Sunday, January 23, 2011

First contact (of the third type)

To continue the saga of a Robert Powell fan or how difficult was to find information about him (at least to me), in the mid 90s, after having discovered that he appeared in Jesus of Nazareth I had the feeling that he was still active (even if at that time I couldn’t say when Jesus of Nazareth had been filmed). The only reference date I had was The Italian job, in which he looked very young as the film was certainly from the 60s. So I deduced he was around in his 40s or 50s (enough to scare my mom!).
As a fan I really wanted to know all those details (birthdate, birth place, interviews, was he married, etc.) but was unable. Then I had a great idea, which I didn’t have before, I don’t know why as it was so clear! I decided to write to the BBC and ask for his agent's address. I had the idea after I read a note in the local tv guide, which celebrated its 30th (or 20th?) anniversary and published all the greetings they received... among them the BBC! Incredible why the BBC should congratulate Mexican TV guide! Whatever! it was precious information to me as that’s how I got the BBC's address! So I started to write every week until I get a reply! (I’m crazy, I know). I did it because Mexican postal service is awfully bad, so I really want to be sure they get my letter.
Weeks later bingo!!!! I received a letter from England (ohhhh my!) giving me the address of Robert’s agent and informing me that he was currently in a show, The Detectives. Wow! From that day until I actually watched the show I was so thrilled about the show. Needless to say that at that moment it never occurred to me that it was a comedy! (I couldn’t imagine Robert doing comedy at that time). So I kept receiving the same letter week after week...!
So I wrote to his agent’s address and again to the BBC asking more information about The Detectives. And again I sent many times the same letter! So I got many promo cards from The Detectives signed by Robert and Jasper Carrott. They looked so serious in those pictures that I couldn’t imagine how funny Jasper could be! I also kept writing to Robert’s agent but had nothing... until one day (this is very important!) I saw on TV the miniseries The Phantom of the Opera with Charles Dance and I was very impressed by him (I have a “Coeur d’artichaut” as they say in France, that is I fall in love very easy). I’ve also discovered on a video club First born, which Charles Dance again and loved it! So I wrote again to the BBC (I’m sure they have put my name in a black list!) and asked for Charles Dance’s agent AND just for the hobby, for Robert’s agent. And of course they replied very soon and I was so surprised to discover that they sent me a different address for Robert’s agent! So I don’t know whether he changed at that time of agent or if Charles Dance gave me luck as this ultimate address was the right one!

I received about 5 or 6 cards like these ones (these are pictures gathered everywhere)
Some months later I received one of the most precious things I have! A beautiful picture on b&w of him (presumably from Hannay) signed and dedicated to me! The picture came with a small biography which was a great help to me! Finally I knew when and where he was born, which prizes he had won (I think he deserved more) and which films he made. Now I know that filmography wasn’t exhaustive.
THE picture with THE autograph

After that day, I knew I had finally reached a “contact” even if it was very far even if that it was unlikely that he had read my letters, I kept writing again and again.
Now he’s appearing on TV in a BBC show I haven’t written to the BBC nor asked for the promo cards. Why? I don't know! I suppose because I've seen the pictures (or I have too many!). I just have one, I got it from Ebay (it was a bid for a charity).
The last acquisition

Thanks for reading.

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