© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


Meet London’s megafans

Posted at 5:30 pm, July 26, 2014 in Fun London
Kevan Loosley © Rob Greig

Reckon burning through the ‘Game of Thrones’ boxset makes you a superfan? Think again. Eddy Frankel meets four people whose obsessions truly know no bounds. Portraits Rob Greig

 Kevan Loosley: ‘I own a “Doctor Who” Shop’

‘The shop was my wife’s mad idea. She applied to the BBC for a merchandising licence and opened the shop in Upton Park on December 1 1984. I walked in on that opening day and we’ve been together ever since.’

‘We tried to have a serious, formal ceremony when we got married in 1987, but it didn’t work out. We ended up with Daleks on the cake and a Robot of Death stomping through all of our wedding photos. We even chose a hymn with a line about dwelling in time and space as a special “Doctor Who” nod.’

‘Me and my mate have been Cybermen on “The One Show”, though he fainted because of the heat in his whacking great costume. I’ve been on “Dead Ringers”, too, and I’ve been a Dalek in a “Doctor Who” documentary. I’ve even been on the show itself. I’ve met most of the cast, but we’ve got to be professional. We can’t be wetting ourselves every time we get Tom Baker on the phone!’

‘My real grown-up job is perfectly serious. I’m a part-timer in the RAF,so the shop is a bit of escapism. I take a “Doctor Who” paperback around the world with me: it’s been to the Falklands and to Libya. The book acts as a bit of comfort, it’s a totem, really.’

‘If I’m not on deployment, my whole life is “Doctor Who”. It’s always there, it’s my livelihood,and I never would have met my wife without it.’ Check out thewhoshop.com

Nick Rod Stuart Bell  © Rob Greig

Nick Rod Stuart Bell: ‘I changed my name to Rod Stewart’

‘At the age of 15, I decided that I would add Roderick as my second middle name alongside Stuart, which I already had: obviously it’s been a sore spot that my name is spelt Stuart and not Stewart, but hey ho! I actually met Rod once at Wintershall Music Festival about eight years ago. I told him I’d changed my name and he looked a little scared. I was also wearing a Rod Stewart mullet wig. I think that’s what freaked him out. I grew a real one soon after.’

‘I am saving up to get a tattoo of his face on my buttock, but people say it’s just one step before “deranged fan” and if I do it I’ll end up on his doorstep with a pistol.’

‘I have a lifesize cardboard cut-out of him that I dress in leopard-print scarves and different hats. He comes with me around the house.’

‘My obsession started young. I saved up and saw him aged 15 at Earl’s Court. It was probably the pinnacle of my life so far. If I wrote an autobiography, I would dedicate a chapter to that night.’ ‘I can’t be compared to a Sting fan who’s fat and lonely, and who’s been to every one of his mediocre gigs since 1979. I’m just a regular guy who realises that Rod is above all others, who sees him for the genuine musical genius that he is, and views his style and panache as something to aspire to.’

© Rob Greig

Babak Ganjei: ‘I named my son after “Peanuts”‘

‘The “Peanuts” comic has this really sad quality. Charles Schultz wrote it to show that kids and adults are pretty much the same. That’s why it’s so appealing. If I look back to being seven years old, I don’t think I’ve changed very much and Snoopy reflects that.’

‘Woodstock is Snoopy’s best friend, and he’s the ultimate amiable sidekick. So when we found out we were having a kid, it didn’t take much thought to decide to give him the same name. It’s worked out well, because my kid – who’s six now – has totally blossomed into this amiable little dude. He’s really become like Woodstock the character.’

‘Not that he’s my sidekick, he’s just a great companion. Snoopy always thinks what he’s doing is right, but Woodstock is always one step ahead. I’ve published graphic novels, but I also do three-panel comics on my blog and loads of them are about me and my kid, and just like Snoopy and Woodstock, I’m the stupid one and he’s the one who knows everything.’

‘We’ve got our own band called Dinosaur and Junior, he plays cello and I play guitar. It’s basically a way to get him to practise playing his instrument. We just write music and improvise and then put it on Facebook so he sees how much people like it. It’s important he sees that.’

‘I’m hoping he’s not going to turn round and punch me in the face for calling him Woodstock when he’s older. But that would be quite fitting, wouldn’t it? Like an 18-year-long punchline. But I’m hoping he’ll be okay with it, and anyway, he’s already a massive fan of the strip, so it’s so far, so good.’ Read more from Babak at hilarious-consequences.blogspot.co.uk

Matt Flag © Rob Greig

Matt Flag: ‘I got a huge Planet of the Apes tattoo.’ ‘

When I was 14, I became totally obsessed with the box set of the five original “Planet of the Apes” films. I started buying comics, cards, toys and all the memorabilia I could get my hands on. I just thought it looked cool: it had a great aesthetic.’

‘The first film is amazing. It has an incredible twist and deals with these big race issues. It was politically pretty awesome at the time, just totally right-on. They pulled it off perfectly.’

‘Monkeys are just rad, and you’ve got Charlton Heston calling everyone damn dirty apes. What’s not to like? I’m not even trying to intellectualise it, it’s just baseline awesome.’

‘I wanted a little “Planet of the Apes” tattoo and met this tattooist Demian at a bar one night. We got really drunk and he persuaded me that I should get a full sleeve. We worked on the ideas and got loads of imagery from the old Marvel comics. Demian wanted to do a hot, sexy monkey, so I let him give Zera big boobs.’

‘I do feel a bit weird about having Charlton Heston on my chest, because he’s a douchebag. But I love the tattoo. All these people think they’re so cool with their serious tattoos, but I’ve got a monkey with big boobs. That’s pretty great.’

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