Regrets, I've had a few...as the song goes. But not many I'm happy to say.
One of those I do recall might (with a great deal of hope and imagination) have changed the course of my life.
I turned down the offer of working alongside Barbra Streisand in one of her films.
I know it sounds somewhat unlikely but it is actually true....
At the time, many years ago, I was working as a reporter on a small local newspaper in Liverpool. The office, in Penny Lane (itself immortalised of course by the Beatles in song), was a tiny but busy place, the hub of the local community and a den of gossip, rumours and stories which came in by phone and over the counter. One of my tasks, in what was a multi-tasking role, was to sift through the stories for something newsworthy and then to test my (perhaps still) rudimentary journalistic skills by turning it into a ready-for-print newspaper item. Being a weekly newspaper the deadlines were quite tight and, although I still used an old fashioned typewriter to prepare the story, it could, by the wonder of a newfangled piece of technology called a telecopier (a predecessor of the fax machine), be zapped across to our head office in Manchester in minutes.
Anyway, so it was one day that the phone rang. It was Barbra's 'people'. She was in the city filming scenes on the Mersey Ferries for her new film 'Yentl'. Rumour had it that she took a whole floor of the swanky waterfront Atlantic Tower Hotel while staying in the city. And why not, she was (and is) Barbra Streisand.
She was looking for locals to perform as extras in various scenes of the film, they would be paid fifty pounds per day while she sang and acted around them.
Bear in mind that I was a naïve 16 year old at this time and thought in my young and inexperienced mind that such opportunities would come my way often in life. And so I declined the invitation.
The film turned out to be rather wonderful and I spotted many people I recognised in the final scenes on the ferry all immortalised alongside Barbra Streisand on the big screen.
Yes it is a regret that I wasn't one of them. Perhaps the one who Barbra would have spotted in the crowd and singled out for a featured role - perhaps a duet – before taking me to Hollywood where I might have become a big star, the toast of the town.
But at least I could have said 'I was in a film with Streisand' which sounds better than 'I could have been...'
Then there was the time I turned down an exclusive interview with the legendary Frankie Vaughan...but that's another story.
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