My brush with fame (or ‘How I drank with Maxine Peake on a night out’)

We’ve said it before, but we all love Maxine Peake at TVScoop. We like her so much that our tyrannical editor once said that “frankly, I would and could watch Maxine do her washing, she’s that good.” However, it doesn’t take much to imagine that, off-screen, actors can be odious and chest-beating and leave you wondering why you bothered investing anything into them at all. So, last night, on a drinking session, I bumped into Maxine….

Now, Maxine is from the same neck of the woods as me. She’s lit up the screen in Shameless, Dinnerladies, Early Doors, Confessions of a Diary Secretary, Cinderella, Bike Squad… and man, she even managed to light up the screen in her grisly performance as Myra Hindley in See No Evil: The Moors Murders. She’s a bloody good actress… but is she a bloody nice person?

Thankfully for those who have invested some emotion into her work, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. On entering the place where the very late night drinking was going on, armed with a head full of stupid ideas (I’d tell you all about it but I’d be here all day… all I can say is that it involves ‘The List’), I saw Maxine chatting away with a pal. Now, normally, when I see someone whose work I like, I bound straight over and tell them all about who great I think they are. Same goes for the ones I don’t like. I tell them to sort themselves out. It’s not big or clever, but I reckon that, if I can say it in print, then boy, I’d better be able to do it in person.

However, this was Maxine Peake. I should just leave her to it. She’s great… she’s probably humble… she probably doesn’t want to be mithered on a night out with her mate. So I left it. This has happened before. Usually I’m quite good at ignoring my urge to interrupt… but I felt like Maxine deserved to have some go up to her and tell her how great she was. I mean, I stood there with a pint and one of the best TV actresses around was being completely ignored by everyone in the room. This was nothing short of an injustice!

I won’t go into everything that was said (gotta have somethings which are private y’know?), but the most telling moments went like this.

Mof Gimmers – “Y’know, in my line of work, it’s my job to pick apart everything people like you do. There’s nothing I like more than to give actors a kicking. I know it’s not nice… but… that’s beside the point. The fact is, every single thing you’ve done has been great.”

Maxine Peake – “Aw! Thanks!”

MG – “No. Seriously. You’re brilliant at what you do and me and my colleagues all love your work. I know you must get this all the time… y’know ‘Oooh! You off the telly! I’m your biggest fan!

MP – “Well, actually, no-one ever comes up to me…”

MG – “What!? That’s a scandal! I don’t wanna start fawning over you, but seriously, you’re a wonderful actress and I hope people really start taking notice of how good you are. Listen, I’m gonna leave you to it before you think I’m some meeja sycophant…”

MP – “Aw, thanks mate… honestly, that’s made my night that has!”

And with that, I left her and her pal Milo to carry on getting drunk, with a warm glow inside. The fact is, I’m more of a Maxine Peake fan now that I’ve had a chat with her. She’s bright, warm, down to earth… and she looked great too. I think a teenage crush is forming.

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