Games Makers visit 10 Downing Street and appear on The One ShowBy Julie Spencer
December 06, 2012
A surprise visit to 10 Downing Street and an appearance on the BBC’s The One Show marked a ‘surreal’ end to London 2012 for a team of Games Makers.
Stan Hetherington and other Olympic and Paralympic volunteers from Wokingham agreed to appear on the teatime programme last Wednesday.
But they had no idea a day of filming would culminate in a trip to Downing Street, where Prime Minister David Cameron would present them with a Big Society plaque to commemorate the work of all the 70,000 volunteers.
Mr Hetherington said: “The word surreal is one I have used a lot this year with the Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics.
“But when the prime minister said ‘Hello, Stan’ it really was a surreal moment.”
Mr Hetherington and Games Makers from Wokingham borough spent the day in front of The One Show cameras on Tuesday, November 27, cheering up commuters between Reading and Paddington, serving up snacks and rousing songs.
They then went to the East End to make tea for a group of builders before they were asked by the BBC if they could go back to London the next day.
Mr Hetherington explained: “The One Show contacted me three weeks ago as they said whenever they Googled Games Makers they got my name because of Wokingham Winter Carnival.
“They said Lord Coe would be in the studio last Wednesday and they needed some Games Makers as well. The BBC man said it was for something special although he was not at liberty to disclose what.
“We met at Waterloo, were put into two taxis and told we were going to help tourists.
“It wasn’t until the taxi stopped in front of the gates to Downing Street that we knew where we going, but we didn’t know who we were meeting.”
Games Maker Christine Callaghan was in the taxi with Mr Hetherington.
She said: “We thought we were going to be filmed in the road helping tourists outside Downing Street but then they asked for our security clearance and we went through. It was amazing and we could not believe it.”
The eight Games Makers had a tour of number 10 before meeting Mr Cameron.
Mrs Callaghan, who also carried the Olympic torch, added: “He spoke to each of us and asked about the venue. I was at the Excel and he told me about taking Vladimir Putin there.”
Mr Hetherington, Mrs Callaghan and Jennifer Wright, Kate Carter, Frances Reeve, Pia Drake, Rhona Djaelani and Dennis Woodhams left the Big Society reception and headed for the BBC Studios where they and other Games Makers from Wokingham appeared on the live show, which included a film of the meeting with the prime minister.
The plaque will be kept at Wokingham Town Hall, in Market Place.