Well thanks to you and your wonderful suggestions, I now have so many ideas for fab finger foods I could write a book!! I will of course be on hand when William and Kate need help with their party planning, but will make certain I credit you ALL :)
Lucy and I are going to decide on our best options based on what you've given us, and hope to have it all sorted next weekend. You are kind; thank you :)
I'm sure this week too will fly past, just as last week did, made a great deal more exciting though, when I was told at very short notice that I'd be interviewing Westlife about their brand new album Gravity!! On top of that was my long awaited half hour with classical singer Russell Watson on the Wednesday, so I have to admit I was in a bit of a spin – so many men, so little time, what to wear!!!!
Clearly I couldn't afford a fashion faux pas, or have another battle with my undergarments (heaven forbid) so I opted to meet Westlife in a girly version of what they normally wear, which I ran by the girls in the office to get clearance :)
I'd watched Westlife perform their single 'Safe' live on the X Factor on Sunday, and personally thought they were easily the best of the three 'boy' bands. And so it was with great excitement that I headed off the following morning, to a secret destination somewhere in East London to meet with our film crew and the guys themselves.
It's a funny thing chatting to people you feel you know, but you've never met. With record sales of over 45 million, they are HUGE in terms of the music industry, but such lovely, down to earth, gorgeous guys. Food had been laid on for them as they'd had a very early start, and that was where Nicky, Shane, Khian and Mark all headed for when they arrived, but that didn't stop us from having a good old chat about all sorts.
From Nicky's twins, to Shane's daughter, and how he misses all his children when he's on tour. Mark talked about his nervousness when performing live and Khian and I talked about our respective fathers, he, like Nicky, having lost his Dad earlier this year… so it felt completely natural to continue those conversations in front of the cameras a little later on.
What I loved most was watching the interaction between the four of them, their absolute understanding and respect for each other, and most touching, how much they care about each other. Yes, they fall out, no they don't always agree on everything, and when one of them is hurting or unhappy it affects all of them, so they're just like us really :)
I have to say though that they all have a wicked sense of humour, and Shane is an excellent mimic… not sure Simon Cowell would have recognised himself, but it made the rest of us hoot :) To top it all, the album is excellent, and they do have beautiful voices and unlike a lot of other albums I've bought in the past, there isn't one duff track!
After a kiss goodbye from them all – not all at once you understand – I left clutching my camera with this photo safely captured… they made an old woman very happy
And Russell Watson…
So, in terms of music you couldn't get much more of a contrast to Westlife than Russell Watson! He's the world's most successful classical recording artist and has been hailed as the world's greatest tenor, so the thought of meeting such a mighty talent was a little nerve-wracking, but he was quite simply one of the nicest men I've ever met!
I had watched him with Piers Morgan a week or so back, and was moved to tears listening to him talking about his battle with cancer, and his subsequent fight to rebuild his life and career. When I first met him, we had chance to spend some time together before the show, and I was then lucky enough to watch him rehearse the songs he was planning to sing.
I tell you, the whole of the ground floor reverberated with his astonishing voice, and yet he had us in stitches when he gave a rendition of 'Be My Love' in a true Mancunian accent :) I found out that he loves jelly babies, but can't eat chocolate before he sings as it affects his voice! And he loves his daughters more than life itself, and still marvels at the fact that he's where he is.
Listening to him sing reminded me of my Dad, who would often sit on a Sunday afternoon with his classical music filling the house, transported by the voices he would pretend to be conducting… and I would watch him and wonder… and I never got it, until now. Russell Watson said he believes he's here for a reason… I know he is, and I'm certain that with a voice like that, he always will be.
I hope you like the 'behind the scenes' photos that I have to thank Vanessa who works backstage for. I'll take my camera with me again this weekend when I go with my girlfriends to see Lulu in her 'Here come the Girls' concert in Birmingham. You may remember I went last year in London and it was fab, so am very much looking forward to a re-run! Have you seen it, or maybe seen someone else you truly admire? It'd be great to share celebrity stories with you :)
I'll look forward as always to hearing from you,
Love Ali xxx
Watch my interviews with Westlife