WASTE LAND REVISITED Saturday 11th June : Sally will be taking the part of Madame Sosostris in the morning reading and also contributing to the compilation performances in the afternoon
BORN TO PLEASE, FREE TO BE ME!
Having suffered the rigid 1950’s High Anglican Convent education which involved the execution of the perfect court curtsy, the skill of exiting a sports car without revealing your knickers &, although many agreed that the banana was too suggestive to be included in the curriculum we were taught how to eat it with a knife & fork!
Despite the Conven’ts location in Ken,t my home was in Clonmel County Tipperary where my rather upper class Father, fallen on hard times, found himself owning a Bookmakers colloquially referred to as a ‘Turf Accountant’. To this day I have no idea if Sister Superior was aware of this felony!
The early 60’s found me working at Exeter airport & at only 19 having just completed half a Red Cross lesson on bandaging the wrist in charge of 36 passengers when an independent charter airline recruited me as an Air Hostess.
The mid 1960’s found me working at the BBC Ealing film studios, lunching regularly at the Red Lion pub, its walls covered with photos of favourite film stars and tv legends at the start of their careers.
Years later my headline ‘DAVID ATTENBOROUGH STOLE MY SAUSAGE’ was eye catching enough to persuade a tv researcher to offer me a role in the now iconic ‘AGAS & THEIR OWNERS’ which is sure to be playing on a cable channel in some obscure country with an unpronounceable name!.
I returned to Exeter after a family bereavement & applied to the local BBC radio station & after initially being rejected for not being ‘chatty enough’ eventually became a regular on what I referred to as ‘A column of Hot Air’. My success was far from instant & I had to harden myself to often hearing weary receptionists reply ‘well all I can say is some people DO like her!’
The first invitation to speak at a lunch followed with many others described by me as ‘Standing up & Showing off’ ,led to my becoming a Television pundit & eventually to my own TV Series.’HURRAH IT’S SALLY SEDGMAN’. One friend met me during its run & murmured ‘how brave! how brave!’ ‘Yes wasn’t I’ I replied cheerily, ‘No,not you’ she snapped, ‘Carlton, I couldn’t believe you were real & I know you!’
One of the series highlights was my interview with Brian Sewell the late Art Critic…..my first encounter had been when I performed a citizen’s arrest on him at Green Park Tube Station begging him to let us set up a ‘SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ROUND VOWEL’ as I too had suffered for what was perceived to be an exaggerated version of Received Pronunciation which the critic on the Independent on Sunday after my diary was read on Radio 4’s ‘Messages to Myself’ described ‘The Sedgman voice is so posh as to be well nigh incomprehensible but she sends herself up in style & had me hooting with laughter’! Brian was wonderful but I wish his remarks ‘I think it was heah that my mother first snorted cocaine’ standing in the Hall at Cliveden hadn’t ended up on the cutting room floor!
I launched & hosted Michael Caines’s LADIES DO LUNCH for nearly 20 years, reading poetry in Cathedrals & Parish Hall, Fashion Shows compering getting accused of kinkiness for being caught gazing at the back views of two indolent young men inadequately mopping up a saturated cat walk, & much much more besides but I have to say that being invited to make a contribution to Sue Boyle’s celebration of T S ELIOT’S ‘the WASTELAND’ Past & Present would be a peak in my career I would never have assumed to aspire too.