A Weekend With the Stars darthvader

Last Thursday I was casually informed by a (very pleasant and professional) Press Officer of Queen’s University that UTV Life wanted me on Friday. It was to involve a ‘sofa chat’ with local presenter Frank Mitchell. Although it was my course on Jedi Training that sparked off their interest in me, the context was the big ‘Knights of the Empire’ event at the Odyssey at the weekend.

The show was due to go out live on Friday 3rd between 5:30 and 6 pm. I landed in the studio just before 5 and sat in the plush foyer wating patiently. When who walked in but David Prowse! I gulped and went over to introduce myself. Apparently he was due to be on the same time as me. Which was great, because I knew that all the attention would be – rightly – focused on him and therefore deflected from me. As we both sat in make-up together (:/), his Holywood yarns and friendly manner soon calmed me down.

The interview itself was over in a flash. I think I opened by mouth twice. Other than that I just tried to sit there, looking cool and avoiding the camera’s gaze. I did avoid disaster though when I discovered from the autocue that they were going to introduce me as Professor Allen Baird! Someone at Queen’s would have my head for that blip, so I got them to change it. But I see that this mistake is still on the UTV website, so I’ll enjoy my fantasy promotion while I may…

On Saturday I went to the Knights of the Empire event. Although the costumers were most impressive, the highlight of my day was the opportunity to have lunch with Gerald Home, though he was greatly in demand. His talk was supurb; the audience lapped in all his stories, insights and musings about all things Star Wars. He introduced us to Star Wars Outer Rim Alliance.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience. But I’m looking forward to chill-out time this weekend, so if you want me on your TV or radio show, you’ll have to use the Force…

Image credit: nickstone333.