Now celebrities are just like you and me, except they're invariably better looking, with whiter teeth, erm, employed a lot, famous (natch) and generally richer than thou. But apart from that, they're just the same. So instead of hypervetilating, turning pillar box red and stammering for breath, here's a few tips based on the nationwide experience of celebrity lockins from around the world which will tell you how to deal with them, right like, when you bump into them unexpectedly and are momentarily trapped. See if you can spot the true stories.*
(1) The Queen. TheRoyal Advisers always insist that the timetable include a "comfort break". You probably know what this is, so I won't use rude words to describe HRH going for a pie and mash. Come the day, when everything is going like clockwork and it's time for the comfort break so everyone can rest easy for ten minutes, have a fag, say, in the room clearly marked "staff", (adjacent the restrooms, obviously) kick open the door because you're lighting up and inhale deeply. As you turn slowly round, realising that you are not alone, do NOT say "aren't you supposed to be on a comfort break?"
(2) James Stewart. You are in a lift in the Jefferson Hotel, Washington DC and the man behind you asks what floor you want in a voice that you have heard all the way from "Merry Christmas Mr Rabbit on 34th Street" to "High Noon out the Rear Window" and you freeze, unable to move, breathe, or even move your eyeballs a teeny weeny bit from side to side. You can see, out the corner of one static eye that he has pressed "12" and out the corner of the other static eye that the lift is fast approaching "10" where you get out. Try to have a whole conversation with the poor man, one floor at a time, rather than squeezing it all in to two floors and then holding the doors open, telling him that your mother enjoyed his films, thus emphasising the age that he has felt for some time and is feeling very acutely right now. He won't be your best friend. Ever.
(3) Keanu Reeves. There are two ways of dealing with men in the gents toilet. First you can nod and smile politely and make small talk about the weather, the music, the food, the drinks, secondly you can just as politely ignore them, which is what most men do. A third way is to walk in and shout "Fuck me! You're Keanu Reeves! What the fuck are YOU doing in here??!" And then proceed to stand beside him weeing, trying not to look down. He will engage you in polite, intelligent conversation, for anything up to ten minutes, telling you his favourite film that he was in*, explaining why he didn't do Speed 2 and generally what it's like to be someone who earns $20m per movie. Very nice man, even under pressure in a toilet.
*The Devil's Advocate
(4) Prince Edward. Do not thank him for coming to your party when you have been at his.
(5) Barbara Streisand. Do your homework. When everyone else has bothered to turn up at the junket, for their alloted five questions, and you've flown in and got a special five minutes at a Malibu house which you believe to be hers but probably isn't, try to remember even the most simple facts. About, oh, marriage and such like.
(6) Hillary Clinton. Always try to address her by her own name, ie Mrs Clinton, rather than a name you have just made up in your head. She'll be very nice and understanding, but the rest of the day won't seem the same.
(7) Every TV totty presenter on UK TV. Try to get their FULL name right, rather than just an approximation, because you will invariably spit out the name of another, thus spoiling what might have been a very nice little party.
(8) Davina McCall. Do not try to impress her with the line "I'm the one who refused to employ you" because she won't be impressed.
(9) Dale Winton. Ask him how he knows Glasgow, not just the posh parts, but the rough as fuck old east end. On you go, ask him. It's not what you think. It's because he used to be a deejay for United Biscuits factories and they had three, one of which used to be in the roughest part of Glasgow imaginable.
(10) Do NOT sit in the Groucho Club slagging off Harry Enfield for being the worst fucking comedian in the history of bad comedians without first checking who is sitting in the large velvet chair backing onto you.
(11) Daniel O'Donnell, the boy from Donegal who loves his mum. Do not ask him why his fans are called bungalows ("nothing on top") because most of Donegal is covered in bungalows and you'll get a completley different answer.
(12) George Clooney. Elevator time again. In the W Hotel on Lexington. Midtown Manhattan and just as the doors are closing he jumps in beside you, just the two of you, and presses his floor. He looks up at you and smiles. You look down at him and smile. He looks up. You look down. Best not to say anything really.
(13) Double whammy. You are in a restaurant and realise that one table but one away is Jools Holland and his lovely wife. He gets up to leave and you catch his eye and say hi and engage in small talk, rather rudely talking over the people at the tiny table next to you who will, of course, understand totally and be more than a little thrilled to be having a celebrity conversation going on over their heads. When Mr & Mrs Holland have left, and you realise that the person at the next table is Annie Lennox, whom you have worshipped your entire life but didn't recognise when you sat down because it was so friggin dark, then you can legitimately crawl under the table and hide.
(14) Ant an Dec. In ITV Towers, there is a long corridor which takes you to the canteen and walking along there very often means faling into stride with complete strangers for at least a minute as you negotiate the doors and walk the floor. On your third or fourth time striding along beside the small but perfectly formed A&D do not say on reaching the canteen, "just like the school run really".