14/31 One way ticket to anywhere please

14. If you won the lottery…

Easy. I’d travel.

I’d probably start with the majority of America so that I could see all of my favourite Drag Queens perform and visit the set of The Big Bang Theory in L.A. before heading to places such as Borneo, Uganda, Rwanda, Egypt, Thailand… literally the list of places I want to see in my life time is never ending.

I guess I should start buying lottery tickets right…

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11/31 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

11. List 15 of your favourite things

I foresee plenty of lists appearing this month… apologies in advance!

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  1. The Royal Family… I love the Queen but, I mean just look at him! Prince George is on a whole new level of cuteness!
  2. Inspirational quote signs (I’ve actually lost count how many I own)
  3. Notebooks.
  4. RuPaul and all of her fierce drag queens.
  5. Mermaids, rainbows and unicorns.
  6. My books – Workin’ It by RuPaul, Binge by Tyler Oakley and Life Is Short (no pun intended) by Jennifer Arnold, MD, & Bill Klein (from TLC’s show The Little Couple).
  7. Netflix. Some of my favourite shows include RuPaul’s Drag Race (no surprises there!), Orphan Black, The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon A Time, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Person of Interest, The Good Wife… so many!
  8. Dancing without a care in the world.
  9. Singing without a care in the world.
  10. West End theatre and live performances/gigs.
  11. Disney. Pixar. Warner Brothers. Kids films in general.
  12. Making lists and satisfyingly crossing the completed tasks off one by one.
  13. Brunch. Especially on a Sunday…
  14. Exploring new places and restaurants.
  15. Reading or learning new about new things whilst sat cosily on my bean bag with a nice cup of peppermint tea.
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Sunday brunch with my flatmates at Dishoom near London’s Kings Cross – Sausage and egg naan with masala beans and a pot of fresh mint tea

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

The Theory of Everything – My Review

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So today, after waiting 10 days since premiering in the UK on the 1st January, I (along with a fully booked screening) found out about the legendary Stephen Hawking’s early years through the BAFTA nominated, critically acclaimed wonder that is The Theory of Everything.

I must say, if you haven’t heard of this film yet… where the heck have you been?!?! I saw the first official trailer back in August and it gave me goosebumps. Not only was I drawn to this film because of lead actor, Eddie Redmayne (who played Marius in Les Miserables – one of my all time favourite musicals), but I soon realised that I didn’t really know that much about Professor Hawking aside from him being one of the greatest minds on the planet… and of course his brief (but pure gold) cameo’s on The Big Bang Theory.

If I was asked to sum up this film in one word, it would actually be impossible to do so. It is quite simply phenomenal and one of the greatest films I’ve seen in a very long time (and I’m quite lucky in that I get to attend press screenings on a fairly regular basis). Based on his loving ex-wife’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, this film allows its audience to get a genuine, no holds barred insight into the struggles this inspirational couple have gone through. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but these two are the definition of true fighters!

It was recently revealed that The Theory of Everything has been nominated for TEN BAFTAs, and rightly so! Both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones’ performance in portraying this incredible story is absolutely outstanding, and in my mind, if they don’t bag the BAFTAs they so clearly deserve then the judges obviously haven’t seen the film for themselves!

I was advised by a friend, who’d seen it a few days ago, to be armed with tissues. But, surprisingly even to myself, I have to admit I only found myself glassy eyed and choked up a handful of times. I believe that a tear did not actually fall because with the majority of the sad parts, some light and unexpected humour were short to follow. He proved that even in the darkest of times, he could find something for people to smile about.

When I’d seen the trailer all those months ago, I knew it would be the biggest film of 2015. But having seen (and thoroughly enjoyed) Into the Woods back in December, I thought I may have been too presumptuous. Until today. This film will go down in history as one of the greatest, true life stories ever to be made and I’m so pleased to have seen it.

Be sure to catch it in cinemas as soon as possible… you can’t miss out on watching such an epic on the big screen!

Intense

#309: Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

Not coming last in a quiz! So my friends and I regularly attend a monthly quiz in a super cool club/bar in London, and last month we came last. In my defense, there was only two of us (commonly teams between 4 and 5) as we had to get a randomer in last minute and she wasn’t that bothered with helping us. On the plus side, we got to choose this months bonus round topic (The Big Bang Theory of course!), so very much swings and roundabouts. However! After the first round in this months quiz, we were joint last… and we had 5 members?! We couldn’t lose for the second time in a row! So during the second round, we really buckled down. I was fairly confident with The Big Bang Theory round as it’s my favourite show and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched season 1-6 (we only recently got season 7 on DVD and season 8 has only just begun airing in the UK). What surprised me, was how queasy I felt as the quizmaster began to announce who placed last… after it was revealed that we hadn’t lost, I was overjoyed! Turns out we were joint third!

Sounds silly but after the excitement of not losing and placing quite high, I really want to win next months – although the specialist topic round is astrology… uh-oh!

Michelangelo’s YOU

#286: Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?

It would be a statue of a brother and sister, titled ‘Never-ending family’. I have chosen this, as recently it was just my Brother and I in the house whilst our parents were away for their anniversary… and we had a great time! We got to eat what ever we fancied (admittedly we did treat ourselves to two takeaways, which across nine days isn’t actually that bad!) and we got to watch LOADS of The Big Bang Theory on the big screen (woop), but most importantly we got to spend lots of time together, which in this day and age is hard to do. I feel like it went way too quickly though – not that I didn’t want our parents to return, it’s just that nowadays we spend most of our evenings in our own rooms. So, I thoroughly look forward to the next time we’re given free rein!

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Image: www.quotespoem.com

Cleaning house

#272: Is there “junk” in your life? What kind? How do you get rid of it?

Everyone has junk… physical, emotional, unintentional, but it doesn’t really matter. So long as you can accept your junk or get rid, then it’s all “hunky dunky”, as Raj from The Big Bang Theory would say!

p.s. it’s press day, hence the shortness of todays post!

Fly on the wall

#200: If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

This is tough as there are so many things I’d want to see. That said, I’d either chose between the discovery of Tutankhamun alongside my Great Nan’s Uncle, Howard Carter, or my other Great Nan’s wedding as she was just so cool and I only got to have her here for 24 years (which sounds like a long time but it was only a quarter of her life) or, more recently, I’d want to be a fly on the wall at one of the recording sessions of The Big Bang Theory. I’ve been trying to get tickets to this for months but they always seem to get snapped up within 5 minutes of becoming available! Even though it’s in LA, I am more than willing to fly all the way from the UK just to see my favourite TV show being recorded live. Nothing could make me happier!

The artist’s eye

#178: Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does  it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

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I’ve never been one for visiting art galleries – whenever I think about going into London, I automatically think of West End theatres and visiting museums, such as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum (THE fun days-out places from my childhood!). I think an interest in Art, is mostly determined by your surroundings when growing up – if members of your family have a passion for it, if you attend a school that specialises in Art (mine was sports… not that I turned out particularly sporty) and the area you live in. When I think of my family, I think theme parks, pub lunches and package holidays – so art culture wise, it’s just not us.

That said, the types of art I do like (as I don’t have one in particular) are things such as The Big Bang Theory pop art, Egyptian art on papyrus paper, or something more simple like beautiful gerberas or butterflies!

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Images: TBBT – www.defanafan.com. Papyrus painting – bazaar-egypt.com.

The interview

#134: Interview your favourite fictional character.

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Hmm this one’s tricky, as I didn’t have one specific fictional character automatically spring to mind! However, I did know straight away that it would have to be someone from The Big Bang Theory… preferably the entire cast! So, keeping it short and sweet, I’d ask one question per character.

Sheldon: Q: How do manage to get to sleep at night, what with having so much information whirling inside your mind, thanks to your eidetic memory? A: Has it ever occurred to you that my brain has an off switch? [Leonard: I wish you would tell me where it is – it would make my journeys to work a lot more pleasant…] Well, Leonard, I know everything there is to know about the Universe and everything it contains… I think I know how to go to sleep.

Leonard: Q:

… the rest of the questions will follow shortly (my lunch hour is over in five minutes!). Update will be soon.

Image: primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk