Starstruck

This morning I felt moved to say hello to TV broadcasting royalty Harry Gration, who was stood next to me in a coffee outlet queue in Burmantofts, Leeds.

A greeting to which he politely responded in kind, prior to us wandered off on our own ways – Me childishly giddy that I’d briefly met the Tyke presenter – Harry probably wondering who the chuffing idiot was who’d just spoken to him.

I’m unsure why I felt the need to greet Gration, after all Harry doesn’t know me from Adam. Coming to think of it Adam doesn’t know me from Harry either….. Perhaps, I need to address my people networking strategy!

It was unusual behaviour for me, however afterwards I felt the fact Mr G responded courteously, and without course to call the police, vindicated my decision to embark on this brief verbal interaction. 

Ordinarily, I don’t get star struck when finding myself in close proximity to someone off the telly. The fact I did today when confronted by the Bradford-born presenter concerns me that perhaps I need to also address my ideas on what constitutes stardom. 

Harry seems an affable enough bloke on the TV, something I could neither confirm or deny during this mornings short exchange. Although undoubtedly the king of Yorkshire news broadcasting, does the celebrity plateau he sits upon warrant my over the top glee at speaking to him?

As much as I admire Gration’s skills in the Look North studio, his child-like enthusiasm for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the guts he displays when undertaking enduring challenges for charitable causes, I’ve come to the conclusion I overreacted……. Thank god, during this lapse, I didn’t go as far as asking for his autograph, or if he’d pose for a selfie with me!

Heaven only knows how star struck I’d have reacted if I’d have bumped into daytime Look North presenters Claire Frisby or Peter Levy. Claire the fragrant lady who coincidentally presented the local news in Bedfordshire when I lived there in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s.

Incidentally, the fact Ms Frisby worked in the same areas as me for the last 30 years is merely a coincidence – Not down to stalking on my part….. Or hers!! (I don’t think anyway).

I assume she left presenting east Midlands news (which included the agricultural flatlands of Norfolk and Suffolk) in the mid 1990’s after growing tired of relaying stories about pushbikes being stolen and tractors failing their MOT’s……. Living in an area where local news bulletins included journalism of that nature certainly contributed in my decision to move back north in 1996.

A few Saturday’s back I think I walked past Claire Frisby on Boar Lane in Leeds. It was probably for the best I wasn’t sure if it was her as she walked past; sparing me the ignominy of reacting with excessive excitement, akin to today’s display with Harry Gration.

That particular uncertainty into Ms Frizby’s identity a consequence of me not wearing either my contact lens or specs at the time. My uncorrected eyesight so poor that, when Ms F and I passed each other like ships, Mr Magoo was helping guide me around town! 

One person who won’t think I overreacted with my behaviour while exchanged a few words with Harry Gration is my mum – Deeming the proud Yorkshireman to be “A right nice lad.” A conclusion reached because he’s clean shaven; not sporting the scruffy hipster beards donned by his younger colleagues……. No not Claire Frisby!!

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