Amanda Abbington


I'll tell you a secret - I love being able to escape from reality. If you know me, this probably won't come as a surprise and I know I'm definitely not alone when I say this. I love reading and watching new and exciting books, shows and films. I love getting lost in a world that's different from my own. It was January 6th 2013 when the sensational hit series 'Mr Selfridge' aired for the first time. I sat watching it not really knowing an awful lot about it. All I knew was that it was brilliant and I found myself wishing the weeks away just to watch the next episode. I quickly grew very attached to the character 'Miss Mardle,' partly because I found aspects of myself in her. She was focused, kind hearted and loyal. She stayed true to who she was and she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believed in. I admired that and I adored her with all my heart, right until the very end. I did what every fan is guilty of doing and I researched the actress who played this beautiful character since I didn't recognise her from anything I'd seen before. This was the moment I discovered Amanda Abbington for the very first time.

Amanda is the kind of person you'd want as your best friend. She has the most contagious smile and the brightest eyes and she has a heart of gold. I quickly discovered that not only was Amanda the most phenomenal and gifted actress I'd ever known, but she is incredibly kind hearted, ambitious, determined, caring and humble. I remember following her on every social media site I was on and without even realising it, she brought so much happiness to my life. She made me smile and mean it and it had been a very long time since I'd been genuinely and consistently happy. Her passion for feminism and animal rights inspired me to educate myself on topics that I'm passionate about. She taught me what it means to be the best version of myself and from that moment, she quickly became my idol, my inspiration, my everything.

You can only imagine how incredibly happy and excited I was to discover that she was going to play BBC Sherlock's Mary Morstan (My favourite TV Show EVER!) I couldn't believe it and her character was so unbelievably complex.Wicked, yes. Intelligent, yes. Flawed, absolutely! Her character fascinated me and they couldn't have asked anyone more fitting and deserving to play the role. My heart was bursting with pride and Amanda absolutely aced it (as always!) I've always loved everything that Amanda has ever done. Whether it's being in one of my favourite TV Shows (Sherlock, Mr Selfridge, Cuffs), featuring on the Radio / in magazines or simply fighting for what she believes in like attending the Women's Rights March - I'll always look up to her and be grateful that I have such an incredible and empowering role model. 

It was the night before my GCSE Results Day in 2015 that Amanda tweeted me for the very first time. She said: "you'll be ok my love. Good luck. x" which was soon followed by her congratulating me on my results, giving me advice for my first day in college and saying it would be lovely to meet me! I've been incredibly lucky to have been tweeted by Amanda countless times and each time it happens I still squeal with happiness. I honestly don't know what I've ever done to deserve her kindness but I hope she knows just how much I appreciate her lovely and encouraging words. She never fails to make my day so much brighter and for that alone, I'm forever grateful for her.

Nobody ever really believes that they're ever going to meet their idol. I didn't. I'm always so happy for fans that have met their favourite people but I always thought that seeing my friends photos with Amanda was the closest I was ever going to get to actually meeting her. How very wrong I was. I booked my ticket to attend the SHERLocked Convention in January 2016, not expecting Amanda to go. She'd never been to one of the Sherlock Conventions before so I assumed it wasn't her thing and I completely understood and respected that. However, on August 28th 2016, Amanda Abbington was announced as one of the attending guests and I cried with disbelief. I didn't think twice before booking my photo session with her. My mum came running upstairs and I burst into tears when I told her I was finally going to meet my biggest inspiration, Everyone was so happy for me yet it still didn't feel real. As cliché as it sounds, this sort of thing doesn't happen to me. I started doubting everything and I thought 'She's going to hate me' and 'I don't deserve to meet her.' Meeting Amanda was the only thing I'd ever wanted for as long as I can remember and it still doesn't feel real, even now. September 24th 2016 soon arrived and I woke up that morning with the biggest smile on my face. I looked like I'd slept with a hanger in my mouth! I got to the ExCel super early and it still hadn't sunken in that it was only a matter of hours until I'd meet Amanda. My friend had met her before me and I saw their photo together which was the moment I realised that she was actually here. She was in the same room as me, even though I hadn't seen her with my own eyes yet. It wasn't long before that moment arrived. It was around 10:30am when I looked across the autograph tables to see Amanda, my world, smiling and chatting to some fans. I squealed and my friends and I were so overwhelmed. I couldn't stop staring at her. She was so radiant and beautiful (as always) and I just went completely speechless. It sounds daft but it still didn't feel real, even though she was standing right in front of me. It was around 11:00am when I bought my autograph ticket to meet Amanda and I jumped in the queue, not really understanding what was about to happen. I was the second person in the queue and I was so, so close to her. I could hear her beautiful voice and I could see her gorgeous smile and inside my head, a million thoughts were spinning around. I kept thinking 'Meg, you're about 30 seconds away from meeting Amanda,' 'you're about to meet your favourite person, your inspiration, 'AMANDA ABBINGTON IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, IDIOT.' It was that exact moment that it finally hit me. This was really happening. This was my moment to meet Amanda and tell her how much she means to me. I got to the front and Amanda looked up at me with the biggest smile on her face. My heart was racing and she asked me how I was. Without thinking, I replied with "I'm really emotional." The next thing I know, I have tears running down my face and I'm crying in front of her. I very rarely cry in front of people so if I do cry, I must be extremely emotional. She looked concerned before she stood up and wrapped her arms around me. Instead of feeling embarrassed, Amanda made me feel so cared for and safe. We stayed in our little bubble, a.k.a, the best hug I've ever had for a few moments and she whispered into my ear asking me why I was so emotional. Naturally I told her that I'd wanted to meet her for such a long time and that she meant everything to me. She squeezed me tightly and sat back down. I laughed and she smiled at me before telling me it was okay. She noticed that I was still shaking so she took my hand in hers and we held hands whilst she continued signing my print. Her assistant looked at me and said it was really cute how much she meant to me. I told Amanda I'd written a letter for her and she was so, so grateful. She told me that she'd read it as soon as she could before winking and smiling at me once again. I left her and found my friends before starting to get emotional all over again. I couldn't help but feel slightly embarrassed and stupid but Amanda was so unbelievably caring and kind. She completely reassured me and I wouldn't change a single thing about our first ever meeting. I met Amanda at 11:13 and in that moment, all of my wishes, all of my 11:11's came true. It wasn't long before I got to see Amanda again, this time for our photo. She recognised me from earlier on that day and so I apologised for crying and getting so emotional. She pulled me in for a hug and we stayed in our hug whilst we had our photo taken. She held my hands as we said goodbye and I told her I loved her because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. About a month after I met her, I tweeted her our photo and she replied with "look at your pretty face! Xx" which made me happy beyond words. Without a doubt, the day I met Amanda was the best day of my life and I hope that I can meet her again one day.

It was announced that Amanda would be starring in the 40th Anniversary production of 'Abigail's Party' and my heart was filled with so much pride once again. I know that she is going to be absolutely incredible. I didn't think I'd get the opportunity to go and see the play myself due to college and work, but I managed to get myself and my sister tickets to the production in Malvern on April 19th, 2017. Knowing that I get to see Amanda again makes me so unimaginably happy. Not many people can say that they are going to see their favourite actress performing live and I certainly didn't think I'd ever be able to say that. I'm so lucky to be seeing her again in a couple of months. Supporting Amanda is something I'll always take pride in. She's beyond brilliant. She's taught me so much, including how to find my happiness in the times I may have lost it. She's created friendships between myself and some of the best people I've ever known. She is everything I aspire to be like in life and I know that if I turn out to be anywhere near as talented, determined and brilliant as she is, I'll be so happy and content with my life and everything I achieve. I hope Amanda knows how much I appreciate having her in my life and how much I appreciate the support, love and hope she not only gives to me, but to every other one of her fans and the people who adore her as much as I do.

I'm going to stop rambling now. I could easily write a book expressing my love and appreciation for one of the greatest women to have ever lived. I hope that Amanda has the most incredible birthday with her friends and family filled with love, joy, happiness and cake! 

Lots of Love,


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