John Cleese, Damian Hirst and Ridley Scott, or the agents/assistants thereof, have all kindly sent me replies in the last day or so.
I thought that I'd shoehorn them all into this one post rather than spreading the word over today and Sunday, since I'm going to Hungerford of all places in an hour's time and will be blissfully incommunicado for a while.
Bet-wise I'm afraid it's pretty negative news. Well I'm only afraid for myself, as it's three more "I'm so sorry but he wont be in the country for a while"s.
Sylvia kindly sent me an email which mentioned that regretabbly Damien Hirst was currently abroad at the moment and won't be returning here until the Spring.
Meanwhile, Natascha who is the assistant of Ridley Scott, was replying to me at the request of the eminent director himself. He is currently working in post production on his latest film in Los Angeles, and likewise isn't expected on this side of the pond until late Spring so he wouldn't be able to help me with my "extraordinary and very captivating project". Very kind of you to say so.
So there you have it. The greatest mistake that I made in the planning of how I'd go about Michael's challenge is there for all to witness.
If I had my time again, apart from having the courage to ask Nathalie Proops out on a date several years ago (she used to sit in front of me at the football), I would have got ALL of the contact addresses for ALL of the 500, in the first week of the project and sent each letter out as early as possible so as to give the receipients as much time as possible to meet me.
But I didn't, and as it is, I still have about 43 letters to send.
On the plus side, I am reminded that John Cleese went to the same school as me, since which time he has starred opposite the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis in several movies, so perhaps this augurs well for a possible collaboration between me and Scarlett Johansson?
I wouldn't mind living in California myself come to think of it. The miles of beaches, the raisins, the blondes.
Having said that, I don't think I'll ever be able to tear myself away from the comforting and warming bosom of Mother England.
Anyway, next update probably Monday...