You meet some interesting people when touring Waterstones. Over the past few months I've followed in the footsteps of Katie Price and Christopher Paolini. Yesterday, while David and I were signing our latest books at Waterstones Preston, Brendan Sheerin of Coach Trip fame was also booked in at the store to sign copies of his autobiography.
I have seen the show a few times and quite enjoyed it but a close friend of ours watches it regularly. So never one to miss the opportunity to sort out an early Christmas present I watched the huge queue diminish and then tagged on the end to get the book signed.
As I waited I watched Brendan work and have to say I was very impressed with him as a person. There are many times when I've wonder at the popularity of a celebrity, the power of television seems to create many such reality stars - the Katona's of this world for example - that are a car-crash waiting to happen. The media loves this type and writes more about the negative stars than the positive ones. We are given the impression that most of these people are spoilt and unpleasant.
I could tell immediately that Brendan Sheerin was not a 'car-crash celeb' and deserves to be where he is today. He was, in fact, a genuinely charismatic, warm and affectionate person.
As I watched Brendan greet his adoring fans, treating each one like a long-lost friend, there was a feel-good atmosphere that rippled through the shop. Brendan made each person feel like he was interested in them. But this wasn't fake interest or showmanship. It was obvious he was delighted to be there and was enjoying meeting the people that make Coach Trip such a success: the audience. It was nice to see such respect given to the people who make celebrities a success.
Brendan, it truly was lovely to meet you and I wish you continued success. There are few genuinely nice guys in any industry, and I think you're one of them. Keep up the good work.