I joke around saying my Simon MacCorkindale obsession started with that scar, which is partly true. I think the place to start would be when/how I first discovered Simon.
I first watched Simon in Casually episode Deja Vu on UKTV Gold in 2005, I can still remember the exact scene (This one). Then a few days later I saw part of the first Manimal episode, again I still remember the scene clearly (This one), how could I forget a good looking, blond haired, blue eyed guy turning into a panther! It took me a few minutes to figure out it was the same guy from Casualty, pleasantly surprised, but was interested in finding out more, not only about Manimal but the actor.
I started by looking him up on IMDB and a Google search gave me some good info and sites: Dapper Site and Lonna Poland’s Site (which has been updated since) About a month after first watching him in Casualty that I saw the complete series of Manimal, over a two week period (thanks Bravo!) It was while watching Manimal that I first noticed that scar.
I spent a few weeks searching out caps of it a various sites (seeing how far that scar goes back), this was when I first notice these hadn’t been updated in a while. So having liked what I had seen already decide to do some of my own from Casualty to fill in some of the gaps in the collection I had started to build.
I also decide I wanted to see him on more and as if to bookend his current career I watched Death On The Nile, and again I liked what I saw so capped that too. So my collection of my own screen caps started.
I wanted to watch Harry clips without digging out my DVD’s so started my clips collection. What I really wanted to do was have a go a making a music video as I had scene some amazing ones on other (non-Simon related) sites
Around March/April last year (06) I wasn’t working so extremely bored. I wanted to do something intelligent/constructive (yes me!) so I thought I’d start a small site with my collection of caps and clips as I felt it was getting too large for a private collection!
So the site started with about a hundred screen caps and around 10 video clips, it has expanded rapidly, much faster than anticipated with around 4302 Simon images and 384 videos online to date (04/07). I’ve since added scans and magazine articles to the collection. Around August I finally had enough clips to be able to attempt my first music video Harry’s Role – Lean On Me. The forum started mainly as a easier way to post site updates and the TV Schedule, I feel it has grown nicely over the year.
I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t do anything for the site, I’m always working on or planning something, even if you don’t see the results straight away, it’s ready to be added when the time is right. I do it because I enjoy it, how can you not enjoying watching Simon so intently!
So that’s how and why I started this obsession, my main excuse is I was off sick when I first watched Manimal, and my brain was doing strange things. On a side note, my family only found out about the site when I told them around September/October, they still think it’s strange!
Wow, it has been a while since I wrote that first part and a lot has happened on the site since that time.
The first major event has was our first birthday celebrations. I knew the first year had to be special so in early December 06 I decided what I was going to do.
I wrote a short letter to Simon telling him about the site and our upcoming milestone and asked if would help us with the celebrations. I gave the letter in to Windsor Theatre when I went to see Simon in The Unexpected Guest. A few weeks later I received a reply and I could hardly believe what I was reading. A little over a week later I found myself on a train to Wolverhampton to meet with and interview Simon. The only thing going through my head was ‘Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into!’
I travelled to Wolves the day before I was due to meet Simon, spent the night in a hotel and managed to see The Unexpected Guest a second time.
I was very nervous the next day at the theatre waiting for Simon. I remember standing in the stage door nervous and not speaking much to the staff as I was trying to calm myself. It was a few minutes before Simon arrived and when he walked through the door he stopped dead, grinned slightly and said ‘Michele?’ – Now in my head I thought ‘Yes sir’ though I doubt anything came out of my mouth – I just nodded and went over and shook his hand. He took me through to do the interview and we had a little chat while I sent up the audio recorder and camcorder for the video message which we recorded first (looking back at that message Simon seems a little embarrassed in it – oops!) Then we started the interview somehow Simon made me feel completely at ease and I managed to speak clearly (I tend to mumble on a good day let alone when I’m nervous.) The first question from me was always obvious – how did he get that scar (see it’s all about that scar 🙄 )
The first interview seemed to be over quickly and although I was an amateur Simon was extremely patient and answered all the questions I had. He escorted me out as he had a few fans waiting for him – as soon as he stepped out he was pretty much swamped with people so I squeezed past them, waved by to Simon and walked to the station grinning the whole way!
I did always treat that first interview as a once in a lifetime opportunity – little did I know I’d get the chance again (ok I asked AGAIN 🙄 ) a little less than a year later. The main difference was I knew what to expect and so did Simon (less embarrassed in the video message)
I am eternally grateful for what Simon has done for us and hope I don’t annoy him too much when I turn up at the stage door and he gives me a mischievous grin and says ‘Oh no, not you again!’ or ‘What are you doing here?’ (like he needs to ask!)
Another major aspect since our first year is the fans input and dedication to this site and to Simon, many have met Simon for the first time thanks to his theatre work (and partly due to this site,) and we hope things continue to grow on both sides.
The site has also been through some technical changes – introduction of the gallery and article software that makes finding, adding and organising everything much easier than the static pages before. We have had a major forum upgrade and a number of layout changes (previous layouts can be found here) we have also had some host problems and host changes to deal with in the early part of this year.
Two and a half years down, I’m still enjoying it (hey, I get to watch Simon – A lot!) and hopefully we can continue to build on this and continue to make a bigger and better site to support Simon. I also hope that everyone likes what they can come and get from the site. I have a few more ideas for the site and I hope I can pull them off!
The most valuable thing I’ve gained from running this site and everything else that goes with it (apart from web hosting experience) is confidence. I’m still fairly shy, hence I don’t like meeting people too often in person unless I’ve been speaking to them off site for a while – I’m not a people person. I’m a lot more confident than I was 18 months ago, this is not only thanks to the members and visitor here but to Simon too, it’s the little things that mean a lot.
Thanks, Michele (shelliwood)
A small but important change was made to the site. As of 13th September 2008 this site is now Semi-Official for more details please see the link on the right.