Part One – the National Television Awards
This was my big treat after the house was sold. A trip to the Big Smoke to meet some of my fellow rrrumpettes from Luigi’s, the place I while away many an evening squeeing over the brilliance of the TV show Ashes to Ashes and the charms of the insanely talented and really rather attractive actor Philip Glenister.
I travelled down to London on Wednesday morning, and met some of the girls at Paddington Station. We went off for lunch at the posh hotel I was staying in, where many a giggle was had at the expense of the poncy menu. “Noisettes of lamb with drizzle of jus? Bugger that, bring us fishcakes and chips!” And any excuse to throw in lines from the show – “LUIGI! Another bottle of your house rubbish! Grassy-arse!”
After lunch we headed over to the Royal Albert Hall, a mere two minute walk from my hotel. And that’s where I met the rest of the girls, and took up residence at our spot near the red carpet.
The Luigi’s Ladies are known by their trademark red balloons, each decorated with lines from the show. We are also known by our beverage of choice. As shown here by the lovely Gem:
It was a cold night, and it was recommended we all wrapped up warm, in lots of layers with a nice warm woolly coat on top. I swear this was the only outfit I could think of that was appropriate:
However, as the evening went on my bottle gradually went, so the tie and leather gloves were quickly dispensed with, and I went for my equally eccentric ATV t-shirt.
As darkness fell over the Royal Albert Hall and was replaced by the warming beam of the floodlights, the crowds built up with members of the public lucky enough to have tickets, and as time went on, the celebrities began to file in.
Fun as it was shouting for Ant & Dec, Babs Windsor and Paul O’Grady, we were there for one celeb and one celeb only, and after about an hour he arrived.
If you’re wondering how I reacted on seeing him “in the flesh” for the first time, I did stand there for a while, muttering “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod” over and over, calming down just before heading into “OMGOMGOMG!!!!111!!PONIEZ!!”. Just.
At this point I would like to offer a big bucket o’wispas and thanks to the wonderful neonsox, who told me to get in front of her because I hadn’t been before and I needed to get his autograph. So I was right at the barrier when he came over. I decided to get some snaps, and then hopefully an autograph. Snaps I managed, but he was being dragged away by his coat-tails after signing for the others, and having the obligatory kiss with genesgeni.
To which I responded “That’s three times now! You greedy bugger!”
We decided to wait it out through the show and see if we could catch him again on the way out. While the gongs were being handed out inside the Royal Albert Hall, we took a walk back to my hotel in time to see the Legend that is The Stig accept the award for best Factual programme on behalf of his minions.
Back at the barrier we waited on news of Philip’s category, Best Drama Performance. He didn’t win, losing out to David (insert expletive here) Tennant. It made us more determined to stay put and catch him again, to remind him that “a sizeable rump of intelligent women” still think he’s the best thing since sliced Bollinger.
In spite of aches and extreme cold I stayed with the girls and waited it out. It was worth it. When we spotted Philip’s wife, the adorable Beth Goddard, we called over and I managed to speak to her. I had with me the issue of Slimming World magazine I was featured in back in the summer, when we had our own special Man of the Year Party and I went dressed as Gene Hunt. Since Philip had headed straight off for the bar, I thought I’d ask Beth to sign it anyway, as it would still be a very nice motivational tool for the future. She read the little article that mentioned my 10 stone weight loss, looked over her should for Philip, and called him over.
“Have you got my wife?” He said as he approached us. Now, you’ll have to excuse me at this point. I can’t quite recall the actual words as I was just experiencing a massive squee overload, and when that sense is overloaded, other things get overlooked like hearing, and memory. I think Beth explained what the magazine piece was about, and then he signed. All I can remember is saying “Thank You” over and over and over and now, in hindsight, I’m somewhat concerned I sounded like Perry, friend of Kevin the Teenager… “Fank yoo Mister Glenister, I really like you on the telly…”
Having got exactly what I wanted, I didn’t see the point in hanging around on the off-chance I might catch another glimpse of Simon Cowell (surprisingly, quite a nice bloke). I floated on my squee cloud back to my hotel, and proceeded to empty the mini-bar until I got to sleep.
Coming up in Part Two – the Luigi’s Ladies tour Ashes to Ashes locations and indulge in a couple of re-enactments.