2/31 Wait… you didn’t know?!

2. 20 facts about you

I have a feeling that this is going to be a tricky prompt… ten I could have managed but 20 facts just about me?! Well, here goes:

0518b3c7e19fc2218370c78a9b1c39e06f1c4c-wm

My Queen… Amen!

  1. I’m addicted to RuPaul’s Drag Race and love pretty much all of the queens that have walked through the ‘You Better Werk’ room doors.
  2. My favourite colour is duck egg blue.
  3. I own more pairs of socks than I care to admit.
  4. I’m a bit of a Netflix addict – entire mornings can disappear if I’m not careful.
  5. I love singing and dancing.
  6. When I’m at home, I’m often found in pyjama’s… I mean what’s the point in wearing your outdoor clothes, indoors?!
  7. I began and completed WordPress’ 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge in 2014.
  8. People find it odd that I don’t drink tea or coffee…
  9. If money was no object, I’d go to see a West End theatre show every single week.
  10. I have a very close family, which means the world to me, and am even related to Howard Carter, the guy who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb.
  11. My Great Nan reached 104 and a half years young… the half is very important at that age.
  12. I’m obsessed with Mi backpacks. So far, I’ve got a peacock feather one, a gumball one, a galaxy print one, a duck egg blue polka dot backpack and one with elephants all over it.
  13. I’m commonly found wearing Converse hi-tops… wearing heels is for special occasions.
  14. For RuPaul’s BOTS, I temporarily dyed my hair blue. I loved it so much that I’m planning to dye it permanently blue – hopefully two tone, using cobalt and duck egg blue (of course!)
  15. Through my last job, I was sent on press trips to Iceland (Ice Age 4: Continental Drift), Norway (How To Train Your Dragon 2) and Slovenia (Postojna Cave), interviewed a robotic cockatoo (Nigel from Rio 2, with actor Jemaine Clement in another room) and even photographed the stars of TV on the red carpet at the National Television Awards.
  16. I have a BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management.
  17. I love afternoon tea… especially quirky ones such a Spanish or Thai themed.
  18. Working in children’s media means that I get to see many of the new films before they hit the cinemas and I’m a big kid who loves everything Disney, so I end up enjoying every single screening… sometimes even more than the kids that are actually there.
  19. I love unicorns, rainbows and mermaids. I even wanted to be a mermaid growing up… still do!
  20. Primates are my favourite animals (well, and dolphins and marine life of course), but I’ve been lucky enough to meet the famous Primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall three times and even helped her present awards.
IMG_3278

At the most recent Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Awards with my flatmate, Féaron, where we got to meet Dr Jane’s beloved Mr. H, which travels around the world with her.

I’m off to this years NTA’s… again!

As a few of you may remember, last year I was given the opportunity to photograph the celebs on the red carpet at The National Television Awards in London’s iconic O2 Arena. I had so much fun and everyone I met was so friendly and not snooty in the slightest! This year, I’m heading back to the famous spikey dome near the Thames, just unfortunately without a red carpet pass. That said, it will still be a fantastic evening – who wouldn’t want to be at such a big live event and get access to the VIP after party?!

Me again with the giant NTA! (2014)

Me again with the giant NTA! (2014)

This year, I have voted for the following programmes and celebs who I’d love to see win:

* Most Popular Talent Show – I love both Strictly Come Dancing and The Voice in equal measure, but in the end I opted for The Voice as I was lucky enough to attend last years live semi-final and it was an absolute blast! Plus, Strictly won last year so I thought I’d give someone else a chance.

* Most Popular Serial Drama – Coronation Street won last year due to the outstanding performances from both Julie Hesmondhalgh (who played Hayley) and David Neilson (who plays her husband Roy). It was an incredible story line, which gripped the nation. However, this year I voted for Eastenders as it is the only soap that I actually watch properly and have done for many years.

* Most Popular Comedy – I voted for the same programme as last year, The Big Bang Theory! As many people already know, I am more or less obsessed with this show and desperately want to see it filmed live in LA. However, last year the award understandably went to Brendan O’Carroll’s cracking show, Mrs Brown’s Boys, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they won it again this year.

IMG_1220

Mrs Brown’s Boys: Brendan O’Carroll with his wife (but onscreen daughter), Jennifer Gibney! (2014)

* Most Popular Drama – Unfortunately, I don’t actually watch any of the nominated drama’s that made the shortlist this year (Cilla, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Sherlock), however I think I gave my vote to Cilla in the end as Sheridan Smith is just so talented! Last year, not surprisingly (as Matt Smith was the most incredible Doctor there has ever been!), Doctor Who beat Downton to the award, although I’m not too sure they’ll be able to do that for a second year running.

Most Popular Drama Performance – This was one of the easier votes to give. Sarah Lancashire played the most incredible character in the BBC’s captivating programme Happy Valley. Plus, she is a superb actress anyway! That said, she is up against Benedict Cumberbatch…

* Most Popular Factual Entertainment – I’ve always been a huge fan of Paul O’Grady, so to see him scoop this award for the second year, with his adorable show For the Love of Dogs, would be absolutely fantastic! However, the popular (not with myself I must add) programme Gogglebox, where you watch people watching TV (?!?!), has somehow found itself in the ‘Factual’ category… I’m sorry, but how could this programme possibly be factual?! Unfortunately, I think this one will regrettably win.

IMG_1204

The wonderful Paul O’Grady with two of our Junior Photographers! (2014)

* Most Popular Daytime – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a year where This Morning hasn’t won! Don’t get me wrong, after watching Phillip Schofield’s 24 hour live TV challenge to raise money for the Text Santa appeal last year, he is one of the greatest TV presenters on our tellies. However, even with that in mind, I decided to give The Chase my vote this year as I’ve recently really enjoyed watching it and I end up learning so much from it, too. Sorry, Schofe!

* Most Popular Newcomer – This again was an easy one for me, as I think this actress brings much needed comedy to soapland. As soon as Maddy Hill (who plays Nancy Carter) stepped onto the square – or should I say carried over the shoulder of Danny Dyer’s character – I knew she would become one of my favourites and I’m overjoyed to see that she has made the shortlist! Last year I predicted correct in this category, with ‘Enders Khali Best (who plays Dexter) scooping the award – I even had the opportunity to congratulate him at the after party!

The gorgeous Maddy Hill!

The gorgeous Maddy Hill! (2014)

* Most Popular Serial Drama Performance – From one Carter to another, my vote was given to Danny Dyer, who again brings so much comedic value to the show as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter. The two together are quite the double act and even though to begin with I was rather apprehensive for Dyer’s entrance, I’m so pleased the Carter family joined the cast!

* Most Popular Entertainment Programme – This was a tricky one as all four programmes are equally great in their own right. However, I think I voted for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway this time because it’s the one I watch the most of. Either way, Ant and Dec have a 50% chance of winning this award as I’m A Celebrity is also nominated (and the show actually won last year, too).

Most Popular Entertainment Presenter – Since Ant & Dec won this category last year, as well as the award above AND the 2014 Landmark Award, I decided to give my vote to the hilarious (and on many occasions inappropriate) Keith Lemon. I absolutely love Celebrity Juice and thanks to this programme, played the funniest party game with my American relatives… Don’t Show Keith Your Teeth!

* Most Popular Chat Show Host – This was another category in which I found it extremely tough to decide who to give my vote to – I literally enjoy watching every single nominee! Since they are all worthy winners, I had to alter the question slightly… “Who would I most like to meet?”. Even though I very briefly asked Alan Carr last year if he would have a picture with our Junior Photographers and thanked him for it afterwards, I’d still really like to meet the hilarious Chatty Man properly. Et voila!

The wonderful Alan Carr with our Junior Photographers! (2014)

The wonderful Alan Carr with our Junior Photographers! (2014)

* Most Popular Multichannel Programme – As I briefly mentioned a few categories ago, I find Celebrity Juice addictive and very much a feel good show, as it never fails to make me laugh! However, and this is probably the biggest however I will make on this post, it is up against the incredibly popular Game of Thrones. So in theory, it unfortunately has absolutely no chance on winning!

* Most Popular Skills Challenge Show – This was a coin flip between The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off (not that I actually had a coin handy – typical!), as I thoroughly enjoy both. Thus having no coin to flip, I decided to vote for Bake Off as not only is Mary Berry the sweetest lady I’ll ever meet (albeit briefly at, none other than, last years NTA’s), but Mel and Sue’s comedy narration throughout is just pure genius!

IMG_1208

The adorable Mary Berry in our photographers limelight! (2014)

* Most Popular TV Judge – Surprise, surprise, I voted for Mary Berry for this category, too! I don’t watch X Factor anymore since both Nicole Scherzinger’s and Gary Barlow’s departure, so that cut the shortlist in half right there (both Simon and Cheryl were nominated). I then dismissed David Walliams as I thought that he probably has lots of different awards for numerous things – although he does seem like lots of fun!

So those are my predictions/hopes ahead of next weeks National Television Awards – I can’t wait to see who wins! Also, if you’ve made it all the way to the end, thank you very, very much!

Blank is the new blank

#294: Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase: “_____ is the new _____.” There’s your post title. Now write!

Lucky is the new carpet

Taken from: The National Television Awards 2014

Since I couldn’t decide on my favourite post (with almost 300 to choose from, it’s a pretty big ask of any blogger this far into the challenge), I decided to see what the blogging communities favourite was… and ta-dah! I also changed it a little, in choosing the 5th word instead of the 4th – I think some how “was is the new carpet” just didn’t make any sense… although I agree that “lucky is the new carpet” is equally as strange.

This could mean however, since being lucky is the new carpet, that people take it for granted by simply walking all over it, showing no appreciation. Carpet provides you with warmth and comfort regardless of the situation, which could also translate as a feeling when experiencing luck.

It would be great to hear more thoughts on my new saying…

A bend in time

#270: When you’re giddy with excitement, does time speed up? Slow down? Tell us about the experience of anticipation.

I can’t say that this happens often, but the only times I can recall feeling giddy is in the few moments before going into a junket interview, working on the red carpet at the NTAs or a similar event. It’s weird because in those few minutes before these things happen, I panic (internally of course). My palms get sweaty, I get a dry mouth, my legs jitter up and down, and time generally tends to just freeze. That’s my nervous stage. But as soon as I am in that moment, in that chair, I somehow switch persona and exude confidence. That’s when the time rushes by – all the hours spent preparing, disappears in (what feels like) the blink of an eye. And then comes the adrenaline rush of ‘did that really just happen?!’… I honesty can’t deny it, I really love that feeling of being thrown into those situations – I somehow seem to thrive!

FYI this still counts as my 27th September post as I started writing it at 11:55pm hehe.

The National Television Awards 2014!

Image

Last night I was lucky enough to be a photographer on the red carpet at the 19th National Television Awards, in the O2 arena, London. My mission was to meet and photograph a small group of children who had won a competition to become junior members of the paparazzi for the night! Albeit rather cold, it was great fun being able to mingle with the celebrities in such an open space, as opposed to being stuck in a squished press pit, and working with such lovely, enthusiastic children. Every celeb I spoke to was incredibly polite and very friendly, and were more than happy to let our junior photographers get up close and personal for that winning shot!

Image

The awards ceremony itself was, as expected, fantastic – although I did hope that The Big Bang Theory would win the Comedy category (as they are undoubtably my favourite thing to watch at all times) but Mrs Brown’s Boys were deserved winners as they always seem to have so much fun with the show! I was delighted for Khali Best, Eastenders’ Dexter, who won the Best Newcomer award and even congratulated him at the VIP After Party! Congratulations to Paul O’Grady for winning the Factual Entertainment category for his fantastic work on Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs – it always leaves me wanting to take a trip to Battersea to adopt one of their gorgeous pups! Even though she already had her name written all over the NTA award for Serial Drama Performance, following her highly emotional exit from Coronation Street on Monday, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper, dragged her co-star and on-screen husband David Neilson (Roy Cropper) on stage to accept her award. This was such a lovely moment to be witnessing live as not only had they been onscreen partners since 1998, it was clear that they had become the best of friends. Corrie will not be the same without the loveable couple!

Image

All in all, it was a fantastic evening and quite frankly one I’ll never forget! Here’s hoping that I’ll be able to do the same this time next year!

Photographs taken by myself (of course, apart from the one I’m in!) – 1: Me standing next to a giant NTA Award. 2: One of the junior photographers hard at work snapping the stars of Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Brendan O’Carroll & Jennifer Gibney. 3: Two of our junior photographers with Paul O’Grady.

2013 in two thousand and thirteen words … maybe*

Every New Years Eve seems to be filled with so many expectations of the year ahead; this year I’ll get my dream job, this year I’ll go on the trip of a lifetime, this year I’ll get my own place … but once again, it was just not meant to be.

Even though I didn’t achieve any of the major “reappearing” goals listed above, 2013 was filled with numerous mini-triumphs instead. I passed my driving test, albeit third time lucky, back in January on a super sunny day – every detail of the day seems to be etched into my memory for all eternity! This allowed me to finally quit retail (don’t get me wrong, I loved the staff but I was only there to fund my driving lessons). I was then free to pursue my career in journalism and publishing.

Through working at NG Kids magazine, I was lucky enough to attend the NTAs (National Television Awards) and the VIP After Party at the O2 Arena in London, which was super exciting. I even plucked up the courage to speak to David Weir, four time gold medal champion at London 2012, which was an incredible honour since my family and I were in the stadium, roaring him to victory, when he won his second gold on the 4th September (T54 1,500m). I also covered the European Premiere of Oz: The Great and Powerful; although I couldn’t feel my feet on the way home, it was most certainly an invigorating experience! I also began managing the Like it, Make it section of the magazine. This includes generating the craft idea, sourcing and obtaining all of the ingredients/materials required, planning each step, preparing a ‘here’s one I made earlier’, running the entire photo shoot on the day and finally, writing the double page spread; all on a monthly basis. It’s been hard work but it has been so much fun! Another big task for me at NGK, was that I solely arranged and organised a three day event – the Pet Expo 2013 held at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. I thoroughly enjoyed succeeding in the challenge presented to me and subsequently enjoyed managing our stand at throughout build up, the event itself and pack down (even if a dog did decide to cock a leg on my fake ivy!). Finally, I was given the most amazing honour in being asked to present alongside Dr Jane Goodall at her Roots & Shoots Awards Ceremony. To this day, I still cannot believe that I shared the stage with such an influential and inspiring individual! Needless to say, I have begun looking into Gorilla Trek’s … to be taken in (hopefully) the very near future.

In other news … I finally created my career portfolio in the summer, in which the online version can be found at clippings.me/chloemayward (enjoy!) and it would be great to hear your thoughts! I also started networking in order to meet other journalists, I made my freelance business cards and began freelancing for various iPad magazines in my spare time. This found me at the world conference of Thor: The Dark World, held at the Dorchester Hotel. One word … breathtaking!

Aside from the Pet Expo 2013, I immersed myself into the world of events, my back up plan to journalism! Firstly, I managed the mask making section within our NGK jungle tent at the Lollibop festival, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Kids certainly do come out with the funniest and most unpredictable things! Finally, towards the end of the year I became the production runner for the 12 Days of Christmas Parade, which brought Santa to Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford. I also agreed to be a lantern bearing elf for the nine ladies dancing (since this parade had a modern twist, they were nine fantastic Bollywood dancers) – just seeing the little kids faces light up as we danced past and the fake snow feel, made the hard work all worth it! I do hope that I can take part in more events and festivals in the year ahead.

I know these are not triumphs as such, but I also travelled to Barcelona and stayed just off the famous Las Ramblas, treated my entire family to a weekend at Thorpe park in the new Crash Pad (we’re all roller coaster junkies and of course addicted to laughter), went to Pentatonix’s first London gig (if you haven’t heard of them, check out their Daft Punk medley asap) and finally went to see Les Misérables in the west end (and am still singing the entire soundtrack week after week!). So it’s been a relatively positive year!

Even though we lost a very treasured family member this year, who at the age at 104 and a half (those extra months are always important at that age) still had all of her marbles, she is now with her beloved husband. She will always be in our hearts.

Looking forward, as a 2014 New Years Resolution (that has not graced my list before), I have accepted a cool 365 day blogging challenge, where various blogging prompts are provided so that you don’t run out of ideas. However, I’ll state this now … I’ll only be completing the topics I feel comfortable in writing as I had a sneak peak at what January has to offer the other day and some of them are more personal diary entry than widely available blog post! Bring it on!

HAPPY NEW YEAR and all the best for 2014! 

For anyone who would also like to take up the 365 day challenge, it can be found here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/postaday/ebook-365-writing-prompts/

* Confession time – OK maybe a word count of 2,013 was a bit optimistic, but I gave it a good go!