Is this the most famous English coeliac?
Last week I did something VERY EXCITING indeed: I met a famous coeliac. It was none other than British TV royalty Caroline Quentin.
She was performing on stage at the Theatre Royal Bath and I couldn't resist going to see her.
I armed myself with a set of gluten-free cupcakes (in a special delivery box just in case I had to hurry to the theatre and accidentally tipped them upside down).
So I spent the evening keeping the cupcakes safe and enjoying the delights of a mini diet coke in the interval (I had no idea the bottles could be so tiny - take a look at this pic and see if you can tell!).
Once the show had finished, my plan was to see if I could go backstage to meet Caroline. This didn't quite work (I was quickly ushered out of the theatre) but a lovely ticket collector said I could go to the stage door round the back.
The stage door wasn't difficult to locate (and since I'm not the best with directions I was relieved). I went through the open door and explained to the receptionist I had some cakes to give to Caroline.
But regulations meant I wasn't allowed to stay inside. (I'm not sure if this is standard or just since covid began.) So started gathering my things and bracing for the freezing weather the other side of the door.
I must admit, I didn't hurry to leave (who would?!) but then Caroline appeared in the nick of time!
Side note: when nervous, I tend to get verbal diarrhoea, and I'm quite conscious of this. My plan was to stay calm and focused.
Instead, I boomed, "I have gluten-free cupcakes for you!"
After the initial surprise (and possible recovery from my bellowing), she was incredibly kind and said she'd just been saying she'd like something sweet but didn't really like the selection on offer in the shops.
We had a quick chat about being coeliac. I'd been diagnosed in the dark ages compared to her biopsy in 2015. But it seems she'd probably been coeliac since her 20s and is therefore one of many people let down by many misdiagnoses over the years. Had she known earlier, none of us would have seen her dip breadsticks into cream cheese for a Philadelphia advert (at least, not the breadsticks in the 'snack box' they launched).
I was keen to know more but time wasn't on our side. Almost as quickly as she'd appeared at the stage door, she was gone, and I skipped back to my car, not caring that I'd spent almost as much on parking as I had my theatre ticket. Totally worth it!