I arrived at Paddington station on my usual Monday 9.30 from Newton Abbot to find London had ground to a halt. A wonderful winter wonderland – unless you lived south of the river and were trying to get into town. As a result the Stephen Fry talk at the Apple Store was postponed as was the Tuesday night WebTV DrinkUp sponsored by our friends at Videoplaza.com.
This of course worked out well for me as the Fry talk was re-arranged for the Tuesday night. I left One Alfred Place and braved the icy winds blowing down Oxford Street and was amazed to be able to walk straight in at 6.30pm! I guess many who made it into work that day decided not to risk the potential train fail that evening and called it an early night.
Mr. Fry was impressive. Not only entertaining an audience of around 150, mainly 20-30yr olds, with an encyclopedic knowledge of computing history but sharing many personal stories along the way. One that particularly stood out was allegedly showing Peter Mandelson his first website in 1997. 1997! Perhaps he was too busy swanning around on Yachts and in Greek Taverna’s before then…
He recounted numerous other stories which I won’t divulge as the Podcast is available here so you don’t need any spoilers from me. Though do listen out for my question “What Would Oscar Wilde have thought of Twitter?” which received an enthusiastic and somewhat detailed response. All in all it was an informative and amusing event, presented by a master of delivery and eloquence so do check it out.
He went on to party at Paramount with a coterie of fans but it all ended up rather pear shaped, with an ending that if it had been scripted you wouldn’t have believed it. Put it this way if you get invited there don’t take the lift.
What amused me even further was the hilarious and inspired viral marketing Tweet that went out to followers of a certain Aleksandr Orlov who posted a picture entitled “Me with Mr Stephen Fry in a lift. Stuck, stuck, stuck…” brillant but “simples”!