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The Real Ellen Story - Coming Out Party London 1998

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Ellen's Coming Out Party - Saturday 25 April 1998

The whole evening started with a celebrity party which Ellen was guest of honour. She was wearing a black trouser suit.
Interviewer: Hello Ellen, aren't you amazed that a year on you can still cause this sort of fuss for what you did?
Ellen: Yeah, I am. I don't know any of these people and yet a year later I'm invited to another country to celebrate a show that wasn't celebrated in my own country - well there was parties but my network didn't celebrate, so its great I'm honoured.
Interviewer: Well tonight it's a cocoon of love for Ellen, the people here adore you! Interviewer then tells Ellen that there is a major UK TV presenter (female) who wants to meet her so Ellen chats away with her as she is a huge fan.

The documentary "The Real Ellen Story" starts.

Ellen: I'm not trying to change anybodys opinion on it, I'm fine with who I am now, and for a long time I was'nt!

MARCH 1996- Ellen DeGeneres decides to come out.
Ellen: I was in therapy at the time, I got in touch with my feelings of my pain, which I had'nt been in my entire life, I started realising what a huge source of pain that was for me for to constantly worry about, I finally decided to come out and it made sense for the character to come out.

JUNE 6 1996- Ellen meets with the writers of ellen to plan the sitcoms fourth season.
Jonathan Stark, Tracy Newman, Dava Sevo - Ellen writers: the first we heard of this was at a party Ellen threw at her house which was unusual in itself as she was very private and nobody knew were she lived, we all gathered around and she said I want the character to come out, and we were so excited it meant we could actually get to write something, get our teeth into it. Once this was decided it was top secret info, nobody was allowed to mention it, people thought the studio is never gonna go for this.

SUMMER 1996 - Ellen begins a series of meetings with Disney, the owners of ellen and ABC, the network that airs it.
Ellen: The next step was to tell Disney and see if they would go for it, there were secret meetings and none was supposed to know we were talking.
Writer, ellen: the first meeting Ellen had with Disney, she began to tell them what she wanted to do. At first it was joke and then she began to cry.
Ellen: To be 37 years old and be feeling this sense of shame, that nobody would like me if they found out I was gay, its a pretty emotional thing to expose yourself to.
Writer: when she was finished she cried, you wouldn't think she cries easily but she does.
Ellen: I don't think it helped any, these people aren't warm and fuzzy & go ahh she's crying let's let her do it. Dean Valentine, Former President Disney Television: Michael Eisner conditions were it's got to be funny, a really great episode. We weren't simply doing it for the sake of somebody coming out of the closet, and getting press and ABC a number. If she does this then this becomes a show, every episode becomes a show about y'know lesbianism, and that I don't know if the broad american public will want to watch a weekly show about lesbianism, and I said.. no that's not what we want to make the show about, that's not what Ellen has said.

AUGUST 1996- To Preserve secrecy, the planned coming out episode is code named the puppy episode.
Tamara Billick, Casting Director ellen: I walked into a room and I saw this big bulletin board with the whole season laid on it, and there was card saying puppy episode, and I thought that's nice Ellen's getting a puppy. Vance Degeneres: Somebody suggested that maybe Ellen should get a puppy.
Jonathan Stark, Tracy Newman, writers: We have to get Ellen to care about somebody we need to get her a boyfriend, and the people in the room said, well she's gay, well then we'll get her a girlfriend and Michael Ovitz said... don't even think about it, so we said.. get her a puppy.
Vance Degeneres: People like puppies, so maybe they will warm up to the whole lesbian thing more, if they know Ellen has a puppy.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1996- The hollywood reporter reports that Ellen's character on the sitcom will come out.
Ellen: Somebody leaked it, I don't know who, but they did it. When it came out everyone went crazy with it. Writer: Disney accused us of leaking it and got really upset, and it became like a witch hunt.

SEPTEMBER 1996 - MARCH 1997 - ABC and Disney refuse to comment on Ellen's character coming out.
Jill Lessard, former publicist, ABC: The network had a policy not to comment on rumours and speculation, which is a good policy, until the script was written. It would have been foolish to acknowledge, yes this going to happen.
Micheal Di Pasquale, Former Publicist, Disney TV: I was answering the phone and basically saying "hello we don't comment on rumours or speculation. It was maddening, and this went on for months and months.

SEPTEMBER 1996- Evangelists attack Disney.
Micheal Di Pasquale: These letters just kept coming and coming saying you're gonna rot in hell.
Vance Degeneres: As her brother, one of my first reactions was for her safety, its a big cruel world out there and there are lot of people who just don't want to see anybody rock the boat.
Jonathon Stark, Tracy Newman: I got my phone disconnected, there are people out there who, if they new I was envolved in this script they would kill me rather than see the script go on air.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1996- The Fourth season of ellen begins airing on the ABCNetwork, No decision had been made about Ellen coming out.
Ellen: The very first show we did had me going into the shower singing that song " I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and the next word is gay obviously, that was the first show and that was our first clue.
Writer: We wanted to ark the entire season, it has some validity it didn't get just plopped out there, people saw it coming.
Ellen: We had all these ideas that every single time there was a reference made to me being a lesbian we would have some bell going off, whether I'm making cookies or watching TV, and I go "I love golf" "ding"

AUTUMN 1996- While ABC and disney vacilliate about Ellen's character comingout, gay activists take to the internet.
Chastity Bono: We got people sending waffle mix to ABC to stop them waffling wether Ellen would come out or not.
Vance Degeneres: There were moments when it teatered, whether if would happen or not, so she had a rough time with ABC & Disney.
Ellen: We were maybe gonna do six shows and then come out, and that wasn't good because there was a Disney stock holders meeting going on at the time, and they wanted to make sure the stock didn't go down, so we had to wait, nobody would say that but I knew.
Writer: They kept saying maybe we could, and they would not give a firm answer.
Ellen: Nobody even all year long, when all this was going on, nobody gave me the ok.
Dean Valentine, former president, Disney TV: Ellen was a mess, that would be the best way of putting it, and taking a risk that she would never be employable again.
Ellen: Ya know...I think everyone in this business wants to be liked, you depend on other people liking you for your livelihood, that's a pretty risky thing to say "I'm gay and not be scared to death.

SEPTEMBER 24 1996 - Ellen embarks on a publicity tour to promote her CD.
Ellen: If I didn't have a CD coming out I wouldn't have done any press at all, I would have just stayed in my house and not talked to anybody. I came out with some jokes that my character would discover she was lebanese. I kind of did some jokes about how confusing to people, other than that I just went out there and winged it.
Clip:- The Larry Sanders Show- Larry: Would the character of Ellen ever sleep with a man?
Ellen: Well sure if he was feminine enough.
Ellen: and then I started getting attacked, certain people saying "You're doing it for the ratings", how stupid would that be to risk everything. The reason everybody is in the closet, and no one will line up behind me saying me too, me too, was because you lose your career, so I'm gonna risk everything for one show for ratings. I'm a little smarter than that.

JANUARY 1997- Ellen and writers work on the outline for the puppy episode.
Ellen: I think everyone was nervous on how we would do it, the character's gonna come out what does that mean? So we went through a lot of different versions, and I every night would write pages and pages.
Writer: And once that outline was done we waited and waited it was like we got the word, and it was like we're gonna need that script in a week, and we wrote really fast. Everything was put into a safe at night.. all the little diskettes.
Jonathan Stark, Tracey Newman, writers: The first draft we had on maroon paper, special paper you can't photocopy, the stuff was shredded in a shredder. We shredded everything, there was no way any of this was going to leak out.

FEBRUARY 14, 1997- The puppy episode script is delivered to Disney. Writers: We gave it to Disney and they didn't like it, the first draft Dean Valentine said "I hate it" probably in a lot less nice way.
Dean Valentine: I felt Ellen and the writers were dancing around the fundamental issue of a person coming out of the closet, and what its consequences were.
Writer: So we shut down the show for a week and really had a crack at writing a better episode.
Dean Valentine: I was very concerned it would end up being nothing, very low quality and just basic general TV. I was incredibly thrilled when the re-write came in, I thought it spectacular.

MARCH 4, 1997- The draft script of the puppy episode is almost read on the radio.
Jonathan Stark, Tracy Newman writers: I was driving to work, and heard they will be reading the ellen script out and Disney security phoned the station and threatened to sue.

MARCH 5, 1997- ABC ends six months of speculation by announcing Ellen's character will come out - it is 3 days before the taping of the puppy episode.
Tamara Billick, Casting Director: It was 7.00pm, and someone says there is someone on the phone claiming to be Oprah Winfrey. I pick up the phone expecting it to be a hoax, and I hear Tammy?, Oprah!, and we begin to discuss the possibility. This is one of the 25 most influential people in America, so once we got her we knew the potential was gonna be huge.
Writer: As we started casting, it was like a chain reaction thing happening, one person on board and people were coming out of the woodwork.
Ellen: I had met Laura Dern at my Birthday Party. I had never met her before and we just clicked, we had exactly the same sense of humour.
Laura Dern: She and I could not stop laughing together, everyone was saying "you're so funny together.
Ellen: So I called her and asked her to do it.

MARCH 1997- With Laura Dern playing Ellen's love interest, taping of the puppy episode begins.
Gil Junger, Director: I had all these stars, Laura Dern, Demi Moore and it was packed with people, Oprah Winfrey, and I thought great, this is the best day's work, this is so exciting.
Patrick Bristow (Peter), cast member ellen: I thought I was on a different set y'now. There was all these big celebs there and Ellen's eyes were this big (demonstrates big eyes) the entire week, I don't think she could believe this was happening.
Clea Lewis (Audrey): There were all these flashy movie starts walking round the set, who probably thought I was the script supervisor, y'know what I mean!
Patrick (Peter): We all had to wear these wrist bands to get onto the stage which we had never had to do for regular rehearsals, the security was so high, and it didn't feel like the home core group anymore.
Clea Lewis: I think a lot of the people maybe had never even seen the show, but they were friends of Ellen, or they wanted to be part of this big moment.
Patrick: I think we were maybe a little bit selfish and wanted it to be our episode with her coming out, but it was what it was and had to be that because it wasn't ours, it was the worlds.
Gill Junger, Director: I think emotionally the most difficult scene to rehearse was when Ellen said she was gay, because literally every time we'd do that scene she would burst into tears.
Ellen: It was pretty exciting to finally do it, and also say the words I'm Gay.
Laura Dern: I was looking into her eyes, and I was like trying to hold onto her, and she was starting to shake, and I could feel this in her body this need to just let something go that had been in her for years.
Casting Director: We expected the audience to erupt, but they went very quiet and she said I'm gay and all of a sudden BOOM! Laura Dern: The audience went insane I mean 2 minutes or 3 minutes of them screaming.
Ellen: People around said it looked like something lifted off you, it was an amazing feeling.
Vance Degeneres:I mean literally as soon as we finished taping the last scene they ran everyone out of the studio, there had been a bomb threat called in.
Lyn McCracken 1st assistant director: My VPM came up to me and said after this you have to clear the stage the bomb squad are coming.
Vance Degeneres: Everybody was just really pissed, I was probably more so out of the staff, since it was my show and my sister someone had made a bomb threat against.

MARCH 14 1997- The Taping Of The Puppy Episodes Resumes
Melissa Etheridge: One of the things Ellen had asked me to do was to do the opening song, they had written new lyrics for it this whole thing. Ellen I'm so proud of you coming out. It was a really sweet moment, we filmed it, it was funny. In the end I got a call saying they were cutting out the opening song because it gave to much away, like no one in the whole country doesn't know what this is about.

MARCH 14 1997- Oprah Winfrey arrives to tape her role as Ellen's therapist. Writer: The scenes with Oprah we were terrified about because she flew in at the last minute and had very little time, it was unlike anything I've ever seen... she's just a force of nature.
Writer: We took her into the room and sat her down and made her watch the stuff we had already taped, and she was just crying. She said I can't believe what you guys are doing here, this is so wonderful and thank you so much for letting me be a part of this, and then she brought out the cake that said "good for you you're gay".
Ellen: Everyone who was there that night, we all knew something huge had just happened. I walked around like someone born again, just trying to preach to everyone you just don't understand. if you actually follow your own truth what the rewards are.

MARCH 25 1997- While the puppy episode is being edited, Ellen meets Anne Heche.
Ellen: It was Oscar night. I looked across the room and saw an angel and literally everything in the room disappeared when I saw her.
Anne: My whole body went like air and the whole room went dim apart from this bright light of Ellen.
Ellen: And the next thing I knew she was standing in front of me.
Anne Heche: And I had my hands on her thighs, and y'know I'd just met her. As I was trying to write her number down on a napkin on her breast, she was like looking down at me going ummmm, there's a reporter standing there, and I'm like yeh so!
Betty Degeneres: They came home together and so I heard the limo come up. I went outside with the dogs thinking its just Ellen coming home and I'm outside in the yard and I look up and there they are in the window. Ellen and this person that I didn't know, so they came outside and I met Anne right then.
Anne Heche: After we went home, met mum, made love for 17 hours and then opened our eyes afterwards and she said what are you thinking. I said I'm thinking I love you and she joked well why don't you marry me then.
Betty Degeneres: So I got them some mugs and some glasses cos you know a lot of people give them gifts, they might as well register and get what they want. Other couples are able to register. We call them the twins because they look so alike, and she's wonderful.
Ellen: By me being honest with myself and just really being completely happy with myself.. not needing it from somebody else I get perfection, I got an angel.
In The Weeks before the puppy episode airs, Ellen and Anne begin to appear together in public.
Anne: I never realised the media frenzy was going to be as big as it was. One of the first times I realised that it was going to be an issue at all was when I was asked not to go to the premier of Volcano with Ellen. People who supposedly knew me were saying could you just be a little less of who you are for a couple of days, could you just not show up at the premier of your movie with you're new girlfriend or whatever you want to call it and just sign the deal for your next movie before you are really open about it. Ellen: I had never been affectionate ever in public with my any previous girlfriends, and Anne went to grab my hand, we're walking down the street, she wanted to hold my hand and it made me feel really uncomfortable, even though I'm about to make this huge announcement to the world that I'm gay. I didn't want to hold hands because people would look at me and it would make them uncomfortable it would make me uncomfortable and I realised I still have a sense of shame who I am. If I can't hold my girlfriend's hand how am I supposed to say its ok that I'm gay, but yet I still don't deserve the right to show affection in public the same way other people show affection.
Anne: I think that's when we thought this is crazy, let's tell the world truth here, I'm not gonna hide this anymore. It's even crazy I let them usher me out of the theatre of my own f***ing movie, what is the matter with me.

APRIL 26 1997- Ellen and Anne make headlines when they attend the White House correspondents dinner.
Elizabeth Birch, Executive Director, Human Rights: I talked to the Washington Post that night and they asked me what I thought. My reaction was that Ellen and Anne completely lit up the room that night, and they were affectionate with each other but in a completely appropriate way.
Anne Heche: And then we met the President, (Anne asks Ellen to whisper what he actually said in her ear) and he says I admire you, cool!
Ellen: That was cool.
Anne: And then she gave him a b*****b. Ellen: (laughing) She always goes a little too far.
Elizabeth: I was shocked the next morning to read the Washington Post. I thought it was a complete over reaction to some very simple affection between two women and it seemed to sort of reverberate out of the Washington Post story.
Ellen: To be photographed with the president, and Anne have her arm around me, it was amazing we had no idea, we started seeing these pictures everywhere and how disrespectful we were to be affectionate in front of the public? She had her arm around me?? Y'know the rumours that wasn't enough so everybody had to decide we were kissing, so what if we were kissing, but we weren't.
Anne Heche: It's not because we're doing something wrong or in your face, it's because that's how affectionate we are.
Ellen: We thought if we just put it all out there people would leave us alone, instead of trying to get the story or get the picture, we'll tell you the story, here's the story.

APRIL 30 1997- Ellen and Anne appear together on Oprah.
Ellen: It turned out to completely backfire on us.
Anne Heche: People were really shocked that I was telling the truth, a week after meeting Ellen, and didn't believe it was true, and all we kept thinking was time will tell them.
Ellen: People have to find something wrong with love, and that's what this all boils down to, its like how dare you love somebody that I don't think you should love, its my business who I love. I love a girl why does that hurt you? and I'm happy.. why does that hurt you, its just I don't know (sigh's, goes into Ellen mode) crazy, people are crazy.

Shortly before the puppy episode airs, ABC station in Birmingham Alabama announces it will not show the programme.
Ellen: Here is Birmingham Alabama, the station manager deciding who's going to be on television, that's frightening to know you can't even have the choice to turn it off or on. What kind of dictatorship is this that someone can decide what people watch.

APRIL 30th 1997- Over a year after it was first conceived the puppy episode is finally shown on ABC
Bruce Cohen film producer and gay activist: In Hollywood you kind of get a feel you can tell when if a movies going to open or a TV programme is going to premier, or even just a party. Sometimes there will be heat sometimes there isn't and there just started to be heat on this episode the day or two before.
Writer: I remember driving up to get to my street, it was completely blocked off, someone was having a party on the block and i thought this is sensational really terrific.
Ellen: We had this big party at CAA and they invited a lot of people to watch it in a huge theatre.
Betty DeGeneres: I remember seeing Shirley McLaine there and Sir Ian McClellan was there and I met him and the that was wonderful.
Melissa Etheridge: It was such a thrilling time cos Anne and Ellen they had just got together, it was just a couple of weeks into the relationship so I thought this was such a tabloid sort of moment.
Betty DeGeneres: We went into the auditorium to watch the show and I sat down the front and Ellen and Anne were at the back and I turned around and took a picture of them.
Ellen: There was a huge party, little did we know it would turn out a huge party for the world. It was weird I was getting phone calls from people in New York saying the streets are empty, that places were shutting early and during commercial breaks and after certain lines you could hear cheering like in New York.
Laura Dern: We went back to Ellen's house, hung out and just talked. I think by the end of the show Ellen was just exhausted, but what an amazing catharsis for her that must of been and I'm sure it was just exhausting by the time it had finally aired, she was ready to take a nap for a few days.

MAY 1 1997 - ABC/DISNEY are jubilant over the ratings 42 million people watched the puppy episode.
Gil Junger: One of the executives of Disney called me the next morning he said if this were a feature film, you had just directed a $280 million opening night its pretty phenomenal.
Dean Micheal Valentine: And a couple of people from Disney called and were thrilled because ABC at the time were doing very poorly in the ratings and this was a piece of good news.
Ellen: The next day basically I got a call saying... hey we did great here's a bottle of wine. Hmm you're welcome.

JULY 23rd 1997 - ABC says the show will take "baby steps" in exploring gay themes.
Ellen: I had said all along that I didn't want it to be too focused on being too gay and that was still my fear, and my internal homophobia. I didn't want to be the gay girl. I started going through a transformation about what was important and realising what's wrong if the show is focused on being gay instead of coming out and then going back to be a "normal person".
Dean Valentine: When you kind of say.. I am a lesbian.. its a kind of a big elephant in the room its really hard to just have tea and a conversation about something else, but I felt the great promise of the show was bringing people who are gay and straight together to a common point of view. I think that's what that episode did and I think some of that has been squandered over the last year.

SEPTEMBER 24 1997 - Ellen's fifth season starts only 12 million people tune in.
Ellen: We come back with amazing writers, every episode I'm proud of. It was not promoted at all so the numbers dropped off, which made a large part of the country very happy cos the conservative writers say how dare you think your gonna be successful and being a gay woman and having this on television.
Lou Sheridan: How many times can you show a lesbian showing affection people don't want that. The show had a parental warning.. well that wont do it.
Ellen: I guess I should stop being shocked by people attacking me it seems like I should get used to it but it still hurts.

MARCH 9 1997 - Gay activist Chastity bono is quoted as claiming the show is too gay.
Ellen: Yeah she's a friend you know and the article hurt what is too gay? What does that mean does anybody attack a show for being too heterosexual.
Ellen: She said it was taken out of context, and well maybe it was but some of those things what were said were shocking.

MARCH 11 1998 - Ellen wraps shooting on the final episode of the season.
Ellen: I've tried to keep the sense of humour in the show they didn't stop being funny, its just that its dealing with a subject matter where everyone is saying enough already. It's not enough already clearly or we wouldn't have the crime, the hate crimes, we wouldn't have suicides or the gay bashings, its not enough already.
Ellen On The Set Of the last episode of ellen - possibly the last episode ever.
Ellen: Is everybody here right now cause I'd like to say something, well what a way for me to say goodbye (Ellen is dressed in a funny outfit) like this. I can't thank you all enough for being so wonderful, and everybody who comes on the set, says how wonderful everybody is, you've been amazing crew, I think we've all worked together so well and so fast and so cohesive now, its been such a family. (Ellen starts crying) You've dealt with probably stuff that you don't deserve to deal with, because of my views and what I've decided to do with my life, you've been part of this controversial show, and I'm sure you get a lot of shit from a lot of people. The fact that you have stayed on board no matter what you're beliefs are, the fact that you have supported me through all of this and its been wonderful, wonderful run, thank you just thank you so much for being such good people, we'll all go on and hopefully we'll all work together in some capacity in some other place but thanks so much.
Ellen: I was crying hysterically and I'm walking off in that ridiculous outfit through the door that I usually run through every Friday saying goodbye, and I'm walking through to silence. I thought that's like a closing shot for you.
"was that funny enough for you?"
During The making of the programme ABC and Disney declined requests for interviews.
Ellen: I may not get the financial rewards that I should have and that I deserved. I may not have gotten that and i may not have gotten the support and I may not have gotten the ratings that I would have liked to have gotten because they didn't promote the show, but what I did get to do was my art, I did get to do what I do.
Anne: And you did get to change the world, even though they never wanted it to happen she got to change the world.
Ellen: Yeah, that too, and that happened.


Ellen's Coming Out Party..Saturday 25 April 1998 continued
Interviewer: Before you met Anne there must have been a lesbian feeding frenzy around you?
Ellen: Well they were like pilot fish I'll tell you that I was like a big old shark swimming in the ocean. No! it was very interesting.. if there's anything encouraging to come out is once you come forth with you sexuality.. I don't know what happens, but there's some pheromone that starts seeping out of your body somehow people sense it when your confident and sexual all of a sudden. So please, come out just for the sex of it really.
Interviewer: We could just tape that and use it as an ad.
Ellen: It is an ad... I don't want to recruit but it is a good thing.
Interviewer: Betty there you are in the role of the mother, when Ellen was growing up did you know that Ellen might be gay before she told you.
Betty: No I didn't really she was kind of a tomboy...she had an older brother called Vance who she adored and tried to be like, but a lot of little girls are tomboys.
Ellen: By sleeping the with the same woman, that's how I tried to be like him, whoever he would sleep with, I slept with.. I mean its a typical little sister thing.
Betty: No
Ellen: No I'm kidding Interviewer: The two of you came out basically at the same time. When you came out Anne who was more surprised yourself or your publicist?
Anne: Well I have to clarify something cos I never came out of anything, and I used to say then, I didn't come out, I just came into, I just came into this love affair with Ellen, and then all of a sudden "oh she came out of the closet", it wasn't like that.
Ellen: I can verify that she had never been with a women before.
Anne: But I think everyone around me was more shocked than I was definitely.
Interviewer: In the documentary you mentioned that after the Oscars you went home for this 17 hour session. Betty weren't you worried?
Betty: The house is huge, I didn't know anything was going on.
Ellen: We live in, like Buckingham Palace, we have the guards out the front, she didn't know what was going on.
Interviewer: When you made the decision to come out, you must have known other closet celebrities, did it sort of freak them out.
Ellen: Umm well I, yeah I know a lot of people in the business who are gay, and who are not out and we were friendly before the show aired I notice a little shift in people not wanting to be around me or a little uncomfortable ness if there were cameras.
Anne: Or they'll run past you very quickly.
Ellen: Yeah, there was someone who didn't want to be seen by us and ran right around us at the Golden Globes, so rewind that tape if you have it.
Ellen: I have a feeling she will come out soon anyway.
Anne: Now you're narrowing it down to female.
Ellen (with that grin): She is between the age of 30-33 and is a Taurus... that is all I will say.
Interviewer: We are coming up to the episode. The episode won an Emmy last year and now a Peabody award, the network must be beside themselves.
Ellen: I don't know they didn't call me, I haven't heard from anyone, that's why it is such an honour to be here it really is. You don't know what it means to me that a network that carries my show would fly me here and this party and huge celebration and have this whole night when my own home my own network didn't do this, and I can't thank you enough for having us.
Interviewer: Well I hope you enjoy the rest of the party.


Interviewer is asking when people got their first funny feeling they were gay.
Ellen: My first was probably the first time I slept with a man, would be the indication because while we were doing it I kept singing that Peggy Lee song in my head.. "Is that all there is". I swear to God I'm not even making that up... seriously just laying there thinking is that all there is, and then I think, well I can go way back but that was the first really obvious sign that this is not working for me.