I think everyone has idols, people they admire or look up to. Whether that's a singer, actor or an author, I think everyone had a person where they go "Aren't they just brilliant? Imagine having a chat with them?". I first saw Amanda Abbington in Case Histories, a drama on BBC One where she played a Scottish detective. I like the programme and I was thinking "Aah this is cool" but then a while a later I saw her cast in Sherlock. I've been a fan of Sherlock since I was ten and I remember thinking 'Oh she was in Case Histories! That'll be interesting, Mary isn't in the books much I wonder how they'll do that'
I remember Amanda was getting hate on twitter because of her role as Mary and I remember being just confused at all of it. I remember when third series came out and just being glued to the screen. I watched this strong character played by a sublime actress in absolute awe. I don't know if its possible to love a fictional character so much, but Mary was absolutely wicked. Every episode she got better and better. I loved her so much, that for Glasgow Comic Con I cosplayed Assassin Mary.
I decided, a couple of evenings later, to log into my barely used twitter account and tweet Amanda the photo to tell her and that was when I got my first tweet from Amanda. I remember it so vividly. I remember running into the kitchen, excitedly showing my mum and dad the tweet and everyone laughing and cheering. She said "Brilliant! I love it! xx". Such a simple few words from a person but absolutely made my day and made me smile so much.
That's where it all started really. I met my now best friend through the fact that we both are huge fans of Amanda. I got more tweets every now and then, every little communication over the internet between Amanda and I, always put a smile on my face. I always feel grateful for her taking the time to be so kind to me and other fans. A while later the dream came true in April 2015 and I met her.
It was an early start to one of the best days I've ever experienced. My best friend saw on twitter that Amanda would be getting interviewed at BAFTA HQ the night before for a Morning Show, we decided to try our luck and head down to see if we could say hello to her. It did however, to my parents amusement, mean that we got up at six and half six to head down the BAFTA HQ. We waited outside the small building, it was freezing but I didn't mind, it was the first time I ever met my best friend I was happy to just get to know her better! We stood away from the door so to give people space as people left the building and glanced over to us. Everytime the noisy, automatic door opened I could feel myself hitch my breath slightly as there was a moment before the leaver was revealed. For about an hour it was different people. People with camera equipment, people dressed smartly and even eventually the man, Richard Arnold who interviewed her. Once he came out and left, a black car pulled up and I could feel my heart pounding thinking Amanda would come out soon. I started to feel so nervous. Weirdly, about what would happen if she wasn't nice. What if she came out and completely ignored us? What if she glared at us? This was someone I've looked up to and been a fan off for so long. What if it just wasn't going to work out the way I've daydreamed about?
Suddenly I heard the now familiar sound of the noisy, automatic door. A couple of woman came out but behind them was Amanda Abbington. For a moment I was rendered completely speechless. I think she knew we were waiting to say hello to her, she came straight over to us, saying hello, smiling. Everything I had planned to say to her went out the window, I suddenly forgot how to talk and just kinda smiled and said hi. There she was, Amanda Abbington, Mary from Sherlock, just standing there, looking gorgeous, right in front of me. She came over and hugged us, kissing our cheeks.
"It's so lovely to meet you" I managed to say.
"It's so lovely to meet you too, thank you so much for waiting!" She said, holding onto my arm, reassuringly. It was such a lovely gesture, she must have known I was nervous but she kept smiling at me, asking if I was alright.
"Um, is it okay to take some photos with you?" I asked.
"Of course, of course" she said, shifting her bags as my best friend got her phone ready for the photo. I had never met a celebrity let alone someone whom I looked up to. So I wasn't sure how to act, I felt quite shy. I stood about a few centimeters away from her but she put her arm around me and pulled me right over to her until out heads were touching as the photos were taking. I took some photos for Amanda and my best friend and we then started talking.
"Are you okay? You must be freezing, how long have you been here?" She asked, after the photos.
"About an hour, maybe hour and a half" we replied.
"Thank you so much for waiting I really appreciate it. Do your parents know you're here? Where you've come from?" She asked, kindly.
"Yeah, they do I'm actually from Glasgow but my family and I are here on holiday, staying near Victoria station" I replied.
She looked slightly astonished. "So, you must have been up early".
"Half six" I replied, laughing slightly embarrassing.
"Oh my god, well thank you so much again for coming, I really appreciate it" she said.
"Aww, well I think Mary is just amazing" I said. "She's my favourite character in Sherlock, she's just so good"
"Bless you, thank you so much, I'm so glad you like her" she said, sounding touched.
I'm so thrilled I got over my shyness and managed to have a proper conversation with her. We told her how this was the first time Katy and I had met and how we met online as we were both fans of her. She smiled and gasped and said Aww, I brought you together! After a while she had to go, but she thanked us for coming once again and as we thanked her, she hugged us and kissed our cheeks. She got into a car and as the car drove off she waved. We waved back. Katy and I then started spun round on the street, hugging, just shocked that all happened. I actually shed a tear or two, Katy had met her before but I never had , we were both just over the moon.
I remember I didn't get back home till about seven-ish that evening, having had just the most beautiful day with Katy. My mum let me into the house and she said "I want hear everything!" And I just burst into tears because I was so over-whelmed about the whole day. It was one of the best days. The fact that I met my best friend, the fact that I met Amanda, who then tweeted me to say how great it was to meet me, the fact that I was back in the city I was born in. Everything was just gorgeous. I remember feeling embarrassed about crying but now I don't because I look back and I think how it really was one of the finest days I've ever experienced and just with personal things happened back at Glasgow it was just really lovely to have that day. That really, really good day where I got to meet my idol.
When I've felt vulnerable or isolated with difficulties at school she's tweeted me advice and support. She took to time to read my cry for help and took time to tweet back to me. My whole family also appreciates her kindness. My mum told my gran about the tweet she wrote when I had troubles at school and apparently my gran was tearing up and said "She's just so lovely". From watching and loving her on screen as a beloved character in Sherlock, to meeting her, Amanda Abbington has had a lovely impact on my life. I reread her tweets to me, take the advice from them to tackle a bad day. Without her knowing it, Amanda has been a friend to me. My whole family are grateful for how much she makes me smile. But none other are more grateful than I am. And I hope one day I'll have the opportunity to meet her again to tell her grateful I truly am