Friday 22nd October 2021

Famous People I’ve Met. 33/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.74.

Famous People I’ve Met. 33/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.74.

This post was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I would say though, I do not have photos with many ‘famous’ people I have met. I have lived quite a long time (in my 69th year!) so I recall meeting:

  • singer Bobby Rydell when I was 12 at the airport. My Dad took me..I do not know why!
  • now ancient and still DJ on radio Bob Rogers as a teen but I barely recall where!
  • as a visitor to my school: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and he was pretty disinterested but he came to speak to the kids of the OC classes and they lapped it up.
  • in the TV audience for a show headed by Tony Squires- as part of the Sydney Olympics and it was fun.
  • met author & public education champion Jane Caro on the morning I appeared on Weekend Sunrise
  • met the Morning Sunrise Team – of then Kochie, Mel and Mark when they did the show next to our house in 2014 but they did not impress me
  • was invited to and attended a small morning tea with then Senator Stephen Conroy and whilst he was communications minister for then Labor Govt, we talked of the NBN….and we know what happened next. Change of Govt…and somewhere along the line, Sen Conroy left politics.
  • had the entire (old) 2WS team broadcast their breakfast show from the school where I was principal and they were a delight!

The following people I did meet….at various functions in Sydney over a few years…

What can I add? Who Gets to Meet Santa Claus? Me!

Of the people in the photos above, I enjoyed meeting and felt privileged to meet:

Then NSW Governor Dr Marie Bashir. This gracious woman thanked me, then retired from NSW public schools for all I had done for public education in New South Wales. I was touched.

The author & actor William McInnes as he has been narrating his stories to me, yes just me, right..for many years and I never tire of his voice, his tales and his genuine regard for all things Australian. I sat about one chair space from where he spoke and he was ‘just great’.

The then Prime Minister Julia Gillard impressed me with her brief chat to me about education and thanked me for my contribution. My opinion of her changed over time when she connected funding to schools via a very complicated system that negated what was the best of Gonski.

T.V. and media home designer and author Shaynna Blaze was so generous and kind in her one to one meeting with me. Admittedly it was a function where I paid some money to be in a small group who heard her speak. She even followed through with her congratulations when she heard our house had sold after I sent her a photo of ‘the decor including the cushions.’

Author and Neuropsychologist Kylie Ladd became a twitter follower and friend in 2010 and at Kerri Sackville’s first book launch in 2012 I got to meet Kylie. She is an unassuming and modest author who had written successful fiction for some time. I went to my then local Library at Castle Hill to be an supportive audience member for her talk in 2014 about Mothers and Daughters.

Have you met some famous people too?

How do people become famous?

I do think things have changed a lot in terms of fame when we consider social media’s impact.

Love to hear your thoughts.


You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 34/52. My Hairstyle History. 20/8/18.




  1. Ha! I love that shot. And that you were unimpressed by some people….I have been unimpressed by some people too – I often think I know people and start babbling on and then say “Oh, I know who you are. We don’t know each other. Sorry.” and walk away. Most find this hilarious, even though I’m sure it happens a lot….

    • Yes, I admit I am less “star struck” as time goes on. However, I did like getting these photos at the time. I was with my second GD when the pic of me with Dr Bashir was taken – at the Schools Spec in…2012? Anyway, I drove my GD in because she was part of the choral group and was going to view the concert that evening. BUT, on our way to the long gone EntCent, Grandma tripped and fell in a muddy puddle!! S and I then got on the extinct monorail as I thought some of the grazes needed to be checked at a chemist…and then buy a T-shirt to put on as my top was wrecked. The photo op happened as I walked near the official party and me being education-peep I am got a look at the group…next thing Barry O’Farrell says let me take your photo with the Governor. Sure! But she was so gracious! Lovely memory of a place and space no longer there! Denyse x

  2. Wowzers! You have met quite a few famous people! I’ve met a few pop stars, Mark Owen from Take That (swoon!) Wes Carr (he was lovely,) but my most famous person was meeting Chris Martin from Coldplay at an after party before they got really famous. I offered to be their personal astrologer! LOL! I’ve also met some British politicians and footballers when they came to schools where I was working and when I was younger I went to meet and greets at Arsenal (my football team of choice) and met some of my footballing heroes. I also met Kerri at her recent book launch, she’s a legend! These days I am not really up with celebrities so I probably wouldn’t know one even if I saw one!

    • Oh that’s a pretty big list there Sammie! Maybe I should have amended the famous to… celebrity! But then again, Julie Gillard and Dr Marie Bashir were not amongst those. I loved reading your list.

      And yes, of course, pollies coming into schools. I remember those days too.

      Thanks for sharing your stories.

      Denyse x

  3. OMG you met William McInnes and Marie Bashir?!? What a champion! I love William’s books (and to be honest, I think I tuned into Blue Heelers all those years just for him.
    You’ve met so many famous people! I guess I have too, but I don’t count them if it’s for work. Meanwhile, my post this week is a ‘semi’ famous person… since I guess he’s only famous in the running community. I’ve met him twice now and have loved his commitment, drive, enthusiasm and support each time.
    I can’t say that I’m surprised that you weren’t too taken by the Sunrise team. I can’t stand to watch them on TV. But I’m sad about your experience with Dr Karl.

    • William McInnes…sigh. I really only listen to the way he talks about his life…(and love that nostalgia about him) I don’t say much in front of B but I reckon I’d enjoy William reading the phone book. When I saw him and heard him read that night, he was so unabashed and dishevilled! A taxi from the airport for a book event at Mona Vale. He arrived after all of us, downed a wine then got started!! Dr Bashir. I loved meeting her as I said. Now when I go up to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse along Missenden Rd I pass a building named after her. So sad her husband died not that long ago.

      Of the Sunrise mob Mark Beretta was the nicest. My big surprise was how tall Mel was! Dr Karl may have been good for the OC class he came for but maybe when not ‘in front of a group’ he was much more aloof. He also drove out to Richmond from the inner city and he did it for free!

      Denyse x

  4. You have certainly met some interesting people, Denyse and I too like William McInnes’ voice! Of course, you are a celebrity to me in the way you are shining the light on Head & Neck Cancer. You are certainly giving back and I vote for you to be the poster person (gender neutral term :)) for H&N Cancer. Thanks for sharing your meetings with all of these ‘famous’ people. I think Shayna would be a fun person to meet – so energetic! Have a great week Denyse and hope to see you at #MLSTL on Wednesday. xx

    • Oh Sue, too kind! Today this HNC patient has been up and down in mood! I think the big changes that are coming…teeth…might be something I have waited a long time for, but with new things (Iand cancer treatments often throw up something new) I need time to adapt.

      Shaynna was so delightful and even responded so positively when I told her “the cushion advice had helped sell the home”.

      William McInnes..he is an Australian icon!

      Denyse x

  5. I’ve met Kochie too, he’s super tall! The famous people I’ve met are mainly all Star Trek actors, having been to a lot of conventions over the years. We had the pleasure of meeting William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from the original Star Trek, so much fun!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

    • That would have been amazing to meet the stars of a show that you love so much.

      I got the surprise with how tall Mel was! You can tell that show was done in 2014 before she left.

      Thanks for sharing your celebrities too.

      Denyse x

  6. You’ve met some interesting people, Denyse. One famous Canadian artist that I’ve met is Robert Bateman. He paints many exceptional nature and wildlife paintings. You can see his art work at In person, he’s down to earth and easy to talk to.

    • Isn’t that great when people are like him? I think that is something to admire in a person. I will have to check him out. Thank you for sharing, Natalie.

      Denyse x

  7. You know, I have no idea who is worth calling famous…I’ve seen people on planes, Adele shopping for scarves in London, John Torode (UK Masterchef) in the same store (Liberty) and Prince Charles in a car at London Bridge. I watched Manu pace up and down the check-in hall at Brisbane once yelling into the phone. I tend not to want photos with “famous” people, but at one Food Show – it must have been 10 years ago – I met Gordon Ramsay (who is one of my foodie heroes) & he asked me if I wanted a photo and when I said no, he asked me if I wanted to know who had won masterchef. It was the first season & they were up to the final 8 or something. Again I said no – even though the friends I was with kept trying to get me to say yes. Finally, I gave in and he put his arm around me and said “Julie Goodwin”. The ultimate in spoiler alerts.

    • I had a laugh when I read that. I agree that ‘who is a celebrity and why’ is up for debate these days but it was a fun topic.

      Gordon Ramsey was cheeky!

      Julie Goodwin has made quite a good community on the Central Coast from her win. It was recently sullied when she tried to get away from a RBT set up…they found her easily. In her Mini and in the laneway near Julie’s Place. Sigh. Felt sorry for her because the media enjoyed that!

      Denyse x

    • Awww what? Dammit Gordo! Way to ruin the finale. I’ve been watching him on Junior Masterchef over here and I take a little too much joy in seeing him get ‘slimmed’ with pancake batter and the like.
      I don’t like meeting my heroes, I turn into such a blithering idiot. I met my favourite band once and just stood there staring while my brother got their autographs.

  8. I’ve met a few people and have a few stories. I’ve had a cuddle and picture with Chris Hemsworth, chatted to John Howard, Mel Gibson borrowed our porta loo when he went camping once, I nearly hit Ivan Lendl with my car and Tony Roche used to be my boss.

    • What! That is a pretty impressive list! Tony Roche as a boss! A little known fact, perhaps even for Tony, is that the suburb called Shalvey in Sydney and where I was DP of the Primary School, had all its streets named after tennis players! There is Roche Place and the school is in Laver Street. My old boss was a very keen and good tennis player and even was part of a committee at the old White City so it was so appropriate for him to work in the school too.

      Denyse x

  9. Oh you met Julia! I loved her. I have a letter from Julia to my kids. (I wrote to her when she was PM.)
    I have met many famous people as I used to be a professional actor. I worked with Kylie, Jason Donovan, Telly Savalas, Jimmy Smits, Ben Mendelsohn to name only a few. Never cared much for the hype around celebrity famous people though. I am more inclined to get excited about really famous political people like Julian Assange!

    • I really did find Julia lovely and she was so kind to me and wrote something congratulatory to me about my role in education. I just got a bit disappointed with the way funding went under her leadeship but it so much worse now…I am no longer entering into discussion.

      Wow, Jody, I did not know about you being an actor. I can see why you might be less than impressed with some. Famous political people sure can also draw us in.

      Denyse x

  10. You’ve met so many famous people! I’ve only met a few, mainly sports stars and TV actors. Like you I have been impressed with some of them such as Ian Thorpe who was so lovely and gracious and Kate Ritchie, and unimpressed by others such as Sally Pearson.

    • It is really interesting isn’t it with the sports people. You just reminded me then of when my daughter and I went to the Olympic trials at Sydney Aquatic Centre and we bumped into one of the swimmers and said hello and wanted a photo. She was quite dismissive (Samantha Riley, I think) but she was having issues with her swim or something. It must be hard to ‘stay in the zone’ when people hassle you.

      Of course, her name was given to Samantha Riley Drive Kellyville (near where we used to live) joining Old Windsor Road and Windsor Road and now the railway is there somewhere…it always was a bottleneck in the mornings and still is apparently.

      Denyse x

  11. I’ve met a few, mostly at fan conventions. The variety in the “met” depends on how commercial the convention was. Sadly they are highly commercial these days and they are very different from the ones of old

    I’m not too shocked to hear that the sunrise crew were unimpressive but I do tend to despise that show, so…

    • I am not a breakfast tv person…only appear on them (LOL) as I did ONCE!! Yes, they are loved by some that is for sure.

      Fan conventions are new to me but I see they are popular.

      Denyse x

  12. The most famous person I ever met was Pope John Paul II when I was on a choir tour of Europe in 1990. Such a kind man with incredibly soft hands!

  13. Wow. What an amazing list . I’ve never really met anyone famous. Unless former footy players from the 80s are still considered famous. Anyway I’m too shy and furthermore wouldn’t have a clue who most celebrities are these days!

    • Thanks Ness. You reminded me. In 1983 0r 1984 when I was an executive teacher at Walters Road PS, through a good friend of mine, I got Peter Sterling out to read stories to the classes for “showing, all people read books”. He was marvellous and at the peak of his Eels career.

      Denyse x

  14. Great to read of your meetings with celebrities. They should be thrilled to have met you Denyse! I knew Richard Roxburgh when I was at school and we had a pen pal thing going for a while. I’ll try to link up for next week’s hair posts

    • Oh Richard Roxburgh is lovely. What a great relationship you had. As for me, I have lived a LONG time ( so far so good!) and it’s been fun to meet some of these people. I learned it’s better to ask than wonder “why didn’t I?”

      Yay for next week’s hair posts…and looking forward to yours.

      Denyse x

  15. Denyse, ny favourite is the photo of Dame Marie Bashir and yourself – as taken by B O’F!

    Love it.

    SSG xxx

    • Thanks SSG. BOF… he was charming that night and there was a story to my “outfit” as per my answer to Lydia. I had fallen over prior to my granddaughter and I going to the Ent Cent where she was performing and was a mess….over to Darling Harbour on the monorail…and got the least garish Australia souvenir t-shirt! That’s my top…she was so kind and said lovely words of thanks to me, and I think of her when I see the building names for her opposite RPA.

      Hope the body has recovered well after City to Surf.

      Denyse x

  16. You’ve met so many people Denyse! They are some wonderful memories. The only famous people I can remember meeting growing up was the actor who played Jo Loveday from A Country Practice, a DJ (I can’t remember his name) from 2KA years ago, and Mister Maker with my girls about 5 years ago. We waited over an hour to see Mister Maker. Popette who was about 4 at the time, idolized him and actually gave him a painting to take home 🙂

    • Thanks so much Julie. I guess at my age I have met quite a few. I have been “admonished” by a couple of these people who said “we are not famous” and I responded: “well, you are to me!”

      That is a lovely story about your daughter. I have heard of Mister Maker and that must have been a memorable event.

      Denyse x

  17. I haven’t really met any famous people, so to speak. But I did once sit next to Geoffrey Rush on a plane going from Sydney to Melbourne – in economy of all things! He literally sat on the plane, closed his eyes and was asleep before take off and woke up as we were all about to get off! He didn’t say a word to anyone. Poor guy looked knackered.

    Other than that, I met Worzel Gummidge when I was 3 in the UK and Paul Jennings, the kids author, at a library when I was 11. LOL!

    • Thank you for finding the linky and commenting too. Lovely to see you. We have something in common! I got on a plane…can’t remember where to and from ..but we all had to file past Geoffrey Rush who was in the first row. Must have been a smaller plane! He looked like you described too.

      Oh you have met some people then…Paul Jennings is a great author!

      I highlighted two of my friends who are authors in this post and they said “we are not famous” and I responded “to me, you are!”

      Denyse x

  18. Love this post! I can’t think of too many celebrity encounters in my life, although I used to work with the wife of Paul Bishop (Sergeant Ben Stewart on Blue Heelers from 1998 to 2004) and met him several times. He is now a councillor in our local council, very community oriented. I also have photos with Taryn Brumfitt (the lady that started the #ihaveembraced movement) and Kate Morton (author) from a literary luncheon. And that’s about it!

    • That sounds like a pretty good list. I guess you know William McInnes grew up in Redcliffe area? He writes and speaks of it particularly in A Man’s Got To Have a Hobby and I feel like I know the area from his childhood and youth despite never being there.

      Denyse x

  19. Wow you have met so many famous people. I’ve met a few bollywood stars, some of the cast of the Lord of the Rings, ex Mayor of Wellington, some cricketers, some NZ politicians, the current Governer General of NZ and family members – my grandmother was in the first parliament of Independent India. a grand aunt (my gran’s sister) also in the first Parliament of India and her husband was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and India’s High Commissioner to the UK, an uncle who was the Chief Justice’s of India and one who was Acting President of India (all family members have passed away now). Also the Apollo 11 crew – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins when they visited India in 1969-70. I was a kid then.

    • Well I am “wowing” through all of that comment. Pretty awesome history there. Thank you for sharing too. Wonderful.

      Denyse x