Red Dwarf Event
Second trip to the United Kingdom, and it seemed too perfect to miss meeting the Red Dwarf cast. It was our last full day in the country and there was n event with Chris Barrie in attendance. The only main cast member I have not met before. As I had never been to this type of event internationally before I contact the event to ask exactly how their event worked and the system they used. Comparing it to the system we used over here, it was pretty similar, other than having limited photos.
We were staying with a friend in London at this stage of our trip. This event was located in Leicester at the National Space Centre. Just over a two hour drive from London, so we just decided to keep the hire car an extra day and make the trip.
This was definitely an interesting event to attend. For starters when we were buying our tickets they also included an annual ticket to the National Space Centre. As we were only there for the day, not really something we could use. We road tripped out to the event and we got there around opening time and queued for our tickets. Unfortunately the staff member had trouble finding out tickers because they had been put under the wrong name. A little frustrating but nothing to worry about it. That was until we got inside and were queuing up to get a group photo with the Red Dwarf boys. The person in front of us brought the very last photo token, so I missed out. Then we tried to find tickets to enter the panel and there were none of those left either, apparently they had just been given handed out to just anyone.
I was very frustrated and angry that I missed out on the photo token, it was our whole reason for coming. Since there wasn’t really any reason to stay we spoke to a staff member and explained we had come all the way from Australia for this event. Since we had missed out on getting any tokens we asked if a refund would be possible. They were incredibly understanding and they processed the refund for us. Then we were advised that if we still wanted to get autographs we could go back into the venue. Since I still really wanted to meet Chris Barrie, we decided to head back inside and get some autographs.
Queuing for Autographs
Jen and I stood in the queue for autographs with all the other Red Dwarf fans. Most of whom were also complaining about missing out on the photo opportunity and panel. There were a lot of ‘We drove x hours for this”. Jen and I were like, we flew from Australia and then drove 2 hours, we win. There was a lot of complaining going on in this true, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced that level of complaining in a queue before. No one seemed to be happy with the situation, which we could definitely understand. A lot of people were also annoyed that Craig Charles hadn’t turned up for the event.
When Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn and Danny John-Jules started rocking up to start signing autographs. It was pretty hilarious when Danny saw me and comments “Fancy seeing you in a Red Dwarf queue” to which I replied “At least I’m in a different country this time!”. The huffs and puffs from the people around us was rather entertaining. Of course Danny would remember me, I had sat with him during an autograph session in Melbourne only a month before.
Red Dwarf Autographs
The autographs system was a little different to what were used to, instead of buying tokens you just give the actor the money directly. For autographs I had purchased a Red Dwarf full boxset the previous day from a HMV store. It was a great price compared to how much Red Dwarf and BBC DVDs cost in Australia.
Chris was the first one up, and I was a tad excited to meet him. Jen had my camera to take photos for me, I had dubbed her my ‘Camera Bitch’ for the day – Thanks Jen! Chris was amazing, I told him how important the show has been to me and how I was happy to finally meet him. I explained that I’d been present during his Skype chat with Melbourne the previous month. He asked how it was and then told me to let Scotty know he’d be sending the autos back soon. So of course I texted Scotty straight away so I wouldn’t forget.
Next in line was Robert, who was as amazing as always. I can’t remember exactly what we spoke about at the time, probably how our trip to the UK was going. Danny was the last in line for autographs, and the person ahead of us managed to get the guys to pose for a photo with her. So whilst Danny was signing my DVD we had a little catch up chat, told him how our trip had been. I then asked him if I could sneak in a photo too, I used the whole “I have come all the way from Australia” line. Danny explained if they keep doing that, they’d have to do it for everyone, which was understandably. He asked if we could hang around until after the panel, he would sort something out.
Wandering and Waiting
We decided that even though we couldn’t get into the Red Dwarf panel, we would still hang around so I could get my photo with the guys. This gave us the opportunity to have a look around the Space Centre, which was actually pretty amazing. There was a lot to see and do and we had a brief look at pretty much everything. As a venue for a sci-fi themed event, it was perfect. As a venue for this type of event with the guests and everything it was a little confusing and tight in places. We checked out the other guests who were there, some whom I had met previously at Australian events.
For the majority of the Red Dwarf panel, we were just waiting outside a side door into the room. There was one other person waiting with us, so we were just all chatting and getting to know each other. It was quite fun, even though we missed the panel. When the panel finished a staff member came out and told us we could come in for our photos.
Red Dwarf Cast Photograph
I gave Jen my camera to take the photo and I went up onto the stage with the guys. One of the guys asked who Jen and I told them “She’s my camera bitch!”. Chris commented that, that wasn’t a nice thing to say, to which I responded “We’re Aussie, it’s a compliment”. This is when Robert jumps in and comments about how his wife is Australian, but doesn’t speak to him like that. To which Jen responded “Not to your face”. To which we all had a bit of a laugh about, it’s so true though.
Then just as Jen goes to take the photo Robert shouts out “Fuck Yeah!” and I just crack up laughing. And that is why I look like I’m in hysterics in the photo, because I was. I love this photo, it’s a shame that Craig was missing as it would’ve been nice to have all four of them. But considering we nearly walked away from this event with nothing, it is better than nothing. I also love that there is such a funny story behind the photo, it makes it much more memorable.
Road Trip back to London
Once the photo had been taken, it was time for Jen and I to make our journey back to London. We stopped by Milton Keynes and The Red Bull Factory on our way back. Even though it was closed we could at least take some photos of the outside and Jen was happy. As we headed into London, we realised there were no concession tolls on a Sunday so we decided to go for a little drive around the city. It was pretty awesome being able to drive across the London Tower Bridge ourselves.
The next day we were supposed to be flying back to Melbourne. So we packed all of our stuff and headed off to return the car and then head to the airport. This is when we realised that we had our days confused and we actually didn’t fly out until the next morning. So we got to have a bonus day in London and enjoy the city a little bit more.