Picture this. It’s 10 o’clock on a Monday morning. I’m just settling down with a cup of tea and putting my work hat back on when the telephone rings. “Louise, Ross can fit you in this afternoon . . . He’s only got 30 minutes for the filming so time is of the essence!” Now, you may well ask, what on earth? And why is this worthy of a blog post? Well, you see, it’s actually very exciting because the Ross in question is Ross Kemp (who used to be in Eastenders!) and he is writing a brand-new action adventure book for teenagers called Ganglands: Brazil, which is out in August this year.
Now, I should explain that I have actually met Ross Kemp once before When my lovely work colleague, Emily Cox, asked me (with no notice I might add) to escort him in a lift to the Puffin Summer Party last year. Let’s just say, I didn’t exactly cover myself in glory. It was the longest 7 floors of my life! I became a babbling incoherent FOOL and I think at one stage I even said “bonza” and “awesome” in the same sentence. I know, word up!
So there I find myself on Monday afternoon in an uber-cool studio (in Soho of course), hoping against hope that Ross doesn’t remember me. I needn’t have worried though because when Ross did boulder in, he was a complete gentleman and even if he did, he had the decency to pretend he hadn’t met me before. After a few initial stutters, while he was hooking up his mic, I got my groove back and before long, I was even offering up my Cilla Black services. Honestly, the things I’ll do just to make friends . . .
The reason for the filming was for Ross to talk about his new fiction series for teenagers, Ganglands. He is tireless with his work with gangs and turning people’s lives around, both young and old, across the world. He’s always travelling to far-flung places to bring to everyone’s attention some of the very scary things that are happening, sometimes just a few streets away from where we shop and live. It was genuinely inspirational to hear him speak with such passion on such a controversial subject.
And he looks pretty good on screen too!
Puffin Marketing Officer