My favorite time of year! having won in 2011 and presented twice before I was overwhelmed to be asked to present the Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatre to the one and only Chita Rivera. I'd never met Chita so I wrote my speech with great trepidation, and decided to go the comedy route rather than the hero worship I'm sure she's been enduring all season. To my great relief, she accepted the award then looked at me and said "That was FUNNY!!".
I turned around to face Dame Diana Rigg staring at me as if I was a flower girl blocking the entrance at Covent Garden. I let her in front of me as her escort, the charming Lionel Larner, executive director of the Dorothy Loudon Foundation, quickly stepped in and said, "Diana, this is Tony Sheldon who won the award in 2011....". Dame Diana cut him off brusquely: "Yes, yes, we've met. Briefly". Which was flattering of her to remember if only it were true. I was so embarrassed I climbed over the velvet rope and left the press line. Maybe she needed to go to the bathroom and wanted to get her interviews over with. I shall never know. Ah, well, it keeps me humble.