Alan Bennett is always alert to the tenuity of his celebrity. In Vera and Doris I cited his wonderful story about nearly meeting Stravinsky, and in this post he endures a series of galling interviews. Here’s a vignette from Keeping on keeping on (Diaries, 2011):
21 May, Yorkshire. A plumpish young man gets off the train at Leeds just behind me.
“Aren’t you famous?”
“Well I can’t be, can I, if you don’t know my name.”
“It’s Alan something.”
“So which Alan are you?”
“I’m another Alan.”
“Are you just a lookalike?”
“Well, you could say so.”
He pats my arm consolingly. “Be happy with that.”
He himself considers that true celebrity came only with his appearance on Family guy.
This question at a lecture he gave may also strike a chord:
“Could you tell me where you bought your shoes?”