Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Sent to Coventry

I spent my Saturday at CovCon, a film, TV and comics convention held in Coventry. I went partly to hang out being nerdy with my friend Hannah, and partly because Maryam d'Abo, Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights, was there and I wanted her autograph.

Hannah kindly picked me up from the station and drove to the venue, a sports centre on the outskirts of the city. Once we'd entered and been given wristbands, we found a hall full of stalls selling merchandise, while celebrities sat at tables awaiting your custom for autographs and selfies.

We made an initial circuit of the hall, noting things to go back and buy later; I was especially entranced by a man with a lot of 1960s model kits, LPs and assorted Bond paraphernalia, while Hannah had some decisions to make about Dr Who novels.

Cosplayers, mostly dressed as characters I didn't recognise from anime and superhero movies, provided a splash of interest and colour wherever they wandered. While enjoying a coffee outside, we encountered a Gumby shouting at a flowerbed.

(I had made a small effort, donning a flightsuit to look like James Bond in the opening sequence of Daylights, but I'm not sure anyone noticed.)

To my enormous joy, I spotted a man in a Hong Kong Phooey costume, and I begged Hannah to take my photo with him.

"I knew you were going to ask that!" she said.

I am standing with a man dressed as cartoon dog martial artist Hong Kong Phooey. We are doing karate moves.

After eating the packed lunches we had both, without consulting, brought, we headed to the Arena. I'd signed up for a photoshoot with d'Abo, and Hannah with Caroline Munro, Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me. We joined separate queues, and eventually I got my turn with the star.

Photo from a photoshoot. I am standing with my hands on my hips, beaming at the camera, while Maryam d'Abo (Kara Milovy in 'The Living Daylights') looks tolerantly at me.

As you can see, she was thrilled to bits to meet me.

We attended a Q&A with the Bond women, and then one with the cast of 'Allo 'Allo (which I've never actually watched). They had made an enormous effort, wearing uniforms and slipping with ease into their characters' comedy accents ("VHY IS MEIN MICROPHONE NOT VORKING!?").

One last sweep of the merch, in which I was persuaded to buy an U.N.C.L.E. comic the stallholder with the records had unearthed for me, then we drove to a nearby pub for a meal before I returned to Coventry station and thence home.

After all that, I didn't manage to get Maryam d'Abo's autograph; I decided to wait till after the photoshoot, but by the time I made it back to her signing table she'd already left. But I'd had such a good time I didn't mind. I'm sure I'll catch her on some other occasion!
Tags: james bond

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