• Josh Newis Smith

Touching The Hand of Oprah: A Fan Girl’s Tale

Joshington Hosts appears on InStyle UK

Coming into close contact with Oprah, let alone sitting down for an eight-minute audience and talking ACTUAL HUMAN WORDS to Ms. Winfrey is like being blessed by the touch of god itself in a scene akin to that infamous Michelangelo panting. Except with more clothes, thankfully.

Such a life affirming moment was made even more profound by God/Oprah’s (delete as appropriate) disciples being Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. After a full week of listening and watching to everything Oprah had said since time basically began, I was drowning with nerves like Reese/Elle Woods on her first day at Harvard.

The last time I was this overwhelmed was when, at the tender age of 7, after months of begging, my Mum took me to meet the Queen Mother at Sandringham Flower Show. Plot spoiler: I was a Royal obsessed child – perhaps making me into the absolute Qween I think I am today. Much to the gathered audience of OAP’s delight I sheepishly asked to kiss The Queen Mother’s hand - I saw a snap of said moment in a book and thought that was how all Queens should be greeted. Her response was, ‘of course,’ and one’s hand tasted a lot like an Imperial Leather soap bar.

Luckily I don’t greet any ‘Qweens’ I met on my regular pilgrimages to Soho gay bar in a similar way, these days. But what are the etiquette rules one should observe for meeting Oprah? Does one curtsey or go straight in and ask for a trademark Oprah hug? I imagine there is no warmer sensation in life. These are the questions that plagued me for days before hand.

Many people ask what interviewing a celebrity is really like or what a ‘junket set up’ entails. Well a junket is like being one of many sheep held in a gated pen waiting to be unleashed on the sheep dog OR it’s just like when Hugh Grant acted like a cutting edge Horse and Hound journalist in Notting Hill. I will allow you to select your own image.

Released from the pen and sitting outside the interview room I am faced with three body guards who whilst wearing ‘we mean business’ faces they are handsome AF – the kind of lads who would 110 percent show you a good time. This acted as the perfect distraction. I mentally ranked them in order of preference instead of focusing on my upcoming audience with three near biblical babes and that was ever so reassuring. Maybe I should have been looking over my questions, like a professional but instead I preferred to be a professional perv.

After being beckoned into the room and sat opposite these three wise queens I brought my usual take it or leave it self to the room. After stating that Zach Galifanakis has, ‘a certain appeal or seasoning,’ Oprah lit up and was officially back in the game. Warm with insane presence, Oprah is everything you want her to be and more.

Comparisons to Destiny’s Child ensued – yes Oprah could handle it – and the trio were amazed that someone actually asked some fresh questions, so much so that they refused to let the interview stop. Hold the line – WHAT. IS HAPPENING?!?

My crowning moment as a hard-hitting journalist came by certifying the trio as the ultimate Joshington’s Babes with the stickers to prove it. “So we are Josh’s babes,” Ms. Winfrey exclaimed, followed by, “so fun - great interview Josh!”

Feel free to put that on my gravestone and I am never washing again after Oprah’s enthusiastic handshake. Alternatively I am contemplating getting a glass case to encapsulate my right hand just like that hand model from Zoolander.

One final thought, Reese if you are reading this also, ADOPT ME, I know you want to!

© 2018 by Josh Newis Smith