Meeting David Bowie – a guest post by Michael Metcalf

The sad news of the recent death of David Bowie reminds me of another great experience whilst filming for the TUBE.

We had been invited to make a film with Duran Duran whilst they were relaxing and working on a new album in the South of France.

The filming coincided with the Cannes Film Festival and we were invited to do an interview with DAVID BOWIE who was their publicising the movie  ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ which he was starring in Ryuichi Sakamoto who live Bowie was not only an actor but a brilliant musician.

Now most people have seen in movies and tv documentaries how at a ‘junket’ many reporters, journalists’ tv crews are ushered in front of a ‘celebrity’ and told by the publicist that you have ‘five minutes’.

This was one of those occasions.  We had to stand in the corridor of a smart hotel in Cannes waiting for our turn to go in and interview David Bowie.

The publicist who was looking after us, kept saying you will have ‘five’ minutes with David, once you get set up inside.

Finally getting into the room to see David Bowie we started to set up.  Unfortunately the publicist had obviously not told David Bowie about the schedule, as he immediately said, ‘Oh! You are the TUBE crew from the UK’ and proceeded to talk about football.

All the while the publicist is doing a count down in my ear, telling me we had to finish.

Needless to say, we got a great interview with David Bowie (much longer than the five minutes) and he genuinely was a lovely guy.

Michael worked in television for over 30 years as a Director and Producer and was involved with The TUBE from the very beginning as a Production Assistant during filming and then subsequently directing part of series 4.

He is now retired from television and heavily involved in charity work. As well as being on the committee for the Make A Wish Foundation, he is an Ambassador and mentor for Northumbria Coalition Against Crime, Chairman of Newcastle East Sea Cadets and Junior Vice President of Ponteland Rotary.

Michael became involved with Discovery Museum when he joined three ex colleagues from Tyne Tees Television who also worked on the TUBE when they visited the museum to see the TUBE neon logo that was in storage. From that visit, the idea of the TUBE exhibition came into being.

An exhibition of items relating to the Tube, including the neon Tube sign, is on show at Discovery Museum until 30 June. More details. 

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