Today (and tomorrow) marks the first ever Bournemouth Film and Comic Con to be run by Showmasters at the Bic. Having previously done a signing in Milton Keynes back in 2013, and also looking forward to attending Cardiff Film and Comic Con in October; I really enjoyed going to my first convention as a fan rather than a VIP guest. I was lucky enough to get a couple of free tickets from Laurence Wreford, and so one of my friends and I found ourselves exploring the giant conference centre earlier this morning. I figured that some of you would like to hear about what we got up to.
Who did I meet?
Thanks to some great organisation by Showmasters, I was able to meet and get the autograph of pretty much everyone who I had wanted to meet beforehand. Having previously met Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and David Prowse (Darth Vader) at Milton Keynes, I was really happy for my friend Harry as he bought a Boba Fett action figure for Jeremy to sign. I, meanwhile, managed to meet Sylvester McCoy (Best known for being the 7th Doctor and Radagast the Brown in the Hobbit) which marks the fifth time lord I have been lucky enough to meet (the others being David Tennant, Paul McGann, Colin Baker and David Bradley – who is pretty much an honorary candidate). Sylvester was lovely to chat to, and I asked him about his experiences of working on The Hobbit; and especially on how it was working the green screens and the special effects.
I also met one of Sylvester McCoy’s best-known companions from his tenure at the controls of the TARDIS – Sophie Aldred, who played Ace back in the 1980s. I also briefly spoke to Dan Starkey (Strax in Doctor Who) about his time on Celebrity University Challenge which he seemed to appreciate. I know actors always love to talk about other projects, and I’d be surprised if he’d been asked about University Challenge beforehand.
Outside of Doctor Who, I was ecstatic as a Man Utd fan to meet two of the club’s greatest players. Bryan Robson remains a legendary captain of the club while Denis Law was a member of the United Trinity and scored 237 goals in all competitions for the red devils. Though their autographs set me back £45, I was pleased to add their names to my little book on Manchester United which has already been signed by Paddy Crerand and Stuart Pearson. Just along the table was Geoff Hurst; whose hattrick won England the World Cup, but I resisted the temptation to grab a signed photo.
What did I buy?
The above print (which I got signed by Sylvester and Sophie); is a blown up version of a pencil drawing by a young man called Christopher Baker. Christopher is only nineteen years old and suffers from aspergers which meant that he was quite uncomfortable with the crowded hall. Nonetheless, his artistry is truly outstanding and we couldn’t believe how realistic some of his drawings were. If you’re intrigued, then you can find him on http://www.cjbart.com while his mother told us that they were going to be on Good Morning Britain come Tuesday morning. Sophie and Sylvester both admired the print when we got them to sign it, and it is now decorating my cabinet quite proudly.
Another good purchase of mine was a homemade cushion bearing the direwolf and ‘winter is coming’ quote of the Stark family from Game of Thrones (my chosen house). I even found a stand which was selling Harry Potter bits of pieces, and ended up walking away with a bottle of butterbear under my arm. One thing which I didn’t end up buying was a signed telegram sent by Sir Laurence Olivier to a ‘Mrs Bennett’ back in 1953 to thank her for sending a christmas card to him and Vivien Leigh.
So in the end I came away from the event with my moneybag considerably lighter than it was beforehand, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of you in Cardiff come October 25th!