Richard Armitage goes to Sydney 4

[A report from “me +” reader Meri, who attended the Popcorn Taxi event in Sydney, Australia on May 1, 2013. Photos in the report are hers; I have not edited them except to put her name on them. Many, many thanks to Meri for recording her impressions and reactions! If you’d like to know more about her and her reaction to Richard Armitage, I interviewed her for a fan showcase last year.]


DavidIt really was an amazing day! Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, will stay with me forever.

One of my fellow Australian fans read online that Richard was going to appear on Mornings, a national show with local celebs David Campbell and Sonia Kruger. I’d never seen the show, as it’s broadcast at nine a.m. weekdays, when I’m at work.

Should we go and see if we could be in the audience? Of course we should!

Fellow fan Bec and I made our way across the city that morning — first by taxi, then ferry, and finally bus, only to catch another taxi to the studio.

I asked at the security gate if there was any way we could go in to watch as part of the audience. The answer was a big, fat, “NO.” They don’t have a live audience … D’OH! We texted the rest of the Aussie Armitage Army, who were at a breakfast meetup, to break the news and let them decide what to do. We decided to stay ourselves, since we were already there, and hoped to see Richard in his car and wave to him.

SignaSo we sat on our little brick wall in the morning chill, laughing and trying not to look too desperate and pathetic. I decided to follow David Campbell on Twitter, and made a semi-desperate, but I hoped funny, tweet. Bec and I alternated our tweets and I added a pic of us both under the Channel 9 sign telling him we were cold and that we needed coffee, and to take pity on us!

Over an hour had passed. I made one more desperate tweet to David as did Bec — OK, this is getting embarrassing now and people are judging us … HELP!! Within about ten minutes, Bec saw a woman with a clipboard waving at us. At first we didn’t know if she wanted us to come over or if her gesturing was aimed at the taxi at the gate, but she meant us. Still a little unsure about what was happening, we made our way through the security gates and she said, “David’s seen your tweets and would you like to come in and watch the interview?”


She proceeded to instruct us. We had to stand by the TV monitors and turn our phones to silent. Meanwhile she was asking questions: our names and about other shows Richard had been in. I immediately said, “Do you know Spooks? He played Lucas North and Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood.” She then said, “Excuse me, I need to make a call.” I heard her say , “It’s ok, they seem fine!” Obviously, she was checking us out.

We went into Studio 22 to watch the show. We were both standing, waiting. We were watching, knees knocking and us whispering “Can you believe this?” when I glanced over Bec’s shoulder to see Richard standing no more than two feet away!

“Don’t look now, Bec,” I said, “but Richard’s here!” I think he could have heard our stomachs flip and heart rates quicken.

We tried to keep cool while watching Richard being introduced off camera to the show hosts. After the commercial break, he would be on air.

What happened next we couldn’t have dreamed of. The floor manager, a really nice guy also named Richard, asked if we would like to sit on some stools closer to the stage to get a better view. Well, yes, we would. Thank you! As we perched up on our stools, a camera and boom appeared along with a makeup lady who touched up our faces.

“Um, are we going to be on TV?”

“Yes,” said floor manager Richard. “I will tell you when to smile, wave, blow kisses, whatever.”

David, the show host, had been busy filling Richard in about the two fans that came from Adelaide and Perth who were just over there. Richard then waved to us and flashed the biggest smile, we did the same, and then in 3, 2, 1 … Richard was on live TV and we were watching it unfold before us!

It was a lighthearted interview. Nothing new; same old Hobbit questions. Richard seemed very relaxed and looked gorgeous. Just as David was going to wrap it up, he said, “We have a couple of fans here who traveled from Adelaide and Perth to see you” — oh heck, Bec! — and we were on camera waving to Richard and he was waving back at us. David mentioned Bec’s twitter name as she’s Lady 0akenshield. Richard laughed. End of live interview. WOW! Did we just witness that?

BJI9e8YCYAATjGs.jpg_largeDavid and Richard shook hands, and, bless David, he asked Richard if he would mind having his picture taken with us. WHAT. OMG, quick, think, Merilyn, turn your phone back on, find your sharpie pen, and grab The Hobbit book out of your bag ….. Argh.

Richard made his way over to us. I asked him if he would sign my book just under Peter Jackson’s signature. He ran his fingers over the front cover, saying “I haven’t seen this edition before. Where did you get it?”

I still can’t believe I have a copy of The Hobbit signed by Peter and Richard! I took photos of Bec with Richard and she did the same for me.

He also noticed my Hobbit phone cover and loved it. “Wow, where did you get this?” he asked.

“A friend brought that for me, you can get loads of Hobbit goodies,” I said.

“Yes, I’m sure you can,” said Richard.

We all chatted away like mates, very comfortable and easygoing.

Beard touch1Then came the official photos for the show’s web page with us and Richard and my very cheeky beard touch!

“I’m only doing this as a dare,” I said whilst touching his beard, “Quick, take the photo, Bec!”

Richard thought it was funny and laughed at me.

“My Portuguese friends Ana and Sandra made me do it, Richard!” I said, which made him laugh again.

We thanked him a zillion times for stopping, chatting, and having photos taken. He is just adorable. After a few more smiles and laughs, he had to go.

Aussie floor manager Richard asked if we would like to stay and watch some more of the show, which we did. This was just part one of our amazing day!

~ by Servetus on May 6, 2013.

31 Responses to “Richard Armitage goes to Sydney 4”

  1. I have always said,nothing ventured, nothing gained. You guys certainly ventured and definitely GAINED! I am glad you had such a lovely time of it meeting RA. And it sounds as if Richard got a kick out of the whole beard-stroking dare, too. 😉


  2. What an unforgettable experience. You cheeky ladies! You give the fanhood a good rep. Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. Ahhh, another wonderful report, Mersguy!!

    I still remember your wonderful pics and coverage from the TORn party in Wellington last year. Thanks for taking the time to share to share the fun details of the day! 🙂


  4. So happy for you!


  5. Awesome, just awesome! Fortune favors the bold, and y’all had that RArmy Magic on your side that day!! ^_^


    • Exactly, they had the whole of the AA’s enthusiastic support sprinkling figurative fairy dust on them – and the magic happened!!


  6. Wow so amazing!!! So happy for you!


  7. This is just awesome sauce!! I knew about the dare, who’d have guessed the opportunity presented itself so perfectly & kudos to Bec to capturing it on camera!! I don’t know if I could have been able to keep my hand steady!


  8. Thanks for this lovely report!! I’m so happy (and so jealous) and so happy (and so jealous)!! lol


  9. AAAAAAAAGGGGRHHHHHH! I still cant believe it happened! I will never forget the experience of meeting him – he was so gorgeous and Meri, we are awesome for taking the chance and it paid off! Yay us!


  10. Ah, brilliant – finally a report from the POV of the two Sydney heroines! Thanks for giving us an insight how you got there and how it all went. Good to hear that RA was both in good form and a good sport. I think you both looked great on the show and were fantastic ambassadors for the fandom. And the beard touch was a dare? *LOL* Well done. I hope there is a massive prize in it for you – apart from the prize that is touching Thorin’s beard. Thank you for sharing, Meri!


  11. Well done meri and bec!

    And thank you for sharing your story meri.


  12. Oh, this is brilliant. I’ve been dying to know how you two managed this crazy stunt! Now I see it was not crazy at all but the result of cool heads, clear thinking and good organisation. Well done, you! I was at the Sydney Q&A (my post is over at The Armitage Effect) and have loved reading other fans’ perspectives on the evening, including Bollyknickers’ poignant account of RA’s momentary terror. (I actually captured those last moments on my phone but the light was too low for me to catch his expression.)
    Servetus, hello. I have been lurking for a while, but the Sydney frenzy has flushed me out, and now I am likely to be a serial pest.


  13. Wow, what a great experience. The best part about it is you two made it happen. A great lesson for us all. Stay calm, carry one and tweet.


  14. Glad your persistance paid off — not only for you, but for all of us. Such a refreshing story. Tks for sharing.


  15. So awesome! Thank you for your report :))) I’m really very happy for you guys! And I laughed so hard when I read that it was two Portuguese friends that made you a dare 😛 Lol we do like to challenge people 😀


  16. Thank you for sharing Meri :). I think I remember your sexy outfit from TORn party in Wellington.


  17. Meri, Thank you for sharing your story. A day to remember that is for sure. What a dare and way braver that I would ever be.


  18. […] looked at Thorin fan art without cringing (too much, anyway), hugged a Kermit the Frog doll, and let a fan touch his beard. All the while, he appeared convincingly to enjoy himself with an aplomb and lack of restraint that […]


  19. Thanks for all the supportive comments for this account of Meri and bechep’s adventure!


  20. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments, with Anna’s recent passing I haven’t had the chance to read them all. I think a little kiwi angel might have been smiling on us that day ♥


  21. I have to say it took guts to do what you both did…thanks so much for sharing your wonderful moments meeting Richard.


  22. […] [Right: a fan candid I really like that also demonstrates some of the odd combination of social and parasocial features of these photos that I discuss below. Her story here.] […]


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