Another report from Collectormania, everyone seems to have been there except for me. This one is from a person who got to spend two days sitting next to John Rhys-Davies! I can imagine worse ways of spending time…

One of my dearest friends, Judith, lives in Milton Keynes and I was visiting her this weekend. As part of that visit we went to see Collectormania 3, where we arranged to meet up with other friends who wished to go to this event. To cut a long and boring story very short, I ended up being introduced to one of the organisers and my services were solicited for the following day, Sunday.

At 8.30am on Sunday morning I duly attended to be allocated my duties. I anticipated being on the end of an autograph queue handing out tickets or running errands. Imagine my surprise, delight and pleasure when I was asked to be John Rhys-Davies’ assistant for the day!

There I was sandwiched between JRD and Bruce Hopkins (Gamling).

John arrived at 10.00am and without any preamble started to sign. That man is amazing. He refused to take a break (not even for the bathroom) and although I managed to acquire three or four coffees throughout the day, he didn’t drink most of them because he was too busy. He objected when “staff” members tried to sneak things in for signing, insisting that the fans had been queuing for ages and should come first, although he happily signed for “staff” and helpers after the public had left. He had time for everyone and complied to all requests for photographs etc. If someone asked for a photo but their camera wasn’t ready (either still in it’s case or not wound-on etc), then he would saunter up the queue and entertain the crowd before meandering back to have his picture taken.

At the end of the day when the centre had closed and everyone had departed, John was asked by one of the staff if there was anything he needed before he had to go to the Two Towers presentation and Indiana Jones presentation. Can you believe he took my hand, looked into my eyes and asked if I would be his assistant the following day (Monday)! How could a girl refuse?

So on Monday, instead of heading home and missing all the holiday weekend traffic, I spent a second day sitting next to one of the most popular men at the event.

I note that JRD’s birthday has been and gone and no mention has been made on your website. For your information it was John’s birthday yesterday (5th May) and he was 59.

Okay here I really need to cut in for a brief second. Contrary to popular belief we did post about John’s birthday [here]. Over the past few days we have been swamped with emails telling us we forgot, but in all honestly: how could we? John Rhys-Davies is like 7 feet tall so we are a little bit afraid of the consequences.. Anyway, please people: check the frontpage first before emailing us about things we forgot. -leo

You may like to know that when presented with a picture of Gimli sitting on an Orc smoking a pipe (the picture that appears in The Two Towers companion), John said that this scene is in the extended edition DVD.

Also, I took the opportunity to ask John about the scene in the chapter “Flotsam & Jetsam” (in Return of the King) when the three hunters finally catch up with Merry & Pippin who are eating, drinking & smoking. Sadly, John says they didn’t film anything like that!

Ali the Brun