Ferociously spinning across the stage, an intimidating presence that’s challenging to ignore. Looking around I wasn’t the only one enthralled by his Dickensian presence. I was instantly intrigued. Who was this guy? I was on a pursuit to find out.

It was the after, after party of The Wella Trend Vision Final. Simon and I had decided celebratory tequilas were in order to reward our hard day’s graft. Wedged in at the bar I turned around to be faced with The Pike himself. Instantly drawn in, we made our way to the dance floor where he led me gracefully. Knowing I’d better pull out all the stops, I lied. Under the disguisement of a salsa dancer, a role that was not so easy to uphold after my rounds at the bar, I twisted and turned trying to keep up. If he noticed my untruth, he was too polite to say.

We spent the night sharing tales of our pasts, his more colourful than mine.  Showing pictures taken with Michael Jackson and The Osbornes amongst Dr Pepper commercials and action stunts. Getting to know each other whilst intermittently calling my friends to let them talk to my new famous friend.

Darren Tait was back in the UK. He’d spent many years previous in Las Vegas and Los Angeles working in the film industry as an Action Actor and Stunt Man. Most famous for his time at Cirque du Soleil, where he performed in their show ‘Beatles-Love’, he has quite a story to tell.

A run in with the Royal family and a few Celebrity Kiss ‘n Tells. An ex-boy band member, supporting Christina Aguilera, Westlife and Busted. Darren has lived a spectacular life. Whilst obviously impressed with his repertoire, this is not predominantely the reason why Darren has my attention.

Throughout the past year, Darren has proved to me that persistence is key, and an attitude that screams ‘I’m never going to give up’ is what I’m drawn to most. Hard work and determination will drive you to the top of the game no matter your background or past life choices. His most loving attribute is his ability to let others be, to accept individuals for who they are without passing any judgement. Darren has accepted me, my position and lifestyle.

One week into his fortnight visit to Bonnie Dundee, Darren has made the effort to get to know my family and friends. Patiently waiting for me to finish shifts at work to show him the beautiful sights of our fair city. Willingly giving his time and effort to Blue Sky Photo Club amongst other things I’d lined up for him.

I have never had so many frequent visitors to the Poley Penthouse, everyone eager to meet my charismatic friend.

I will travel back down to London with Darren at the end of this week unsure when we will spend time together again.  If anything I know I’ve found a life long friend that can push me personally and creatively.

Dandy Pike has influenced me as he has many others. Hanging from my third storey window and walking across my ceiling are just a few attributes that will be missed in Dundee’s French Quarter. More than pleased to have met him although apprehension was formidably at the forefront. He’s a class of his own. Dandy, Beano, Pike.

Long live the VEF and The Dandy does the Queen.

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