“Great news,” I said to him. “Your talent has been recognised at last.”
“It says you are Blackpool Pleasure Beach's biggest fan.”
“Actually, I prefer the donkey rides on the beach. I find it inadvisable to go on The Big One after a lunchtime session in the pub. Besides, I'm not switching on the Lights. That's some bloke from America.”
The penny dropped, like they used to in those execution slot machines in the Winter Gardens. Remember them? Now those were the days of good old family fun when you could stand round and watch some bloke get hanged.
The Tim Burton I know is an actor, lives in Holmfirth and is stadium announcer for the Huddersfield Giants. Or, as he likes to describe his role: ambience executive. He happens to be from Lancashire, so you would have thought Blackpool might have favoured the local lad rather than a Hollywood director who's only claim to fame is Planet of the Apes and loads of others hit films, and who was once very close to Helena Bonham Carter.
“So you are not THE Tim Burton?”
The mistaken identity has happened before, most famously in Blackpool because, believe it or not, the American Tim really is a big fan of the Pleasure Beach and a frequent visitor to the resort.
Our home-grown Tim booked a room in a rather basic South Shore hotel at Blackpool and, when he checked in, the owner looked at him with disbelief and disappointment.
“You're not Tim Burton,” he said.
“I am,” Tim said. “Always have been.”
The owner's partner came running down the corridor and his face fell, as well.
“We thought you were THE Tim Burton,” he said.
“As far as I'm concerned,” said Tim. “I am THE Tim Burton.”
He shook his head at the memory.
“As if THE Tim Burton would have stayed in a dump like that.”
Still, we had to laugh.
“And do you still see Helena Bonham Carter?” I asked.
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