Have you ever felt like a minor celebrity? Maybe when someone holds the door open for you, or nods at you in a thank you-type gesture with just a little too much enthusiasm? What about a really minor celebrity. The kind that appears in the background of ITV-quality shows. Harry Enfield, Kelis, Shola Ama, LV. These are all the type of people i mean.

I get a lot of texts from my brother. Every time he finds something cool online. ‘Dan, check your email’…. My mind raced. Could it be a new spoon with a laser device for cutting spaghetti? Seems unlikely. I go into Hotmail, and forget the tomato sauce stains across my lap.

‘TV SHOW TO BE MADE IN STOURBRIDGE’. My eyes get wider. Really wide, like a surprised Frodo unsure how to react because there’s a 70 yr old man with a gaudy ear stud in a queue at tesco buying some reduced necessary items. ‘You should send them some of your scripts’.

I’m not gonna send them some of my scripts.

‘See if they want to use your ideas? Also looking for extras.’

Extras! This could be my chance! I could be the new Lenny Henry, the Diane-Louise Jordan of today! Finally my higher calling has been achieved. They need my photo, name and date of birth. I send off a quick email with my name, date of birth, and a selection of ex-profile pictures.

The next Friday i’m sitting at home in my Canadian hoodie, Canadian pants and 7-Eleven hat from that one in Calgary, and the expected unexpected call arrives. Linkin Park explodes into the room like a small child spilling a packet of skittles.

‘Hi it’s Laura from the TV show, are you interested in being an extra?’

‘YESIAMPLEASELETMEBEANEXTRA’ I slow down. A small cough. ‘Rather.’

‘Great. We need you to wear a suit.’

I arrive on set the next day, clad in my best interview suit, with my best hair, slightly altered by the Dudley town centre winds. ‘Oh, great you wore the suit! Here’s your gun. And your pink beret….’

Gun.

Pink Beret.

Yes she did say that. I stash the shooter and don my beret. I’m playing two roles. A cop with a funny walk, and a businessman who bought a (pink) hat from a corrupt mafia man. This show is insanely brilliant.

A few takes later and it’s there. I am a celebrity. Children will stop me in the street and sing songs about me. Fruit shops will ask me to endorse products such as spring onions, red cabbage and Shola Ama posters. I. HAVE. MADE. IT.

I get home and pick up an application for the dole.

 

 

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