Caroline Verdon: Celebrity spotting: Johnny Depp chillin’ in Whitby?

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Over half term we went camping for a few days in Scarborough and while we were there we had a day trip to Whitby, which is where I had potentially the best celeb spot of my life.

Now I’m pretty good at spotting celebs. Personally, I don’t think they count if you spot them in their natural habitat – seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in London, on Baker Street, whilst he is filming Sherlock does not count. Going to see the Stereophonics at the First Direct Arena and arriving early to see Kelly Jones get off his tour bus does not count but if you nearly reverse into Andi Peters in the carpark of Morrisons at Kirkstall Bridge then you’ve got yourself a legitimate sighting.

Probably my favourite celebrity spot of all time happened in 2004. I was ‘using the facilities’ in a pretty mediocre restaurant in Southampton when there was a knock on the wall and Sharon Osbourne’s voice boomed out asking me to pass her some loo roll underneath the toilet cubicle door as she’d run out. Showbiz or what?

In fact my list of spots is fairly extensive - I’ve stood behind Dom Joly as he paid for petrol and a breakfast triple sandwich at a service station off the A34. I’ve queued for a toilet at a pub and when the door finally opened, Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz came out and then there was the time that I went to see Ricky Gervais perform as David Brent at a gig with his band Foregone Conclusion and who was sat directly behind me? Ex-Westlife band member Brian McFadden.

This weekend though I nearly lost my cool. I was wandering along the harbour front at Whitby with my husband and a tired toddler on my shoulders when out of nowhere a man who was the spitting image of Johnny Depp walked past dressed from head to toe in the outfit he wore as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, eating a bag of chips. “Hah! Doesn’t he look just like Johnny Depp?” I said as I turned around to my husband who nodded in agreement. When I turned back again, I saw two other people who I swear were McKenzie Crook and Kevin McNally also decked out in their pirate costumes. Ant doesn’t believe it was actually them, my husband doesn’t believe it was actually them but when you think about it – what a perfect disguise! No one is going to think that in his spare time ‘The Depp’ is hanging out in Whitby in a uniform from an old job!

Before I started in radio, I remember thinking how showbiz it looked - meeting stars all the time, maybe becoming mates with them! I thought I’d live in a mansion and that everyone would recognise me.

None of that is true. Sure, we do meet celebrities from time to time but none of them want to be friends – they want to speak about their new album/film/television show for no longer than the allotted ten minutes and then leave as quickly as possible.

I don’t live in a sprawling house with a swimming pool, gym or roof terrace. I live in a normal street and it’s incredibly rare that I get recognised because no one really ever sees my face!

One day when I was giving it my all at the gym, I noticed this woman kept looking over at me, I knew she recognised me and I loved the attention. I took a mental snapshot so I could remember the moment. After I’d finished my session I headed over to the changing rooms and she cornered me. “This is it!” I remember thinking, “this is the moment I get asked for an autograph”. But she didn’t ask me for an autograph. She asked me to wipe the gym equipment down when I was done because she’d noticed that I was sweating a lot. I’ve since tried to delete that mental snapshot but my brain won’t let me – on the upside it’s meant I’ve lived firmly in the real world ever since.

Love Island addiction

Well I did it. I watched the launch show of Love Island.

Ant is obsessed with it and I managed to not see a single episode last year but I promised him I’d give it a watch this time around and I’d try to be open minded. So here’s my review:

I hate the vacuous contestants. I hate how obsessed most of them are with appearances as though that is the only thing people have going for them. “You are worth more than that,” is what I want to yell at them as I imagine grabbing them by the shoulders and giving them a gentle shake. I hate how the aim of the game is to couple up with another person and how from day one they’re forced to sleep in the same bed. I hate how hot under the collar the women get as they see a set of chiselled abs or how mesmerised the men get by a bouncy set of breasts. I hate that the women are referred to as ‘girls’ and the men as ‘boys’. I hate how the first episode revolved around a man coming in and ‘stealing another boy’s girl’ – err you can’t steal a person unless it’s a much frowned upon kidnap. I hate that there’s a pool and a hot tub and yet no one has actually got in the water yet – isn’t that the first thing you’d do? I hate the fact that the women hang out by the pool in swimwear and stilettos – where are your flipflops?

But most of all.. most of all I hate the fact that I am now addicted and can’t stop watching and will no doubt still be watching in eight weeks time.

It’s all in the name...

Heinz has announced this week that they’re changing the name of their salad cream to ‘sandwich cream’ on account of nobody actually eating it with a salad.

It makes sense but it’s caused a bit of an uproar.

If you believe everything you read on Twitter you’d think some people’s worlds were ending after the dropping of this bombshell.

I like it. I think a more literal world could help us all out.

Plus it’s a good marketing ploy to get us all talking about it.

I do think we should take this further though...

Wouldn’t life just be simpler if we named everything literally?

Thousand Island Dressing should become ‘mayato’ as we all know it’s a mix of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup.

Gloves should be called ‘hand socks’ (or if you want to be picky lets rename socks ‘foot gloves’) and party balloons should be forever known as ‘birthday breath balls’.