When a Saffa offered Stephen Fry some “arse cream”

Stephen Fry against red background

I’m a photographer. Once, I was shooting portraits of Stephen Fry at Abbey Road Studio. Yes. Stephen Fry. Abbey Road Studio.

We had properly limited time because Stephen is a busy guy and the shoot was squeezed in between his recording session but we got on well, and all he wanted to do was tell me stories. So, we spent about 90 per cent of the time talking kak and then 10 per cent rushing our shoot. 

He told me this one story:

Back in the day, Stephen Fry was in South Africa for an event and it was bloody scorching outside. He said it was boiling and he was dressed up and was sweating buckets. Next minute, this big Afrikaner comes up to him and asks him if he’s alright and if he wants some “arse cream”. He said he nearly had a heart attack because he was really hot and sweaty but had never considered some cream for his arse. And the guy said it so casually, like duh—arse cream on a hot day; as if it was something everyone in South Africa knows to do.

So, Stephen Fry says (all British and perturbed), “Pardon me?”—and the guy says, “Arse cream…Arse cream?” And then takes his fist out and starts licking it; using sign language as a last ditch effort to explain ice cream on a hot day.

Stephen was honestly almost pissing himself telling me. It was the best but all I wanted to do was stop him talking so I could get the photos I needed before he had to go!



Storyteller & Image:  Marcus Maschwitz

Editor: Andrea Zanin

Marcus Maschwitz lives in Hastings with his wife and daughter, shooting band photos and telling stories with his camera. He’s lived in the UK since 2009. 


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