I can’t wait to see Fred, the Ron Burgundy of the south

LOVELY Fred Dinenage

LOVELY Fred Dinenage

COMMENT: Our public services can only take so much

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I’ve met a lot of celebrities in my time. A few A-listers, some B-listers, a lot of C-listers and more D-listers than I care to remember.

Some of them I’ve really liked and others I’d be quite happy if I never saw again.

But I’ve never been starstruck by any of them (except Peter Andre of course, but that goes back to my childhood dreams).

Yet I found myself ever so slightly in awe this week when I received an email from a genuine TV legend who said he often reads my column. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever felt so chuffed in all my life!

Meridian news presenter Mr Fred Dinenage reads my column. Wow. I’m honoured.

Fred is like the Ron Burgundy of the south (watch the film Anchorman if you don’t know what I’m talking about – and if you haven’t seen it yet, then shame on you).

I was trying to get hold of Fred to request an interview for a TV programme that I’m presenting and on which I’m also assistant producer.

It’s a new international show and DVD on the ill-fated liner Titanic, being made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its sinking next year.

As Titanic left from Southampton and had a close connection with this part of the world (a lot of the crew were local), I thought we really needed someone from the south to interview.

So Fred, who probably knows this area better than anyone, was ideal.

The next thing I know, Fred emails a reply me and pays me a huge compliment – plus he agrees to an interview. What a result!

I met Fred years ago when I was working at Meridian on a one-month work placement whilst studying at university.

I fell in love with him (purely platonic, obviously) as he was the most gentle-natured and loveliest man who used to make the whole news team cuppas.

He welcomed me with a big smile each day and I will always remember him for that.

I can’t wait to talk to him all about the Titanic – I’m sure I’ll report all next week.

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