CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Sue Limb: My famous friends

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 July 2014

It was just Shakespeare's way of letting me know that wed have been the best of bosom chums  if only he hadnt been dead

It was just Shakespeare's way of letting me know that wed have been the best of bosom chums  if only he hadnt been dead


The Queen Mother, Miriam Margolyes, Alan Yentob, Charles Dance, William Shakespeare: All would be bosom buddies with Sue... if only they knew her

It’s time I did a bit of name-dropping. I don’t like to boast, but I walked past Princess Diana once – or she walked past me – at a wedding. I didn’t faint or smile or anything, because that would have been irritating. I just pretended not to recognise her. She gave me a grateful, almost conspiratorial glance, which clearly showed she liked me much the best of all the other people she didn’t know.

On an earlier occasion I was nearly run over by the Queen Mum’s Daimler under a shadowy arch in Cambridge. She was coming to see Prince Charles, and I’d just been having tea with some friends who lived on the same staircase. I was walking home, and I turned under the arch with a flourish of my navy-blue cloak, and was confronted by a massive pair of headlamps.

I flattened myself against the wall as the huge car inched past, and despite the fact that I was alone, and dressed rather like a 19th century anarchist, she looked out and waved at me. You could tell she rather took to me, in the short time available for our heart to heart, and she gave me a rather eloquent smile, implying If only you’d marry Charles, I’m sure we’d get on famously. Unfortunately I never got round to it, and of course, I regret it now.

Of course, as I write stuff for Radio 4, I sometimes rub shoulders with thespian celebs. Miriam Margolyes has occasionally adorned my comedy series, and she even came to my humble cottage in Nailsworth where we recorded one programme, and was kind enough to use the lavatory. ‘You’ve got too much furniture in this house,’ she observed sharply, ‘and your bathroom smells.’ I was so grateful. I instantly set fire to the furniture and sold the house, to save her further inconvenience.

Years ago, I sat across the aisle from Alan Yentob on a plane, and then, earlier this summer at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival, I bumped into him again by the Artists’ Toilets (or, as Miriam would prefer, Lavatories). ‘We’ve got to stop meeting like this!’ I quipped, though I’m not entirely sure he heard me. But I could tell by the look on his face that he would cherish the memory of our meetings as much as I would.

And then there was my brief encounter with Charles Dance in the bookshop at Heathrow. He was browsing, and I had to push past, and he graciously gave way to me, and as I passed I glanced up to thank him, and looked right up his nostrils. And I can confirm, for any other admirers of the gentleman, that his nostrils are very distinguished and bogey-free.

Speaking of squeezing past tall men, I was at Antigua cricket ground in a bit of a crowd, and I had to insert myself between Jonathan Agnew and Curtly Ambrose, who were chatting somewhere up in the stratosphere. I’ve had the same feeling between the pillars of Gloucester Cathedral.

But my most exciting encounter by far was the time I trod on the flagstones that Shakespeare had trodden on, 400 years ago. You can do this if you visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Shottery, near Stratford. I can’t claim to have seen his ghost, but I did sense a vibration, and I heard a spectral whisper, in a Brummie accent of the 1600s: “Will yow stop pinching my plots you annoying woman?” It was just his way of letting me know that we’d have been the best of bosom chums – if only he hadn’t been dead.


This article by Sue Limb is from the July 2014 issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Sue, follow her on Twitter: @sue_limb


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Visitors to the village of Bourton-on-the-Water can now escape the well-trodden tourist trail at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s beautiful Greystones nature reserve and its newly opened visitor centre

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search