A doubly memorable evening

Yesterday evening, we had the pleasure of celebrating the launch of actress Susan Wooldridge‘s debut novel The Hidden Dance at Hatchard’s. It was a wonderful and star-studded affair, and it was of course a special delight to be mingling with literary celebrities and marvellous actors I’ve watched on film and TV screens over the years. I’ll be posting pictures from the night on the blog next week, so watch this space…
Then, after the grand launch was over and I made my humble way home on the tube, I saw a girl glance at her mobile and say to her friend (let’s call her X): “I’ve just had a text saying Michael Jackson has died?!”. I have to admit my first thought was: “How did she get a text whilst on the tube?”. My second thought was: “Did I hear that right??”
And so I continued to eavesdrop and they seemed serious. So much so that X goes on to say that one of her mates is Michael’s back-up dancer so she figures he’d be out of a job.  Ok, now the conversation was getting far too surreal – and I hadn’t even consumed that much wine at the launch.
I put it down to a tasteless text-prank until later when, as I walked up the street to my flat and approached a couple coming the other way, the man literally stopped me and said, “Have you heard Michael Jackson has died?”
“Are you serious?”, I replied.
“I’m sh*t serious, turn on Sky News, CNN – you got Facebook? Go on Facebook. It’s messed up, man.”
“How?”
“Cardiac arrest. Go turn on your TV.”
And so, at 12.20 I turned on Sky News and there it was. Breaking News.
One moment I’m brushing shoulders with the stars, the next I’m hearing one of our generation’s greatest music icons has died. Not an evening I will be forgetting any time soon.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity Manager

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