The View from the Cab.

I thought that I might relate to you a story of the late great English actor Sir Alec Guinness, who I picked up TWICE in my Cab. The first time I took him to Boodles, a posh Gentleman’s Club, in St James Street. In a great many cases actors are members of The Garrick Club and in one’s such as Boodles are found bankers and politicians
This day Sir Alec was wearing a flamboyant Prince of Wales red check suit with matching cape and deer-stalker hat and sat quietly in the back reading a broadsheet newspaper. On the TV about this time were being run old Ealing Cinema films and in several he had starred. I and my wife had watched most of them but as I drove I could not remember the title of the film in which he ‘played’ everyone and ‘killed’ everyone. When he got out of the cab and was about to pay me I seized the moment and I asked him that question.
I’m sure to this day that as I said…”I’ve been trying to think of”…He believed I was about to add..”Your name”.. Anyway he stood there for a few seconds and, me being me, we spoke at soon length over Kind Hearts and Coronets and others that he had made at Ealing.
Some many years later a women hailed me, near to The Royal Hospital, in Chelsea and asked me to wait for the arrival of her husband. It was Sir Alec again. This time however he was not so noticeable. He had a raincoat on, hat pulled down low on his head and a scarf wrapped around his face, the hat and scarf he took off as we drove away. I am still quite recognisable, but in those far off days even more so, with thick red hair and extraordinary good looks (LOL). I told him that I had recently seen him in ‘Star Wars’ and drew a comparison to the Ealing films and how “effects’ had changed over the years. He was gracious enough to acknowledge me and remember me, commenting that the money he was paid for Star War exceeded all he had ever got for those black and white films. He was a Gentleman in ever sense of that word.

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About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel —The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do? Nowadays he is a prolific storyteller, and although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the intrigue involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he compiles both for adults and children. He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as —the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live' television.
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