Tomorrow, 8 May, is Sir David Attenborough’s 95th birthday and, to celebrate the special occasion, I have put together ten fascinating facts about this incredible individual who has managed to reach and inspire hundreds of thousands of people across the world during his time on Earth.
Last Friday, my cousin and I headed to London’s Troxy theatre near Limehouse for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio’s latest show, Not Today Satan.
Filled with excitement, we arrived at the venue, of which the queue snaked around the building. We knew we had tickets for Row Y, but naively we didn’t realise it was the very last row at the very back. Being a mere 5 foot 2 and a lifelong glasses wearer, this proved to be a slight problem. The staff at the Box Office however, were so wonderful and were able to offer us tickets closer to the stage…. five rows from the front!!!
Now, I knew Bianca was going to be funny but in no way, shape or form was I prepared for the high volume of laughs that she was able to bring out of the audience. Although I was a little apprehensive, I was delighted to find that she was just as funny as when we saw her on Drag Race. In my opinion, she took the evening to the next level when she would come out with on the spot comments, which were reactions to the audience. By the end of the show, my face was aching and I had a stitch in my side.
What I love about Bianca, is that she is not afraid to go there. No race, gender or human on this planet is safe from her Rolodex of Hate. For the almost two hours she was on stage, she made you believe everything was great with the world. Although briefly mentioned, you didn’t dwell on Trump, there were no thoughts on the shit show called Brexit. It literally was just a barrel of laughs. I can’t wait to see her perform again!
If you didn’t get a chance to see Bianca on tour, do not fear… it’s coming to DVD soon. The performance I attended was one of the shows being recorded, so who knows… I may even be in it! Be sure to keep an eye on her website for more details. With all the crap going on in the world at the moment, watching Not Today Satan is something you won’t regret.
This week I had the honour and privilege to be in the audience as part of MTV’s new show, Live Lockdown, starring the incredibly soulful and uplifting voice that is of course… the one and only…*drumroll*… Jess Glynne!
It was late Monday night when I received the email, inviting me to be a part of an intimate gig with this British singer-songwriter from North London. Of course, I didn’t even have to think about it – I immediately clicked the link and applied for my tickets. In the back of my mind, I knew that my chances of getting the tickets were slim as with over fifty-six thousand followers on Twitter, almost eighty thousand on Instagram and a number one solo single that topped the UK charts for three consecutive weeks under her belt, there were a lot of Glynners to compete with! So, I tried not to get too excited by the prospect that I could be listening to her extremely powerful voice live… although that didn’t stop me from playing her hits before I drifted off to sleep (check out one of my favourites below!)
It was during my lunch hour the next day that I received a second email from the audience company… I’d been approved! I couldn’t contain my excitement as I read the crucial words “Jess Glynne on MTV Lockdown – Your Tickets” and with that, let out an involuntary little squeak of sheer joy (much to everyones clear surprise judging by the looks on their faces… not that I cared of course!).
Fast forward to Thursday and it was time to party, so I donned my dancing heels and hopped on the tube! We arrived at the secret filming location in plenty of time and joined the queue… albeit in the pouring rain. Although to everyones relief, the staff kindly let us in 15 minutes earlier than they should have because of the awful weather. As we all piled in one by one, we were wristband-ed and led into a large village hall-esque room (which by the looks of it was actually a large rehearsal studio). We were numbers 29 through to 32 so I thought that we were for sure getting in – but then they started calling in the priority people… 1-100! Eeeek! Thankfully, the venue was a lot bigger than I’d expected and we managed to find ourselves in the second row directly behind the band… can you believe it?! Plus I might even be able to spot myself on TV, boogie-ing with my folks like there was no tomorrow (unfortunately there was a tomorrow… a tomorrow in which my feet were definitely paying the price of the previous nights added height – but it was all worth it!).
We settled into our places and the presenter (whose name I’ve already forgotten… oops, sorry!) recorded all of her intro/outro bits and pieces, which I found extremely fascinating as it reminded me of the handful of times I’ve done on-camera presenting for work (click here to check out my most recent How To Train Your Dragon coverage, recorded in Norway). And then it was time… the stage was set, the band were in place and the lasers were out in all their glory.
I’m not going to spoil it for people waiting to watch it on MTV, but Jess was absolutely, 100% on FIRE! She sang everyones favourite hits; Hold My Hand, Right Here and Real Love; as well as two incredibly uplifting songs from her new album, I Cry When I Laugh (out 14 August), called Ain’t Got Far and Gave Me Something. I’d not heard these tracks before but I’m already addicted to them both! Her lyrics are so heartfelt and truthful – I know that they will be empowering for many women (and no doubt, men) across the world who have ever felt different or at all segregated in their lives. Bring on the album release, I say… bring it! In-between each track, Jess took the time to talk to us and really acknowledge the audience, which was so lovely. She came across as a very humble and down to earth independent woman, and sang as if it was as easy as blinking – absolutely effortless. I’ve never witnessed anything like it!
I foresee that Miss Glynne and her gorgeous copper curls will be in very, very high demand after everyone’s ears have been graced with the magic of her album later this year, and I hope that she goes on tour asap, as I could easily listen to her for hours! Stay amazingly flawless Jess!
Be sure to listen to Rather Be (below) too – this clever collab with Clean Bandit (more stars in the making) was one of the fastest selling singles of 2014 and also scooped Best Dance Record at this years Grammys!
Over the last couple of months, I have become completely addicted with watching Rupaul’s Drag Race on Netflix (they have all six seasons available!). Through these shows I discovered RuPaul’s music and have more or less listened to them every week religiously. So, since I zipped through the seasons so quickly and unfortunately Netflix haven’t made Drag Race All Stars or Untucked (the extra bits from Drag Race) available to watch, I’ve decided to deal with my withdrawal symptoms by creating these cool little quote images of my favourite lyrics and sayings that have come from the legendary Queen of Queens!
This one is from a song called The Beginning – I really relate to these lyrics at the moment as I am planning to move into London for the first time, which I’m exceedingly excited about. Of course, there are those moments of sheer panic thinking about how it’s all going to turn out, but then I just listen to this song! It’s upbeat and full of motivational lyrics that make you feel better about what may lie ahead…
#340: You have 15 minutes to address the whole world live (on television or radio — choose your format). What would you say?
I’d of course choose TV as I have absolutely no experience in radio (although my TV experience currently exists in a handful of projects).
I’d introduce myself first briefly, explaining what I do and what I love getting up to in my spare time (just to prove I have a human side and am not just my career). But I would admittedly, then use the remaining ten minutes to express how much I want to turn my new found passion of video editing, presenting and producing skills into a full time career. Hopefully, I would be able to impress potential employers and senior video editors/producers with my enthusiasm, my strong desire to improve my skills and ultimately progress within such a competitive industry.
#336: You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.
Following Phillip Schofield’s 24 hour challenge on ITV, in which he stayed live on TV from 11am on Monday to 11am on Tuesday (without sleep I’d like to add) all in aid of raising money for the Text Santa appeal, has really sparked my curiosity. Viewers were given access all areas, including during the commercial breaks, and an incredible insight into how TV is presented and produced… thus increasing my hunger to get into this industry, whether it be in front of the camera or behind it in the sense of editing the footage. So, bringing it back to the prompt in question (and ending my tangent!), if I had the ability to become invisible, I would use it to shadow individuals whom had a career that I’d like to pursue. This way I’d be able to find out what’s involved and what it takes to become just as successful, if not more.
#326: Do you play in your daily life? What says “playtime” to you?
Kicking back and watching The Good Wife. Or playing some video games with my brother – most recently LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (such a good game!). Another form of my playtime is meeting up with my friends for dinner, drinks or the odd pub quiz. There are simply too many options to choose from!
#308: Tell us about a favourite character from film, theatre, or literature, with whom you’d like to have a heart-to-heart. What would you talk about?
It’s a shame the prompt didn’t mention TV as, of course, my first thought was Sheldon Cooper (from The Big Bang Theory) – although I’d love to talk to Jim Parsons (the actor) both in and out of character!
That said, I think I’d have to choose Elphaba from Wicked considering I’m a huge west end theatre geek! We’d talk about how she became the strong female she is now (*spoiler alert for anyone who doesn’t know the story*), if she would have wanted to do anything differently and what she’s got planned for the future.
#281: Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?
Hmm… I’m not sure if I do ever leave screens if I’m completely honest. I use them at work, I usually eat dinner in front of one and then I open up my iPad to check emails, spend some time checking my blog stats, Pinterest etc. I guess if the weather’s nice and I feel as if I need to give my eyes a break, I’ll head out – either for a spot of retail therapy or simply for a walk by the river (which then turns into a photography expedition… arguably another screen when instantly reviewing the shots?). The other thing I do when I’ve had enough, is sleep – good ol’ Netflix has now got me hooked on The Good Wife, so I tend to watch an episode before bed anyway.
Since we are super close to press week and pretty much everyone I know outside of the office is at work right now, I decided to rebel against todays writing prompt. Instead I thought I’d share my TV experiences, which include Channel 4’s hit comedy programme The Last Leg and the BBC’s first live final of The Voice.
I managed to get audience tickets for my family and I to see The Last Leg on the 14th March, the Friday after my birthday, as we are all massive fans of the programme ever since it started during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. My brother met me first as he only had lessons that morning and we went to get our favourite (quick) dinner courtesy of Tortilla – a huge, deliciously fresh burrito for £5… umm yes please! We didn’t have to queue very long for this show at all as it is only a small studio, but we didn’t expect to get seats ON the set, sat opposite the host Adam Hills (who I’ve met before) and behind his co-hosts, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe! It was so exciting to be amongst the thick of it and as always, we were laughing our way through it. Plus it was quite nice to see that during the ad breaks, they talk to the audience and really keep us entertained. I’ll definitely try to get more tickets for the next series!
Then on the 22nd March we went to see the first live final of The Voice!
This was a bit of rush in the end as I only received the email the afternoon before… but we still went for it and the show was like one long party. The downside was that you had to start from queueing from 2pm – six long hours before the show even started and it wasn’t a lovely sunny day as you’d like to have hoped! I’d rung ahead as soon I’d received the email as my dad has a bad back so wouldn’t have been able to stand for the entire show. Unfortunately, this had been forgotten and we were told that the only places left were standing… so after a brief word with a lovely member of staff, she found us some seats to the left of the stage closest to Ricky Wilson. After he’d looked over at us several times within the first part of the show, it finally dawned on us after spotting the signs under our seats, that this section was reserved for his guests… eeeek! So we thank him greatly for the fantastic seats (ooops). It was amazing to hear the later crowned winner, Jermain Jackman perform his incredible cover of Bruno Mars’ Treasure. I’d loved him from his blind audition and witnessing this performance, confirmed his star potential!
Pictures: all (sneakily) taken by myself… which explains the poor quality!