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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

John Levene – Guest of the Weekend 2011


For those of you who have read my blog you may have heard of the ‘Guest of the Weekend Award’ that has been mentioned for many events that I’ve been to. (If you’ve no ideas what I’m on about click here!)

Me with John at Spring Memorabilia
I’d talked with Tim a while back about making an actual physical award however with the best laid plans it never actually happened...

Not to let a good idea go wasted I instead decided to create an award for the person that really stuck in my mind, call it guest of the year if you want.

Before the idea of the award had really truly formed I already knew who the winner was, there was no decision needed it just felt right.

The winner (as the title of this post announces) was John Levene.

The reason for picking John as the winner was simple; he just always stuck in my mind and had a great impact on me at every event I’d seen him at, whenever I’d met him I always got the feeling that he really enjoyed being there and was ‘putting it all out there’, what you end up with is a true guest experience as opposed to a quick ‘hi’ and a scribble on a photo.

John and I at Memorabilia, Gotta love Hawaiian Shirts!
I first met John this year at Memorabilia back in March, I have two great memories from this, the first was when John wandered over when I was holding a large snake (long story!), he then preceded to regale us with why he had a fear of snakes and also made an effort to overcome the aforementioned fear by touching the snake as well (the look on his face in the pictures was priceless!).

The second story from the weekend started with John pulling me up for having a crooked tie, once my tie had been adequately adjusted we were then the recipients of how John had helped to influence the political career of a certain Barack Obama...

The story goes a little something like this...

"During the elections Barrack was on stage giving a speech and I (John) noticed his tie was crooked, being a firm believer that how you wear your tie reflects on you as a person I had to take action. 

Reading his Nick Courtney Tribute
I phoned the studio and explained who I was and that the tie defines the man. After a few moments of convincing them this wasn’t a joke I pleaded that Obama’s aid sort out his tie. 

Shortly after this he went off for a break and to my relief when he returned to the stage his tie was perfect! He then proceeded to finish his speech to thunderous applause.

 As a result I think I did my part to ensure that he was elected!"

Following on from Memorabilia the next time I met John properly was at Collectormania in Glasgow, this time I had the pleasure of catching him giving a stage talk.

John is always well spoken and I great in front of an audience. As part of the stage talk he shared some of his thoughts on the passing of Nick Courtney. At the memorial he’d given a reading and had a copy of it with him, he then offered to reprise this so that we’d be able to hear it, the audience were all keen to hear Johns speech so a runner was sent to retrieve the copy of the speech from his bag.

John with his award
During Johns talk he also clocked me sitting in the audience and then proceeded to share his thoughts on David Tennant, there were quite a few points during the talk that it felt like John was talking directly to me, which I think is the sign of a great speaker.

Towards the end of the day 2 at Collectormania Glasgow I went to chat with John at his signing table, the result was great pointers from John on confidence and public speaking, great stuff!

Skip on to Memorabilia London and it was time to present John with his award. When John saw me he mentioned how as the last event (Glasgow) I’d said that he’d been one of my favourite guests and how much that had meant to him, at this point I then presented him with his award, his reaction was to be completely overwhelmed.

I can happily say that John is one of the nicest people I've ever as the pleasure of meeting, if you've never met I would highly recommend doing so if it you get the chance.