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Sandtrooper TD-2441 Rachel Smith

GMTV WITH MARK HAMILL
13/7/07

I couldn't Troop at this event as they wanted "clean" TKs only, and now I'm a Sandtrooper I didn't apply - so I signed up as the helper for the two Troopers....wasn't going to miss out on a chance like this!!

Exciting was not the word for that morning as I made my way to the hotel to meet Tim, Andy and the GMTV driver. I was bricking it as John H was too busy to attend so it was just me and the guys. I'd had to liaise with Nick the GMTV dude who sounded really nice and he sorted a lift for us and gave us numbers to ring if I had any probs.

We got to the gates and people were waiting outside for the stars so we were gawped at as we got out of the Voyager with it's shaded windows. We got shown to a small changing room and briefed as to what was going to heppen - they wanted the Troopers to have a "fight" with the Entertainment Tonight presenters, who would be dressed as Solo and Leia. Mark was due to arrive at 0800.

We were taken into the studio to see where we'd be, there were wires all over the floor....argh!! I had visions of Troopers tripping over them on live TV but the lads didn't put a foot wrong. Prime Minister GORDON BROWN was being interviewed with Kelly Holmes so we stood and watched, I coudln't believe I was in the same air space as the Prime Minister, and I also couldn't believe that security wasn't tighter. Our bags weren't searched or checked, we were allowed to go and stand around in the studio while he was live on air - if I'd been some sort of nutter I could have taken him out in front of the whole nation.

He came over afterwards and we shook his hand and I told him to "Please run the country better than Tony did" to which he did the usual politician's smile and moved on. My mum said I should have "hit him and asked him about Grammar Schools" :D

We watched the presenters running through the Star Wars introduction with their lightsabres during the commercial break, then went back to our changing rooms just as Mark arrived. Andy called his name and we introduced ourselves as "your Stormtroopers for the morning" to which he looked indignant and said "Why wasn't I told about this?? Who's in charge here??!!!", we thought he was just fooling around but the we realised he was really pissed off. AAARGH!!!! Luckily Nick came over and took control, spoke to Mark like he was a naughty child and got him in his changing room to explain. I think he also saw our faces and told Mark that he'd probably scared the crap out of us with his outburst.

I was peeping out the door to see or hear anything and as Nick left the changing room, Mark came out too and straight over to us to apologise and say "sorry guys, misunderstanding" - we asked if we could see him after the interview and he said yes no problem, we were SO RELIEVED Turns out he thought they were going to dress him up in Trooper armour and he was NOT happy about it ....

We also got the chance to chat to Luke's young daughter who was blonde and very sweet. Imagine growing up at school and being able to say "yeah my dad's Luke Skywalker" ;o)

We were taken back to the studio ready to do the live slot, and I got separated from the Troopers and told to sit on the GMTV sofa - yes THE GMTV sofa while the ET spot was filmed opposite. Tim and Andy disappeared to go get ready with Mark, then after the intro on they came with Mark "under arrest" and marched him to the sofa, it was ace.

Took lots of pics of the guys with various GMTV girls who all wanted pics, and we also got the presenters too, then there was Mark and we had him all to ourselves for about 10 mins while he signed stuff and chatted and posed for pics. I could hardly believe that the young blonde farmboy who stared wistfully at the two setting suns of Tatooine during John Williams' swelling music in Star Wars was actually standing in the same air space as me....after all the years of watching the films, I never EVER guessed I'd meet one of the biggest stars.

He was dead nice and he talked about how he read about redheads being bullied and picked on in the papers and how unfair that was and what a nice colour my hair was :D He signed the guys shoulder bells and books and a DVD set for them too.

Got great feedback from Nick who also apologised again for Mark's outburst and said that the morning had gone "brilliantly". Considering it was Friday 13th it was the luckiest day of my life!!!!

Click to enlarge.