Well just 1 week after attending my first movie premiere, I’m on the telly!
A couple of months back the naughty side of me decided to write in to a new TV show and apply to set up my friend. Well there was a lot of phone calls and organising and eventually we managed to set her up on a blind date with an actor who really put her through her paces in a house full of hidden cameras. She was so polite even through his insults and force feeding of pickled onion Monster Munch that she really did me proud.
After the filming and all was exposed, the show producer suggested that they might be able to arrange for us to attend the filming of the TV show down in London when they air the clip and so we agreed that we would love to.
Now, a whole month had passed and then it was time! The production company were going to pay for train tickets fro myself, D and of course my poor friend to head on down to the big smoke and enjoy the embarrassment of seeing the reaction to the clip first hand. The only problem…..they couldn’t get us a train back the same day so darn it they would also have to put us up in a hotel hee hee. Little did we know that instead of opting for a Travelodge or some down market B&B they instead chose a gorgeous boutique hotel in London’s swanky Kensington area woop woop, we scored!
As with all our adventures, it began with a trip to Tesco Express where we purchased a box of wine and some cider for the long journey from Worcester to London. We had a slight blip in the shop when we realised we had nothing to drink out of, so as D (the male brain) had his bright spark and ran off down the aisles to get jelly pots (still not sure how he thought we were going to consume the jelly to empty the pots to put the wine in, but hey ho), I on the other hand (the female brain) went to the coffee machine and pulled 3 perfectly formed cardboard cups from the tube, tadahhh. See men are from mars and all that.
Now with drink (and cups) in our hand we stomped up what felt like a hundred steps to the platform where we waited for our train, then in a flurry of people rushed it as it pulled into the station and grabbed a group of 4 seats so we could set about pouring the drinks and getting the show on the road, or track so to speak.
It wasn’t long before the ticket conductor came along and started questioning what was in our cups, as it is actually illegal to drink on some trains now and upon our chorused response ‘RIBENA’ he laughed and wittered on something about him getting an automatic 10 year sentence and bending over in the showers if he ever drank on duty lol. Who would have ever thought that being a ticket inspector could be so harsh.
Over the next couple of stops there was an ever increasing number of football supporters in their matching outfits boarding the train and the larger the groups the louder the singing got. Especially from the one Aston Villa supporter with the single tooth who was surrounded by Birmingham fans, to much delight they enjoyed us making up our own words to the song and joining in.
Now although Worcester is a central CITY you wouldn’t think so as A) everyone thinks its a town and B) to get anywhere you always have to go to Birmingham first. So we disembarked at Birmingham Moor Street Station and set about finding out where we were supposed to head for our next train. As both me and my friend being girls and downing several drinks by now were desperate for the loos, D was left in charge of platform locating. Yet again the boy brain kicked in and instead of locating the time of the train, followed by the location and subsequent platform, the eyes scanned the board, saw the words Paddington, London and said that’ll do so off we went. It was only when my friend returned from the toilets that we were informed that we were in fact on the wrong platform and the Paddington train that we should have been on, was the one that was just pulling out of the station, and so instead we waited the extra 20 mins for the next one. How lucky are we that there were 2 trains so close together!!!
Finally on the right train and ready for the long stint down to London, we again settled into a set of 4 seats and got the drinks out, along with a Kinder Egg or two as we need entertainment and nourishment as well. I’m sure there was much noise coming from our section of the train as the drinks were flowing and we were getting all the more tiddly, but I wasn’t on the receiving end so can neither confirm nor deny how annoying we might have been.
At Paddington, the tube instructions were extracted from my pocket and we again set about finding where we were supposed to be in order to head in the general direction of Waterside Studios in Hammersmith. We eventually got to the right station after several stops, 2 tubes and 5 times up and down the same escalator. From Hammersmith tube station it was a taxi to the studio, turning out to be quite the journey isn’t it! So after a quick pitstop in the pub opposite to again let the ladies relieve bladders we were on a mission to find us a cabbie. Tracked down, bags in the back and feeling a wee bit wobbly we were slightly disheveled but happy that our everlasting public transport marathon was almost over.
Ever drove in London? If so you will know that no one gets anywhere fast as the roads are always chocka, therefore we only made half of our distance in the cab to Waterside Studios before the driver suggested we cut our losses, bale and run the rest of the way in the rain. So we did! By the time we arrived at the studios with our mini-cases trundling behind us, our hair stuck to our faces and our eyes glazed with alcohol we had to giggle at the thought of actually getting caught on camera.
There was a long line of people queuing to get into the Studio to watch the filming of the show, but as we were appearing on it, we were advised just to head straight into reception and tell someone who we were. So we did….at this we were ushered back stage, into our own dressing room and given a fridge full of wine and beer and a basket full of choccies and crisps, bonus ha ha! We couldn’t quite believe our luck in all honesty as were weren’t expecting them to pay the train fair, let alone the hotel and now we have a dressing room too!!!
Between the squeals of delight, staff came back and forth and it was on one of these occasions that it was pronounced to us that we would be taken to hair and make up (thank God) and then someone would show us where we would be sitting in the audience for the show, before we are called up on stage to be interviewed in the second half……what what whaaaaat??? Ummm, we weren’t quite expecting this and certainly hadn’t prepared ourselves for being quite so ‘front’ row for the screening of our clip.
So called one by one we went to hair and make up and were made to look beautiful, and not only were we pampered, but in the chair next to us was one of the shows host’s Greg James, fancy that! With a bit of banter and an invitation to come out with us after the show, we left Greg to his layers of foundation and headed into the studio to our seats which were emblazoned with our names and the phrase ‘Guest of the Show’, oooh la la.
Throughout the filming of the show ‘Britain Unzipped’ which seemed to take forever, we sobered up. This isn’t good, we are about to look like complete twonks on National TV and a drink in the system would really help. So as there are strict rules regarding there being no alcohol in the studio during filming, we managed to blag one of the runners to bring us some wine in coffee cups (see not just for trains lol). This helped, but probably not enough as it wasn’t long until our big moment came and on the sofa, central stage we were placed alongside Greg James and co-host Russell Kane. The filming of our interview and even the watching of the clip wasn’t actually that bad, it was the watching back of the watching back that was cringe worthy.
At last it was over and back at the changing room we were advised that the TV show were paying for a taxi to our hotel, rather than have us catch the tube again, how sweet is that! So we went and waited patiently for our cab to arrive in the foyer, but after a 20 minute wait and the departure of one of the other show guests (Christine Bleakley) we advised the staff that we were heading to the bar for a drink and when the cab arrives they know where to find us.
We are on a roll now, free train tickets, hotel, taxi and drinks during the show it was only right that we blag a free one at the bar. My friend who has to be the worst blagger in the world started the conversation with the bar man about how someone out front told us we could have a drink while they organised our taxi and he wasn’t buying it, so I swiftly moved in with my cheeky demeanor and quick thinking and yet again, she shoots and she scores – the milky bars (or booze) is on me ha ha.
Luckily enough we didn’t have to wait too long for our taxi, and with a guzzle of our acquired beverages we headed out to our last stretch of travelling for the day and our luxury Kensington Hotel.
Our taxi driver was lovely and kept us chatting all the way there, along with keeping our energy levels up with his bag of mint sweets, of which we nabbed a few extra on the way out to the street.
As we clamber up the steps to the hotel entrance and open the doors, we are greeted with a warmth that was a welcome change from the bitter cold and wet atmosphere of Old London Town! To the left of the reception area was a long bank of dark wooden tables where a man was sitting in front of his laptop with his head down. My friend being the complete numpty she is, stepped in front of him to get his attention in the hope of being checked in, and at this point I had to apologise on her behalf and explain that he was simply a guest using the wifi lol. With a quick steer in the right direction we practically skipped down the room to the ‘actual’ reception desk where a poor guy had to then deal with us for real.
As if it isn’t bad enough when a stranger is confronted with one of us silly drunken bums, get all 3 together and you are asking for trouble. The receptionist was trying his best not to giggle at us and our questions towards him, and I’m sure it was because of our late night amusement in such an ordinarily quiet, and upmarket hotel we got room upgrades…kaching!
With our room keys in hand it was time to go dump the bags and go play, we were off clubbing and to finish our night in style. On the way to the rooms, at the end of the aforementioned long line of desks where the poor guest was mistakenly identified as staff, was a huge bowl of the most delicious looking ‘Snow White’ style apples. Well to resist just wasn’t an option, so multiple hands went into the bowl and grabbed an apple each. I’m still unsure whether these were for guests or indeed just for decoration, oh well!
Beyond the reception area and into the bar there is a quiet bustle of activity where guests are eating and drinking, therefore D deemed it appropriate to swing his arms around myself and my friend and bellow at the top of his voice “if I’m paying you girls by the hour, I don’t want to be wasting time in the bar”. Oh yes, we have arrived and now everyone knew it lol. As we turned towards the elevator all 3 of us then burst into a run towards a deep red velvety wall that held a lit up sign of the hotel on it. Then all 6 hands were on the plush fabric and the phrase ‘stroke the furry wall’ was repeated by us all before bursting into laughter in homage to the film Get Him to the Greek starring Russell Brand.
As mine and D’s bedroom door swung open to reveal our digs for the night, we all looked at one another then ran in and did the tour in record time, from the bathroom to the wardrobe, jumped on the bed (to test its comfyness of course) and then we noticed it. Like a fly being drawn towards a bright light, we all gazed at the fridge stocked with treats of all kinds in a momentary trance, before almost tearing the door from its hinges and grabbing the beers. I believe it was at this point that we realised that if we got ready to hit the town and headed to a club to dance the night away, we would be spending lots of our well earned cash, whereas if we stayed in the hotel and drank what was here instead, as they didn’t have our personal details because the booking was through the tv company – it would be FREE! Wahooo no brainer, and so we called for room service and got ourselves a bottle of champagne and 6 beers for starters.
Now we really are having fun, wearing the dressing gowns, slippers and shower caps that we had found around the room, drinking beer, eating nuts ‘from a jar no less’ and playing golf with the rather fancy umbrella’s that had been left for us too, we were in our element.
Once we had emptied mine and D’s mini-bar it was only right that we moved on to the next room that my friend was staying in and do the same, so off we went. Only while we were there, D had to pop back to our room to get his phone that he had forgotten to pick up and so daft as he is, and probably quite drunk by now he made it to the elevator and down to the next floor then realised he couldn’t remember what room number he was supposed to be aiming his wobbly body at. Nor could he remember the one he just came from lol, so the only option was to go and ask. Dressed in the hotel dressing gown and matching slippers (over his clothes) he has to do the walk of shame through the bar to the reception past bemused guests and to our new best friend the ‘friendly receptionist’ is again, stifling his laughter at the look of D and the question ‘where am I?’ He points D back in the right direction with the room numbers ha ha ha.
The rest of the night was spent having as much fun as we could within the confines of a hotel, with free, unlimited drink there were roly-polys, handstands, hiding in cupboards, tv watching and of course the golf :O)
To call my friend light fingered when it comes to hotels and pubs would be an understatement – if its not screwed down and she deems it a souvenir then its fair game. The biggest mistake this particular hotel made was that they actually provided lovely branded paper bags to carry the stuff home in too. So when it was time to leave the next morning, she made the most of the accessories in the room and came away with the bag bursting to the brim. This included a cotton wool vanity box, a hairdryer, slippers, a vanity mirror, all the toiletries (of course) and much, much more.
Back at Paddington, and after such a heavy night on the drink our belly’s were ready for feeding so with a quick stop at Burger King we ordered our not so luxury meals (back down to reality eh!). It was at this point while waiting for our bags of processed meat in a bun and chips that my friend noticed a limp piece of lettuce lying on the floor of the station. Well dares are not a thing for the feint hearted in our friendship group and so D was given the challenge, only to respond with a donkey dare bounceback. This made it unavoidable for her, and so as she walked past, with a quick bend of the knees and scoop of the hand that dirty leaf was in her mouth and gone in no time – oh the shame!
On the train home, there was a poor unfortunate soul who ended up having to share a quad of seats with us, and although his understanding of the English language was limited and he couldn’t understand everything we were saying, we did make him laugh a number of times. Especially, when the time came for D to eat a cotton wool ball from the stolen vanity box, at which point our new friend also pointed out that he too wanted to eat the one he had been offered. It doesn’t take long for us to rub off on the innocent lol.
Back at home, the 3 day wait began until the show would be aired, it felt like forever and I wasn’t entirely sure if I was excited and looking forward to my 5 minutes of fame, or dreading it?! The next day once we started to unpack I realised that I had lost the new jacket I had bought for the show, I believe I left it hanging up in the hotel bedroom and it wasn’t like I could call up and ask for it back knowing that we had left a massive unpaid room service bill and my friend had half-inched everything from her room. She too had lost not just her new jacket, but also some GHD straighteners, her pjs, wash bag and everything else that wasn’t stolen, doh! I think that’s what you call karma?
When the wait was over and it was time to accept our new found fame, we all congregated in my friends lounge, perched on sofas, armchairs, dining chairs and the floor in a rather snug fashion and watched with bated breath. The prank actually went down well, with neither of us making a complete fool of ourselves on National TV, and instead the response was phenomenal! Facebook and Twitter lit up like Christmas trees with messages from friends and family who had seen the show, and considering that this was a brand new show and only the second ever episode there was A LOT of people who saw it. I’m guessing that there is very little on at 9pm on a Tuesday normally.
The most memorable part of the clip however, is where my poor friend is told that the actor playing the role of D’s friend can see her ‘rat’ – this became her catchphrase for a while and caused hilarity among friends.
We have since both been spotted as ‘that girl off the telly’ in the local Costcutter, and surely it doesn’t get more A list than that?
Who knows, I may double my fame time by making another appearance somewhere, but for now I’m quite happy with the short stint I did at my friends expense and I’m so glad she forgave me for the setup!