients and it's a good opportunity to do a bit of wheeler dealing and talk shop with those that are about to embark on any productions. I suspect a lot of the work actors get comes by way of these events. After all it an agent that makes sure an actor (or author, singer, etc.) gets a good deal financially and sorts out all the legalities, Richard's job is to do what he does best and act. To be honest I bet they have to kiss an awful lot of slimy, ugly frogs before they find a prince!

I noticed that the Spooks cast looked quite disappointed when they didn't get the award for best drama. I saw a photo of James Nesbitt and his entourage passing them in the audience as they made their way to the stage and Richard seemed to be putting a brave face on it. I'm not sure what was going through Peter Firth's mind as James Nesbitt passed him, I think it may have been something like "what a big-headed prat that man is". He didn't seem impressed that's for sure.