I have made no secret that Winston Graham’s Poldark series are my favourite books. I was inspired to read them shortly after watching the 1970’s television adaptation of the first seven books in the series. Actor, Robin Ellis, brought the character of Ross Poldark to life, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to finally meet him at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature in 2016.
Mr Ellis was giving a talk about his experience living with type 2 diabetes and how it inspired him to write a series of cookbooks for people living with the condition. Although my reason for attending the talk was to see him, his talk was so candid and thought provoking, that I soon found myself reassessing my own diet and health.
Afterwards, I had a chance to meet him. We talked about the character he had helped bring to life, Ross Poldark, and the character’s impulsive and determined nature. He wished me well for my book release later in the year, The Thief's Daughter, and was happy to have a photo taken with me, which was very kind of him.
Although Robin Ellis now lives in France and enjoys a second career as an author, he returned to the acting profession to play the role of Judge Halse in the new adaptation of Poldark, starring Aiden Turner. He played the character brilliantly and I was pleased to see that he had not lost his acting skills.
As a teenager, I never understood the whole “groupie” culture. Fans screaming and fainting at music concerts, rather than listen to the music, all seemed rather silly to me. However, it is not very often you meet someone who you have watched on the television screen, video and DVD since you were a child. I rambled on a little too much, appeared overly grateful and generally rather un-cool. No doubt he is well used to seeing the “Poldark effect” making sensible women a little incoherent, however he tolerated it, even after all these years. He may have seen it all before, but for me, it was a new experience to meet someone I greatly admired. I had been looking forward to the event since I bought the tickets and spent far too long on what I should wear. Daft, I know, but that was the truth of the encounter.
Our conversation was over all too soon and I left with a signed copy of his book and a photograph to remember the occasion. My encounter with the original Ross Poldark taught me a valuable lesson, a lesson that every writer should remember. If a reader attends a book signing or an event, they have invested their time, money and emotions to finally meet the person whose work they admire. Their time and effort is humbling and worthy of my respect and gratitude.