Recapping a 2016 brush with greatness while wishing Bill Nighy a very happy belated 73rd birthday!

Bill Nighy as Johnny Worricker. Photo courtesy of (C) BBC/Carnival Films for Masterpiece

One of the all-time greats celebrated another trip around the Sun recently. William Frances (a.k.a. Bill) Nighy turned 73 on December 12. From Love Actually to Pirates of the Carribean to Pirate Radio to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to State of Play and the Johnny Worricker trilogy of Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield, Bill Nighy can do no wrong in my book.

In honor of his birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to recount my all-too-brief brush with Bill Nighy greatness back in March of 2016 on the streets of London….

Recapping a UK brush with greatness from March 2016….

After a couple of days in London following the BBC Showcase in Liverpool, it was over to Mayfair for a little music history than spans several hundred years and a visit to the Handel & Hendrix House Museum. The first two floors comprised the home of German-born baroque composer George Frideric Handel in the mid-1700s while the upper floors of the neighboring property on Brook Street was the home of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix in 1968–69.

Handel Hendrix House

Waiting for the museum to open from across the street, our brush with English greatness on the streets of London began when we briefly crossed paths with a name and face more than familiar to all Anglophiles around the world, none other than Johnny Worricker himself, Bill Nighy.

Getting the opportunity to briefly exchange a few words with one of the greats of Planet Earth’s acting community was priceless. Aside from the obligatory moment to simply thank him for what he does, I did feel compelled to try and quantify into words just how much I think of his work by saying that I would happily pay to hear him read the phone book.

Crazy as it sounds, yes, I actually did say that to him. His response? “How very kind. That means a great deal. Thank you so much”. That was enough for me. Not wanting to intrude any further, I decided to leave it at that and the thought of asking for a photo would have spoiled the moment. That said, I did feel the need to forever record the brush with greatness and steal a photo as he walked away.

Bill Nighy

While currently closed for renovation, the Handel & Hendrix House will reopen in May 2023 as the great Bill Nighy heads towards 74 years young!

In: Actors/Actresses,Odds & Sods