I’ve never been one for regrets.
That said, there is something I regret not doing during my career as a studio producer: I wish I’d taken some photographs with the celebs that I met.
It may sound a little pathetic, but I often find people look at me like I’m making it up when I discuss the time I did a shoot with Julie Andrews, Warwick Davis or The Cheeky Girls (OK, they believe me on the last one). The thing is, back then nobody had camera phones (not really) and taking photos with ‘The Talent’ just wasn’t done.
Despite all that, I really wish I’d taken a photo the morning I spent with David Hasselhoff. To add a bit of perspective, I was OBSESSED with Knight Rider when I was a kid. I mean totally and completely hypnotised by this show.
I talked into my watch (in reality my bare wrist, as I didn’t have a timepiece) just like David’s character, ‘Michael Knight’.
I talked to our car (leading I’m sure to my parents being concerned about my mental health) just like David’s character ‘Michael Knight’.
I even had a weird situation at a parent-teacher meeting, where my mum and dad asked about my classmate ‘Michael’ – who they’d never met, but I wouldn’t stop going on about. This led to much confusion from the teacher, as it transpired I didn’t have a friend with that name at school. Finally, they discovered I’d been so obsessed with Hasselhoff’s alter-ego that I’d come home from school and tell my parents I’d been playing with him all day.
Basically, for a large part of my childhood, I lived in a fantasy world with David Hasselhoff at its centre.
So, fast forward many years, and I can’t quite believe I’m standing on the studio floor next to The Hoff himself. My 7 year-old self would have passed-out with joy, I was just about holding it together. ‘David’, those of us who have worked with The Hoff get to call him that, was spending the morning on our show to publicise The Spongebob Movie – in which he had an extended cameo.
That day I had fulfilled a lifetime’s dream and written a script for The Hoff, I mean ‘David’, to act out. It was a skit based around Baywatch, where all the presenters of the show were dressed in orange swim gear, watching on as the wonderous Mr H saved the day.
So there I was, with David, saying to him:
“OK Mr Hasselhoff…”
“Please call me ‘David’…”
“OK, ‘David’. What’s going to happen is this. When it’s your cue line I’ll tap you on the shoulder…”
“On the shoulder?”
I tapped him on the shoulder. David frowned, then grinned.
“Maybe you should try it like this,” he said, mischeviously.
He jabbed me between the ribs with a finger.
“Or like this…”
Hasselhoff poked me again. We both roared with laughter.
It was then that I realised I was having horseplay, for that’s what it was, with the legendary David Hasselhoff. My 7 year old self would have happily died and gone to heaven.
As it was, composure was quickly regained and ‘David’ did the scene perfectly – hitting every comedy cue he was given.
The man was, and is, a total legend.
So, back to my original point. I’d have loved to have my photograph taken with my friend ‘David’. But it didn’t happen.
I regret this for two reasons:
- To have the momento of meeting a childhood hero would have been great.
- To have captured the look on the face of one of the show’s presenters: Mark Felgate. Mark is a wonderful comedy talent, who (I found out later) was as big a fan of Mr Hasselhoff as me. Sadly, for reasons of comedy, I’d dressed him in a Pamela Anderson-style high cut orange swimsuit. It wasn’t the way Mark had dreamed of meeting his hero, in fact, it became a moment he’d rather forget. Sorry Mark.
There are those who have mocked Mr Hasselhoff and his claims of bringing down the Berlin Wall with his song ‘Looking for Freedom’. As someone who worked with ‘David’ I’ve no doubt he had a major role in the ending of the Cold War.
David wouldn’t have needed a digger to destroy that wall, he could have brought it down with a well-placed prod.