I think it was the in the third term of my first year at university that I discovered Mr Fry in his printed, writerly form. I loved him and Hugh, have an ancient soft spot for Lord Melchett and could listen to him speak on any topic for as long as possible please. But it is a special sort of pleasure when he sits himself down and writes me a book to read. Not through a tv screen, or on the big screen, but written down and handheld – that’s how I enjoy the wonderful Mr Fry most. He is unique amongst the writers that I love, because as well as having a very distinct written voice, I can also hear his physical voice when I read his books.
So on Monday, when I got the chance to see him at the Royal Festival Hall reading from his latest installment of autobiography, I jumped at the chance. Literally jumped. Which for me, is a grand old effort. Meeting one old friend and one new, both equally as excitable as me (well actually Petra won the “dewy-eyed groupie” award for her unique brand of slightly unhinged enthusiasm) we marched into the RFH, books in hand and hearts in mouths. Seriously. Really love Mr Fry.
Of course he was funny. He was witty. He was wonderfully charming. But he was also extremely generous with his time, warm and friendly to every fan that met him and patiently endured me snapping away in the corner.
Standing next to me in the queue were two lovely people (I was too excited to ask names), one of which had brought along an iPad for Mr Fry to sign. Here he is, Sharpie in hand, signing the shiny back of that iPad.
Then it was my short turn to say hello, to offer my book, to thank him for writing it and probably to gush a bit.
Dear, wonderful, lovely Mr Fry – do get yourself back to Norfolk and write me some more. Much appreciated. Yours, groupie of Guildford.