Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margoyles, Timothy Spall and Mother Teresa.
During the course of his media career, Richard Cobourne has worked with them all, admitting: ‘I met some fantastic people, the list is endless.’
He has used his insider knowledge to write a showbiz crime thriller trilogy, fans of which include Spice Girl Melanie C.
Now, Richard will be giving a talk, Write From What You Know to the Isle of Man WI at St John’s Methodist Hall on Saturday, September 30 at 2pm.
Richard’s media career started by chance when his next door neighbour, who happened to be head of sound for Wales’s independent TV channel HTV, knocked on the door and asked if he could help out on a shoot as they were short-staffed.
‘I went into the studio and HTV was recording this fantastic drama and I was just smitten,’ he said.
‘There was Peter Egan, Robert Urquhart, Charles Dance, Bill Maynard and Philip Madoc.
‘Here was I at the age of 17/18 watching these masters of the craft act.’
He started his career working for the BBC, initially in the sound department of radio, TV and outside broadcasts, before moving around both behind and in front of the cameras and microphones.
One of Richard’s biggest moments was covering the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981.
He was responsible for picking up and broadcasting the sounds from all along the route from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral, which, through his van was fed to TV and radio networks around the world.
‘At one point we had one billion radio listeners and an absurd amount of television viewers,’ he said.
While filming, he has spent time in jail twice, once in Colombia and - he thinks - Burundi.
‘It was very pleasant...not,’ Richard said.
‘There were three men and three women in this cell about 12ft square and we were there for two nights, three days.’
After 15 ‘fantastic’ years working for the BBC he left to co-found On Screen Productions.
Richard, who lives in Wye Valley in Wales sold the business in 2015, so that he could start writing novels.
Bandwagon and Red Light and Bell are the first two novels in the trilogy, with End Board in progress.
He has travelled all around the world - one year taking 91 flights.
‘I’m not sure that’s something of which I ought to be proud but what it does is underpin the authenticity of the books,’ he said. ‘Everywhere I write about I’ve been.’
Tickets for the talk cost £10 for WI members and £15 for non-members.