They began queueing at nine, while I was still dozing comfortably on my Glasgow bound Pendolino. We’d all got up early; the fans, me, the photographer, and John and Carole Barrowman, who flew in for the day to sign their new children’s book Hollow Earth.
And as the gathered fans lifted their eyes upwards to watch Carole and John descending the stairs in the style of astronauts just back from the Moon, I was sorely tempted to see if I could get someone to pay me a fiver to shake my hand. The hand that had just shaken John’s hand. It had to be worth something, surely?
But I restrained myself. And I have since washed it, so it’s too late.
As you will have gathered, your witch had an audience with Captain Jack and his long suffering big sister Carole. Hence the travelling for both witch and photographer, each from their own corners of the land. (Being crazy helps.)
You’ll want to know what they are like. They are bonkers. As John said, they are the kind of people you end up sitting next to in a restaurant, wishing you didn’t.
We talked about their television appearances where Carole hasn’t always been (allowed to be) present, despite the fact that it was she who wrote the book. It’s the price you pay for having a famous brother. There was a discussion about the background to the Hollow Earth story, and we covered everything from gay children’s authors, to eating ice cream in a freezing cold Scottish summer.
After the interview we left them to gulp down a hasty lunch, which seemed to consist of salad and a smoothie, followed by a bag of Maltesers. Well, he needs to get his bounce back somehow.
And then we joined the nine o’clockers downstairs, with the photographer braving the burly bouncers for a position near the signing table. 263 photos later we repaired to an Italian restaurant for a late and well deserved lunch, before returning home our separate ways.
It’s going to be hard dealing with people’s envy, but we will do our best.