Published 24 March 2017
ADP Events and Art Deco Productions are into their 15th year supplying murder mystery dinners, team building events and lookalike appearances. In those fifteen years I’ve learnt a great deal about production, performing, customer satisfaction, quality control as well as marketing and sales, but more on that later.
Omega Watches of Switzerland
Ten years ago, my lookalike appearances as Hercule Poirot brought about a request from Omega Watches of Switzerland to appear on the Venice Simplon Orient Express travelling to Prague over two days to launch their Railmaster watch. Celebrities were due to board the train in Vienna with the watch secured in a glass case carried onto the train by some burly minders. The train was to set off into the countryside, pull up at a small village where the announcement would be made to the world’s press, by the CEO of Omega, that the watch had been stolen. I’d been instructed to appear from amongst the crowd of journalists, board the train and help solve the mystery of the stolen Railmaster.
I’d planned and researched the celebrity passengers who I knew I’d have to interview during the journey. Among these were French model Estelle Lefébure, Russian writer Renata Litvinova, former Miss Czech Republic, Katerina Stocesova, top Chinese model Qi Qi, actor Simon Yam and tennis player Anna Kournikova, all ambassadors for Omega. Needless to say this event revolved around M.Poirot solving the crime.
So you can see my importance to the event, no Poirot, no storyline. I’d been very ill leading up to the event but soldiered on. I packed for the journey and left for Heathrow feeling drained of all energy. Get on the plane, have a rest, not working until tomorrow so I should feel better by then. Off to the gate, “Passports please – sorry sir, your passport has expired”. I had very little colour in my cheeks before that but I can assure you, the rest drained very quickly. “We can probably let you fly to Vienna but no way will you get into Prague”. I rang the client. “Paul, I have a problem, just boarding the plane but my passport is out of date”. It went very quiet at the other end, for a long time, I thought he’d passed out. I explained the situation, he said to get to Vienna and we can sort a passport at the British Embassy which we did and thankfully, all was sorted. A big lesson learnt early on, not one I want to repeat but worth learning. So all’s well that ends well. Got a kiss from Anna Kournikova and an Omega Railmaster watch as a thank you. Checklists now have checklists!