Lis Bailey is one of the funniest people I know. She has me in stitches. An excitable creature, she gets giddy about the most random things.
I am not really an excitable creature.
One day, once upon a time, we were walking across a bridge somewhere in London. It may have been Teddington Lock, or Richmond Lock. Or somewhere completely different. Most bridges that cross the Thames in the capital look the same.
Chatting about something, there was a bit of a kerfuffle with some dogs up ahead. I paid no attention, barely even glancing their way, and by the time we got to the group it was all quiet. The last of the group, a couple with a dog on a lead, passed us, at which point I felt a death grip on my arm and heard a sharp intake of breath and a squeak. Lis’s eyes were wide, blinking, almost manic and I wondered what the hell had happened. She literally couldn’t speak, mouth flopping like a goldfish.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?”
Flop flop. “That was Nigel Harman.”
Indignant face. “What the very fuck do you mean who?”
Shrug. “I don’t know who Nigel Harman is?”
Flop flop. “Dennis from EastEnders? The VERY attractive man? The superstar gorgeous human being that is Nigel Harman? How the hell can you not know who he is?”
“Ohhhhhh. Him. Meh. Are you sure it was him?”
Pace backwards, forwards, pace, pace. “AM I SURE? Of course I am sure. I LOVE HIM. OH MY GOD. I have to get a photo. I can’t get a photo. I have to speak to him. I can’t speak to him. OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD.”
Bemused smile. “Shall I ask him for a photo?”
Shrieking. “NO! Yes. No. Yes. Yes. OH GOD. OH GOD.”
We start walking after them. Well, I was walking, Lis was skipping and twitching and being weird.
“Excuse me, would you mind if I got a picture of you with my friend please?”
He handed the dog lead to the woman he was with, and put his arm round Lis. I honestly thought she was going to burst, making small squeaking noises and looking awkward as hell.
“SMILE!” I shouted out. Click. “And again!” Click.
“Oh, hang on, sorry.” I fiddled with my camera, buying time for Lis to be hugged by this guy who she seemed to love so much. “There we go, sorry, one last time. SMILE!” I laughed, Nigel laughed, Lis squeaked.
“Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome, you both have a nice day now.” And off he went.
Not anywhere near out of earshot of them, there was an almighty screech in my ear. The squeak had turned into full on high pitch screech mode.
“AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH. OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD. DID YOU SEE THAT? DID YOU SEE THAT? OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD.”
I didn’t even try to contain her. It was like a kid at a One Direction concert. All her Christmases had come at once.
She phoned someone to tell them what had just happened. I just kept taking pictures.
Never since, even on her wedding day (sorry Kieran), have I ever seen her this excited.
And if you’re wondering, EastEnders is a soap opera TV show in the UK, and Nigel Harman is actually quite a famous person. But still looks pretty normal when he’s walking his dog across a bridge in South London.