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Tell us about meeting Michael Praed and share your pictures:

Fanfare chat transcripts with Michael Praed

  28 October 2007.

  1 May 2010


Table of Contents
Click their names to read their stories

Shirley Merriman ('High Society')
Nadeia ('The Sound of Music')
Gordina ('The Murder Game')
Debbie ('An Ideal Husband')
Shirley Merriman ('An Ideal Husband')
Paul ('Sleuth')
Gordina ('Sleuth')
Jen Richards ('Sleuth')
Joanna ('Sleuth')
Shirley Merriman ('Sleuth')
Sharon ('Sleuth')
Annette ('Sleuth')
Karen and Liz ('Sleuth')
Chimera's family ('Sleuth')
Dawn ('Sleuth')
Sarah ('Sleuth')
Suzie ('Sleuth')
Lorraine ('Blue on Blue')
Chimera and sons (Memorabilia 2004)
Carol and Gerry ('Beautiful and Damned')
Shirley Merriman ('Copacabana')
Otter ('Aspects of Love')

Title of Submission



Shirley Merriman hobnobs in true 'High Society'

Michael Praed with fan Shirley Merriman.  © 2013 Fanfare and Shirley Merriman

Shirley Merriman and Michael pose for a photo after 'High Society'
© 2013 Fanfare and Shirley Merriman

My sister and I saw ‘High Society’ at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham in June and was lucky enough to see Michael afterwards. It was a brilliant show, full of great singing and dancing, not to mention fantastic acting. Michael was on top form as ever! It was five years since I came face to face with Michael last, so it was really great to get another picture for my collection. We went for the Thursday matinee so Michael didn’t have much time to hang around, but did ask if we could make it back in the evening to join him for a drink in a local bar, but unfortunately we get back that night. However Michael, the next time you’re in Nottingham, I’ll be sure to book an evening performance and owe you a pint (or two!)

 Until we meet again, take care, Lots of love, Shirley XXX


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Left: Nadeia, Michael, and Clare, Right: Nadeia and Michael © 2010 Fanfare and Nadeia

Nadeia, Michael Praed and Clare
© 2010 Fanfare and Nadiea


Nadeia and Michael Praed
© 2010 Fanfare and Nadiea

Nadeia is introduced to Michael

I was lucky to meet Michael on January 23th when I went to see 'The Sound of Music' with Clare. We had been waiting for a moment when he came. He was late and on the phone. Clare called him.  He finished his phone call and came to us. Great thanks to Clare to have called him. It's something I would never have done! He was a true gent. Clare and I wanted to see him at the pre show because we had a few presents for him (some French wine from me). Though he was late, he nicely accepted to take pictures with us. He was really cool and nice with us. A lovely man. The show was great, and I must say that I don't think I had seen Michael in something before, but I liked his play very much. Now, I 'm waiting until he does something else where I can go. Thank you Clare, and thank you for this great time, Michael.


*Note: Nadeia and Clare first caught news of Michael while he was touring with their main interest Simon MacCorkindale in 'Sleuth'. Ironically, when 'Sleuth' closed, Simon took up the role of Captain von Trapp in the West End production of 'The Sound of Music'.  Michael followed him in the same role, same production for the tour.  When Nadeia came from France to Scotland to visit her friend Clare, Clare took her to see Michael in 'The Sound of Music'.  Both ladies clearly enjoyed the experience.


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Marquee at the King's Head for 'The Murder Game' © 2009 Fanfare and Gordina

Marquee at the King's Head for 'The Murder Game'
© 2009 Fanfare and Gordina

Gordina bumps into Michael

I met Michael on 29 March 2009 in the afternoon as I collected my tickets for the 7:30 performance of 'The Murder Game' at King’s Head Theatre. Since I had a little gift to hand over and a few flyers to sign, a lady at the box office said she wanted to make sure that Michael would come to the bar after the 3.30 performance. As I left the box office I heard a singing voice approaching. No sooner had I thought ‘Hang on, isn’t this …?’ when Michael was standing right in front of me. He seemed just as surprised as I was and greeted me warmly. I handed over my gift bag and he agreed to sign the flyers in the break between the two performances.

As I approached [co-star] Josefina Gabrielle for an autograph later, she knew my name because Michael had told her I was in. I was so amazed!

On Sunday, Michael and Josefina Gabrielle joined a couple of fans at the bar for a chat after the matinée performance. I had a great time that weekend and the play was fab!


Left: Michael in the King's Head Theatre pub. Right: 'The Murder Game' co-stars Ben Jones and Matt Healy. © 2009 Fanfare and Gordina

Michael in the
King's Head Theatre pub
© 2009 Fanfare and Gordina


'The Murder Game' co-stars
Ben Jones and Matt Healy

© 2009 Fanfare and Gordina

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Debbie meets her "Ideal"

Debbie and Michael  

I have just been to see 'An Ideal Husband' at Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre. I'd been previously in the year to see 'Sleuth', but I was with my husband and had to shoot off straight after. This time I sat in the front row and boy, what a first class performance! I enjoyed the play tremendously!  After the show I rushed around to the stage door and after ten minutes or so Michael Praed (wow!) appeared. I've always been a fan of Michael since I was a teenager, Twenty-five years I've wanted to meet him, since 'Robin of Sherwood'. We had a photo taken on a friend's phone (which Michael himself helped with as the first picture wasn't very good) and he signed my program. I'm on cloud nine! So utterly thrilled to meet the man himself! A lovely man, a true gent.

Afterwards, we went across the way to a bar and not long after Michael and several others of the cast entered. After gaining several other autographs from the generous cast, my friend ordered our cocktails. I couldn't believe my luck to be sitting a stone's throw away from Michael, What an experience for me! When my friend's husband collected us I said my goodbyes to the cast and Michael said "Goodnight, Debbie" He'd actually remembered my name!

Thank you to all the cast, but especially to Michael for a brilliant evening. Thank you for everything, Michael. I will never forget your kindness and generosity.

Love always, Debbie XXXXXXXXX

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Left: Michael with Shirley, Right: Shirley with Fenella Fielding © 2008 Fanfare and Shirley

Michael Praed and Shirley
© 2008 Fanfare and Shirley


Fenella Fielding and Shirley
© 2008 Fanfare and Shirley

An "Ideal" encounter for Shirley

Here are a couple of photos from last Thursday night (18th September) in Nottingham at ‘An Ideal Husband’.  Great show and some brilliant acting from everyone, Enjoyed it (although I must admit it wasn’t my favourite play.  Rather enjoyed 'Sleuth' a lot more!).  Still, got my usual hug and kiss from Michael which was all that mattered! And had the pleasure of meeting Fenella Fielding too. Pleasant lady, brilliant actress. And don’t you just love her wig!

Will go and see Michael again in Sheffield 8th November.  Can’t wait!

Shirley Merriman

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Paul meets Mike in Newcastle  © 2008 Fanfare and Paul

Mike signs Paul's pictures  © 2008 Fanfare and PaulPaul meets the best Robin Hood ever

I have been a fan of 'Robin of Sherwood' ever since the first episode aired on television, and over the years I have collected the DVDs, books and other memorabilia etc, so when my wife mentioned that the man himself was coming to the Newcastle Theatre Royal, for the stage production of ‘Sleuth’ in June/July 08, I decided then I had to make a special effort to meet Michael Praed.

My wife works part-time for the Front of House Staff at the Theatre Royal, so I knew I could get items signed without any bother, but I also wanted to obtain a signature in person, to actually meet and stand next to the man, who is for me the BEST ROBIN HOOD EVER!

I left work early and waited at the stage door after the Thursday matinee show hoping to catch him, there was quite a crowd of people waiting, and when Michael exited the theatre he stood for about 10-15 minutes signing autographs and having pictures taken with his fans. I found him to be a very polite and gracious person and what I like to call a ‘genuine’ person.

I just want to say “thank you” to Michael for being so kind to all of us who waited on that Thursday afternoon. And even when I chased after him down Grey Street on my bike and asked for another photo, because the first one didn’t work, he was more than obliging and my thanks go out to Michael for making the whole experience of meeting him something I will remember and tell my kids about, (even though they won’t have a clue what I’m talking about).




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She who dares wins

Michael holding his gift.  What a nice guy he is!  © 2008 Fanfare and GordinaLost in Brighton? Just follow the road called Prince's Place. © 2008 Fanfare and GordinaI would have never dreamt about being in this section at all, let alone so soon.

Stepping stones to Brighton:

February 2008 (rock bottom): For some reason I had to take down the A4 size poster of the chap in the brown costume on the inside of my cabinet door. Due to a wonderful invention called Blu Tac and despite taking utmost care, a corner came off, and the poster was slightly torn on one side. I was really disappointed and thought ‘Oh, I’ll just have to throw it out now. It’s simply too long ago.’

As I was about to grab the poster, the little fellow looked me straight in the eyes and asked: “Are you going to throw me away now after all these years?” I looked back at him, very much regretting my previous decision, and said: “Okay, I won’t.” Instead, I meticulously sellotaped the back of the poster and bought a protective cover so there would be no more Blu Tac damage.

March 2008 (curiosity killed the cat): Unexpectedly found a lot of time to watch ROS on DVD and asked myself the all-important question: What has become of Michael Praed? The internet soon delivered some answers, and I found the Fanfare. The information about his career left me surprised and happy, followed by a sense of sadness as I had missed it all when it was broadcast or released back then.

April 2008 (steam building up): Read many positive things about 'Sleuth' and about Michael being such a kind person and began to regret that I don’t live in UK.

Who wants to see the Royal Pavilion? Me, me, me!  Well, later.  Turn right, please.  © 2008 Fanfare and GordinaMay 2008 (the last straw): Went to a theatre in Cologne, Germany to see Ernst Lubitsch‘s “To Be Or Not To Be“. Play was fine but I realised I wanted to be somewhere else and started getting restless. Information on the internet revealed Brighton was feasible. Started going about my plan. I bought a flight ticket, reserved a ticket for the show and booked a room at a Brighton B&B.

7 June: Flight to Gatwick.

8 June: Sightseeing in and around Brighton. What a lovely place! Visiting Brighton alone would have been worth the trip but, obviously, seeing Sleuth was the icing on the cake!

9 June: The Big Day has arrived! I found the “right“ card for Michael almost immediately. Finding a card with “Runaway Horses” for Simon proved to be more difficult but was crowned with success in the end. Also, I saw the set arrive at the theatre in the morning.

I had made an efficient German plan to briefly hand over my little gifts as the actors would arrive at the theatre first thing in the early afternoon, then walk away and come back after the show to ask them for their autographs. As gifts I had settled for “a taste of honey“ (an international assortment of honeys in small plastic tubs) and some of my favourite tea.

The Theatre Royal Brighton © 2008 Fanfare and Gordina

From about 2.30 p.m., I kind of took roots near the stage door, but even the best of plans were to no avail. The stage director informed me that the actors had already arrived but had gone out again and “shouldn‘t be long“. I tell you, never believe what a stage director says. While waiting in warm, sunny weather, I implemented my efficient German plan B which was: Always carry a writing pad and ball pen with you so you can use your time to plot stories. The chocolate I had bought for Simon melted a little. Should‘ve given it to Michael. A voice like melted chocolate, ha ha. While standing at the stage door, I had enough time to plan three stories and chat a little with the theatre staff. Passers-by looked at me with curiosity as I was standing there, my camera over my shoulder, scribbling away on my pad.

About two hours later, autograph hunter Trevor joined me, and waiting became real fun. He told me about the stars he had already met, about the theatre‘s history and ghosts in the theatre. I was about to start writing one of the stories previously plotted and looked at my notes when Trevor suddenly called out “There’s Michael“. I turned around, and there he was, having cropped up from behind, as well-established Robin Hoods usually do. Trevor introduced me to Michael and said I had come from Germany and waited at the stage door for hours. From that moment on, Michael was with me, we chatted, I handed over my gift and he signed a few Sleuth flyers that Trevor had given me before.

Simon at the stage door after the show. © 2008 Fanfare and Gordina

I hadn‘t been quite sure about how I would react to seeing Michael face to face, but I must say I have rarely ever felt so calm and down-to-earth in my whole life as I felt when he stood beside me. I felt an instant warm connection to him.

I quickly rushed back to my B & B to get changed for the theatre and, after having returned to the stage door again, I also met Simon coming in.

The show was fantastic, and I am really glad I took it upon me to travel to Brighton. I would have definitely missed something if I hadn’t gone ahead with the trip. Michael is an actor with all his heart and soul, and Simon was the perfect match in the show. After the play, I rushed back to the stage door to say good-bye to Simon and Michael. Michael thanked me again and Simon shook my hand twice when he learnt I had come in from Germany to see the show and wished me a safe trip home.

The next day, before travelling back to Germany, I spent about an hour and a half sitting on Brighton Pier just looking at the waves and the skyline of Brighton while I thought about that play. I took a lot of food for thought back home with me.


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Left: Jen looking on as Michael signs an autograph, Right: Simon signing an autograph for Jen © 2008 Fanfare and Jen Richards

Michael Praed signs an autograph
as Jen looks on
© 2008 Fanfare and Jen Richards


Simon MacCorkindale and Jen
© 2008 Fanfare and Jen Richards

Theatre fan Jen meets Michael

Michael Praed with fan Jen Richards.  © 2008 Fanfare and Jen RichardsI had been a fan of Michael’s from the first moment I saw him on television in 'Robin of Sherwood' and of course, 'Dynasty'. I was thrilled to see him live in 'Aspects of Love', 'Contact' and 'Beautiful and Damned', but I never dreamt that I would ever actually meet him, let alone have my photo taken with him. It was on Saturday 7th June that I went with my husband, Steve, to the matinee performance of 'Sleuth' at the New Theatre, Cardiff. It was the most marvelous play and Michael’s acting was superb, as was Simon MacCorkindale’s.

Afterwards, I suggested to Steve that we waited for a few moments at the Stage Door in the hope that Michael might come out. I must admit that I didn’t really think he would, as I imagined that he would want to stay in the theatre to have a little rest before the next performance. I was getting my camera out of my bag and a pen to hand to Michael, when Steve nudged me to let me know that Michael had just come out. We had only been standing there for about a minute and in my haste, I hadn’t even noticed him come out, so I was completely overwhelmed! Michael was just so kind and patient with everyone and when I eventually got to him, he signed my programme “For Jen, love, Michael Praed” and a kiss. I noticed how artistic is writing was.

Meanwhile, Simon MacCorkindale had also come out and I joined the queue to meet him too. While I was waiting, I realised that I really had to pluck up courage to ask Michael if I could have my photo taken with him, as I would probably never have another chance. I was going back and forth between the queue for Simon and desperately trying to speak to Michael again before he went. Steve was being very patient with me, but I think he thought I was “bonkers”. When I finally got to ask Michael, he didn’t hesitate and put his arm round me. I was in seventh heaven while Steve took the photo. Shortly afterwards, Michael set off down the road and I watched him fade into the distance.

I just want to say “thank you” to Michael and Simon for being so kind to all of us who waited on that sunny June afternoon. The two of them could so easily have just “crashed out” after their tremendous and, no doubt, exhausting performances. Instead, they gave up their free time for their fans, which I’m sure was as much appreciated by the others as it was by me. The memory of my experience that afternoon will be something I will cherish forever.

Michael, I look forward to your next brilliant performance!

Jen Richards

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Michael, Joanna and Janosik

Michael and Joanna. © 2008 Fanfare and JoannaHow to start...

Living permanently in Poland I can say that I got to see Michael by a stroke of luck. Last December I was choosing long weekend destination in May and hesitating between London (which I had been to several times and love) and Rome (which I had never been to). As luck would have it, at the same time I saw the info about oncoming British tour of 'Sleuth' on Michael Praed’s site, and, to my amazement, the Richmond theatre dates coincided with with my holidays. From then on I knew that Rome would have to wait and started arranging the trip.

Not mentioning the fact that I ran a very good chance of not being able to get there at all, due to an airport emergency, I finally set my foot on the British soil once again and went to see 'Sleuth' on the 2nd May. Me and my friend had central seats in row C, so could see everything, down to Mr MacCorkindale’s eyeliner. 

The play was brilliant – witty, humorous but with a bitter aftertaste, come to think of it. I was sorry to see that Michael had to struggle with a cold which did not affect his superb acting in the least! Some funny moments, unpremeditated in the script, only added to our amusement, such as Mr MacCorkindale’s smashing some of the props which he was just supposed to put aside or Michael’s problems with putting the clown’s trousers on properly, commented with a murmur “This bloody thing is the wrong side up”.

But it was just the first part of the treat.

I’d asked the usherette on arrival if it would be possible to meet Michael, since I had a small gift for Him. Unfortunately, they directed me to the stage door, with a helpful, detailed explanation where to find it. I somehow sensed that with the cold and a Friday night, Michael would probably want to be off as soon as possible, so after the show, when the applause died down I shot out to the stage door, leaving my friend to collect my coat and join me there. There were a couple of other people waiting already (did they fly or what?), including a small gentleman at the age of 8, I think. I had butterflies in my stomach, my knees were knocking, and it wasn’t for the chill of the evening, believe me.

After a couple of hoaxes, such as the theatre staff putting out the rubbish or bolting out to catch their bus home, the stage door opened again and Michael Praed emerged. Immediately, he started talking to us, or rather the couple with the boy who, as Michael learnt while signing the paper, had also seen and enjoyed the play.

My turn came and Michael asked who he should make the autograph out to. I also gave him a wooden statue of a legendary outlaw associated with the Tatra mountains of Poland, called “Janosik” and remarked that I’d put all the data about him on an attached card. Michael accepted it gratefully, and then in the last act of bravery I asked if I could have a photo with him. Michael agreed readily and even asked if we were sure whether it was a good one. While having it taken I remarked that I had been waiting for the chance to see him perform for 22 years, to which he replied that it had indeed been a long time. Other people asked for autographs so we stepped aside, me taking in the sight of Michael, clutching the notebook with his signature and little realising what else was going on around. It was time to go and we did it, but apparently Michael was going in the same direction. The last I saw of him, he was entering “The Duke” pub in Richmond and warmly greeting some people there. That was it.

We made our journey back to our hotel in London, my friend leading me by the hand across the streets like a four year old. (Lord, curse the left side traffic! 

Thank you, Michael, for a brilliant performance and making my childhood dream come true. It was well worth the wait.  You’re such a charming, easygoing, kind person to talk to.

And thank you, Celeste, without your excellent website I’d be still dreaming of meeting Michael instead of recollecting the wonderful evening in Richmond Theatre. What a trip!


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Shirley sees 'Sleuth'

Michael and Shirley. © 2008 Fanfare and Shirley MerrimanWhat a great evening! Went to see 'Sleuth' while in Nottingham on 3rd April.  Sat in B row and could almost see up Michael's trouser leg! Great view though, especially when he stripped off! At the end of the show he spotted me when taking a bow and smiled.* I rushed round to the stage door afterwards and waited. Michael came out about 10 minutes later, signed a few autographs, then came up the steps towards me with his arms wide open and greeted me with the usual hugs and kisses! It was great, and as usual I go all weak at the knees and my heart goes a flutter! We then headed over the road to a pub called ‘The Stage Door’ for a drink and a chat about all sorts of things, followed by the usual photo shoot! I was on cloud 9 million that night, but wished it hadn’t gone so quickly!

Thanks Michael for making my evening! Can’t wait to see you in Sheffield next month!

Shirley Merriman

*Note: Shirley and Michael are old friends.  (Although the term "old" is a certainly misleading in their case.)  To see an account of their first meeting, please click here.


Shirley and Michael during the Sheffield run of 'Sleuth'
© 2008 Shirley Merriman

Another great ‘Michael Praed Day’, this time in Sheffield on 17th May. A very brief meeting after the matinee but I was still greeted with open arms and a hug from Michael, so it was well worth it! Will look forward to seeing him in ‘An Ideal Husband’ later in the year!


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Left: Michael with Sharon, Right: Simon with Sharon © 2008 Fanfare and Sharon

Michael Praed and Sharon
© 2008 Fanfare and Sharon


Sharon and Simon MacCorkindale
© 2008 Fanfare and Sharonn

'Sleuth' is a superb experience for Sharon

I only live a few miles from Sherwood Forest so the legend of Robin Hood is very special to me. Michael Praed, in my opinion, has always been the best Robin Hood and I've been a huge fan of his since I was 13 when he first appeared in `Robin of Sherwood`.

I've always wanted to see him on stage but never had the opportunity. So when I read that `Sleuth` was coming to Nottingham I immediately booked a ticket for the 2nd of April.

During the hour train ride to Nottingham I was both excited and slightly nervous. I'd never been to the theatre to see a proper play before and couldn't wait to see Michael in action but at the same time I didn't know my way around Nottingham so it was quite daunting being on my own.

`Sleuth` was amazing. I was blown away by the extreme talent of both Michael and Simon. I was captivated the whole way through and laughed out loud at the comedy. It's got me completely hooked and I've already booked to see another show in July.

I'd read previously on this page about other people's chance meetings with Michael. So being brave, I wandered off to seek out the stage door. Just as I found it the door opened and a smiling Simon MacCorkindale emerged. He was absolutely charming and really chatty. He signed my programme and gladly posed for a photo. Before he went he told us that he didn't think Michael would be coming out as he had a `Do Not Disturb` sign on his door and was probably taking a nap. My heart sank. But me and 4 others decided to brave the cold weather and waited in hope. Our perseverance paid off, after about an hour Michael appeared clutching a newspaper and was about to dash off up the street when he noticed us. He happily came over to chat and sign autographs. He was such a gentleman and completely as I imagined he would be. Even though he was obviously in a rush to be somewhere, he still made time for us and gladly posed for a photo. He was so calm, laid back and easy to talk to that I wasn't nervous at all, which surprised me. I thought I'd be a complete wreck.

Once we'd said our thanks and goodbyes I ran back to the station but missed my train by a whisker. After an hour wait for the next one I then had to endure a screaming baby all the way home, but it didn't bother me at all. I was bursting with happiness. After all these years of wanting to meet Michael Praed my dream had finally come true. I kept going over and over it in my head so I wouldn't forget a thing. In fact, I still have that silly grin on my face and probably shall for a long time to come..

Thank you Michael for your precious time. You've no idea how happy you've made me. I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have met you. My only regret is that in my excitement I forgot to ask if you'd had a nice birthday. But never mind, I got more than I bargained for on my first trip to the theatre.

I'd also like to thank Samantha with whom I got chatting to while waiting and who took the awesome pictures.


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Annette and Panton with Michael
(and Robin and Will)

Panton, Annette and Michael holding figurines. © 2008 Fanfare and AnnetteMy name is Annette and I have been a looooooong time fan of Mr. Praed.  On 1st April 2008 I met him again at my local theatre (Theatre Royal, Nottingham) to show him a figure that my brother, Panton Hall, had made when he was in 'Robin of Sherwood'.

At the time, I asked my brother, Nottingham born and bred, to make the whole cast, which included Jason Connery. He had done such a good job the I tried to get his work shown to the whole cast, but when they came to Sherwood Forest in 1985, the project was not finished. We had also tried to contact the studio and makers of the series but with no joy.

After twenty-one years and for my birthday present, my brother had bought tickets for 'Sleuth', which I saw yesterday (3/4/08). On the 1/4/08, we met Mr. Praed and I explained to him that my brother had made a figure of him in the 80s when he was seventeen years old.*  Mr. Praed was shown the figure of Robin Hood and Will Scarlett (Ray Winstone's character) and he loved it.

Sorry about the bad photo, but I attached a picture of us, with my brother and Michael holding a figure each.

If anyone would like to see the figures or know how to get in contact with anyone who would like to showcase them, please .

Thank you and many thanks to Mr. Praed for a special day again and I hope to see him again before I go back to Japan.


*Note: Michael was actually in his early twenties during the filming of the series.  (Don't let his look of baby-faced innocence fool you!)  I tried to lighten the foreground of the photo a little so we could see those expressions.  Hopefully, I didn't throw it too far out of balance.

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Michael and Liz © 2008 Fanfare and Karen

Karen and Liz bump into a new friend

Michael and Karen © 2008 Fanfare and KarenFor my sister's birthday this year I bought tickets for us to see 'Sleuth' at the Civic Theatre, Darlington. Having been fans of Michael since our teens, it was an opportunity we couldn't miss out on. We went on 20th February to see the show and thought it was absolutely fantastic, especially to see Michael 'in the flesh' in more ways than one for those who have seen 'Sleuth'!!

The show was good enough for us, but imagine how we felt when walking past our local coffee shop a couple of days later to see Michael sitting in there having coffee. I was beside myself but didn't want to disturb him.

At dinner time I came out of work, looking forward to a sarnie, as you do, when coming towards me in the street was Michael. I thought "it's now or never", so I stopped him and asked if he was Michael Praed and he said yes and we chatted for a while. Even though I had stopped him he was quite willing to talk to me and he was lovely, such a gentleman. I told him we had been to see him at Darlington and him if my sister and I could have our photos taken with him, He said yes absolutely and arranged for us to meet him at the stage door the following night, as we had tickets for us and our mum to see him again.

When we got to the stage door we were told there was a 'Do not disturb' note on Michael's dressing room door and were asked to come back in 10 minutes, which we gladly did. We arrived back to hear that Michael had been looking for us.  How nice was that!  We were taken to his dressing room and had a lovely chat to him, even though it was 20 minutes before the show started, he had all the time in the world for us. We had our photos taken and he signed our programmes. He is such a lovely man, that's all I can say. And if he ever reads this I want him to thank him for being so welcoming and to know he made our year!!

Karen and Liz, Barnard Castle, County Durham

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Chimera's family sees 'Sleuth'

Chimera and her sons know Michael well, having met him several times.  Suffering from one of his intense migraines, son Daryl fainted practically at Michael's feet at the Birmingham NEC in 2004 (see the account below).  Deeply concerned, Michael galvanized those around him to provide help for the boy.   A year later, Chimera and son Chris attended 'Misery', talking with Michael afterwards.  To their astonishment, "Memory Man" Michael inquired about Daryl's chronic migraine troubles.  In 2008, Chimera cleverly asked for 'Sleuth' tickets as her Mother's Day present and the whole family set out to see the show.  Here's her account.

We were sat in row B and could almost touch the stage from our seats, it was that close. It was a great play. Very funny, lots of twists. I think Michael and Simon were well matched for the parts they played.

Daryl also enjoyed the play, although I know he was nervous.  I had to keep asking him if he was okay as I was worried he'd be sick in the middle of the play. I think he was worried about that too and unfortunately he tends to make himself worse by worrying about it, like a viscous circle. After the show, we made our way to the stage door.  Daryl decided he'd rather go back to the car than risk staying, even though he'd liked to have waited. So his Dad walked him back to the car whilst Chris and I waited.

Not long after, out came Michael and started to sign autographs and talk to people.  When he got to me, he asked who to make it out to (as he'd been asking to the others).  I told him "Wendy" and then he commented that we'd met before. I reminded him about Daryl and he remembered, making a comment about it being in Birmingham.  Chris then also mentioned we'd been to see 'Misery'.  Again, Michael remembered.  He looked at me and said that my hair was different. I have been straightening my hair and it does look different, I have had a lot of comments from people I know, but it took me by surprise that he'd remembered that much, specially as it had been about two and a half years since I last saw him. Of course he asked about Daryl.  I told him we were still having a lot of problems.

Left: Chris with Michael, Right: Chris with Simon © 2008 Fanfare and Chimera's Realm

Michael Praed and Chris
© 2008 Fanfare and Chimera's Realm


Simon MacCorkindale and Chris
© 2008 Fanfare and Chimera's Realm

After Michael, we also got a photo and autograph from Simon.  He was really nice.  I was really nervous and after talking to Michael I was shaking a little.  When I went to take the photo of Chris and Simon, I clicked the shutter too soon and was worried that the camera hadn't had time to focus properly.  Rather than mess around zooming in to check, I thought it would be quicker to ask if I could take another just in case, which Simon was happy to do. Lucky for me, both photos were fine.


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