My biggest gaffe: skating on thin ice with Disney

Sarah McGhie, head of PR at Domino's Pizza, was on thin ice after a mischievous celebrity was caught on camera 'beheading' Mickey Mouse...

Sarah McGhie: "The stage manager threatened to sue my backside and everyone else associated with me."
Sarah McGhie: "The stage manager threatened to sue my backside and everyone else associated with me."

In the mid-1990s, I was an account manager at Mark Borkowski PR, and one of our clients was Walt Disney World on Ice. We launched the tour early one morning at Wembley. We were greeted by the stage manager, who recited the contents of the lever-arch files we had received stating the dos and don’ts of dealing with Mickey Mouse. He clearly wanted to control the press call and I didn’t speak up – mistake number one.

The presenter was Rowland Rivron, who had been picked up from the Groucho Club after a "long night". As the stage manager dictated his terms, Rivron, with a mischievous glint in his eye, pulled the crew aside and started plotting. Mistake two – I put my head in the sand despite knowing something was going to happen.

Just as Mickey went for some Torvill and Dean-style spins and jumps, Rivron hollered "that mouse is mine" and sped off on skates. Mickey yelped and started to peg it around the ice. Against all the odds, Rivron got up an incredible speed, rugby tackled Mickey, removed the mouse’s head and repeated triumphantly "the mouse is down".

The stage manager threatened to sue my backside and everyone else associated with me, while the camera crew filmed it all.

The footage still exists somewhere...

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