WHAT a day I had last Thursday when I travelled to London for a couple of meetings.
Thankfully I’d chosen to take the train on the day that Heathrow Terminal 5 welcomed it’s first passengers. Within hours of opening, chaos erupted as the baggage system failed and thousands of people were left in turmoil.
On the last couple of flights I’ve taken with BA, they managed to lose my luggage both times, so I can empathise with those who were stuck waiting for hours on end.
It’s not too bad when you are only watching for your suitcase crammed full of dirty washing to whiz round the carousel but if you’re on the first leg of your journey with not so much as a toothbrush and spare pair of pants to your name it’s such a hassle.
I’m sure BA will eventually get it right though and passing through the new terminal will prove a relaxing, efficient experience like Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, which is one of my favourites. I’m glad I don’t work for BA’s press office though!
When I emerged from the station in London, I immediately bumped into a familiar face – Gok Wan from ‘How To Look Good Naked’. My first thought as he approached me was ‘Oh my God, do I really want to bare all on TV?’ – being filmed in the shower when I appeared on Secret Millionaire last year was bad enough.
Thankfully though he only wanted to ask my opinion on whether I preferred woman with flat stomachs or larger tummies. I told him that a six pack was my ideal and he looked bemused until I explained I was referring to men.
My lunchtime meeting was with Ben Way, the 27-year-old who’d appeared on the first series of Secret Millionaire. We’d been in touch since I asked his advice before agreeing to appear on the show myself.
Ben was one of the first dot.com millionaires. He set up his own business on his 15th birthday and became the youngest company director in the UK.
After securing £25 million pounds of investment for his business he made the Sunday Times rich list, one spot below Robbie Williams.
Unfortunately, after a dispute with his investors, he lost the lot and didn’t even have the money to buy a Tube ticket.ŠIn true entrepreneurial style, however, he’s climbed the ladder again and his businesses are thriving.
ŠHe’s just returned from a four-month sabbatical in Australia where he got bored so set up a business selling giant balls that you can climb inside and roll down a hill.
Talking about his sabbatical certainly gave me some food for thought, but some of my colleagues would probably say I take one every few weeks anyway!!
In the evening I was invited to the South Bank Studios by my friend, the comedian Alan Carr. He was filming his show The Friday Night Project and asked me along to the green room.
I chatted to barrister Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, who became the first to get the chop from the new series of The Apprentice.
He’s been lapping up all the press since his eviction and is so full of his 15 minutes of fame. I don’t think he’s realised how quiet his phone will be once another bolshy go-getter falls flat on their face in next week’s show.
He was quite obnoxious and kept asking for a waiter to bring him another drink. Alan Carr soon put him in his place and told him he had to serve himself in his green room.
He was also made to run through the audience wearing a coat full of money – a task Alan and Justin used to do themselves but the audience got too rough with them.
They now only let the celebs, who they don’t mind getting a bit of roughing up, to have that privilege.
Alan’s other, much more grounded guests, were Dancing on Ice winner, Suzanne Shaw, Doctor Who aka David Tennant and Freema Agyeman, who plays the Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones.
David kept looking at me in the green room and I could see he was trying to work out where we had met before.ŠI reminded him it was at last year’s switch-on of the Illuminations in Blackpool.
He confessed he was scared to come out of his trailer that night, as he attracts such a strange group of fans.
I witnessed this first hand, as we left the studios at the same time. Hundreds of the weirdest people were hanging around waiting for David outside.
Most of them could have passed for characters straight out of the show.
Alan has invited me back to filming next week, as his guest will be Mariah Carey. Apparently she is bringing a huge entourage with her and has already asked for petals on her dressing room floor. I can’t wait!