Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Boyzone, Spice, and everything nice - is it all for Children in Need?

How often do you switch on your favourite chat show and find a celebrity you don’t often see interviewed sitting on the sofa, chairs, or other household appliance currently deemed fashionable for interviewing guests on?

‘Oh that’s interesting,’ you think, ‘I don’t see them on TV too often.’
But very quickly into the interview, you realise that they’re there for a purpose. Which is? To plug their latest book, CD, film, perfume, or luxury toilet roll range - and you begin to feel ever so slightly cheated, as if you’ve been duped into listening to their sales pitch.
It’s almost akin to the product placement that goes on in the cinema and television these days . If you’re not aware of this – then you're definitely being duped!
It mainly happens in American movies and TV shows, when for example, the lead in the movie buys (or if he’s really cool, just nudges the machine in the right spot so it drops him a free one) a can of Pepsi from a vending machine. Or when the cops are on a stakeout, and they sit in their car eating donuts – watch as they casually lift them from a Crispy crème or Dunkin donuts bag. See what I’m saying?

This is all very well and good – I’m sure when I’ve got a book out (you notice I say when, rather than if!) I’ll be all too happy to sit on Richard and Judy’s/ Fern and Phil’s/ Jonathan Ross’s sofa, and chat to them about how wonderful my forthcoming novel is. Gosh, I’ve just realised they all have sofa’s, who has chairs these days except Parky - and he’s retiring?
Anyway my point is – this is all fine, and an excepted part of TV interviewing these days. But what happens when it’s a charitable event and there’s still ‘plugging’ going on?

This Friday sees the long awaited (by their fans) and anticipated (by the media) return of Boyzone to our TV screens.
They will be performing together for the first time in nearly eight years on the BBC’s Children in Need show.
And just how have their fans reacted to this news?
Well, if you log on to Ronan Keating’s message boards - with eagerness and excitement mostly. There is the odd doubter, a fan that doesn’t approve of the reunion, and wants Ronan to only continue with his solo career. But what’s the betting you’ll still see the Doubting Thomas’s sitting on the front row of Wembley arena next year, waving their glow sticks (will someone please explain why these are necessary in life?) and singing along with the rest of crowd?
But why have Boyzone chosen to make their comeback TV appearance on the BBC’s Children in Need show at peak viewing time on a Friday night?
Is it, as they and other acts would have you believe, solely to support this very worthwhile fundraising event? Or is it in fact, because they can at the same time ‘plug’ their new song, and in this case their new tour, which coincidentally goes on sale on Monday morning?
Ronan Keating and the other members of Boyzone I know do an awful lot for charity. In Ronan’s case it’s mainly through the Marie Keating foundation in Ireland, and Cancer Research in the UK, so I would never knock the Boyz overall commitment to charitable issues.
But are we really to be duped into believing that Friday night's big comeback is all about the ‘Cheerity mate’?
The Spice Girls are already booked to appear on the same show, they’re singing the official Children in Need song this year. I caught a bit of their video today, and I really don’t think that Posh gyrating about in what amounts to bondage gear, and Mel B rolling around in her bra, really fits in with the general ethos of Children in Need, does it?

But maybe I'm being too cynical, and there will be no mention of future albums or reunion tours, and both groups will just sing and enjoy the company of the big cuddly one on Friday night.
Oh, and alongside Terry Wogan, will be that Pudsey fella too ;-)

Til the next time,

A x

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Pink Ribbons & Pizza!

Gosh, I can’t believe 15th October was my last Blog!
Hmm, now I’m trying to sit here and think just what I’ve been up to since then?

Well there was Half Term to keep me busy; with the joys of baking, the cinema, shopping, and Pizza Hut buffet to keep my children busy. Is it natural for a 9 year old to be able to eat nine pieces of Pizza + salad at one sitting? It seems to be for my son! And he just burns it right off – so unfair.

I’ve just come back from a rather lovely weekend in Dublin. My husband and I (sounds rather formal!) try and have at least one weekend away every year without the kids (my parents are very accommodating) actually this year we’ve managed two - St Ives, Cornwall in May, and Dublin in November. The Dublin weekend is fast becoming an annual event, and you’ll know if you’ve been following this Blog from an earlier entry, that we were attending a charity ball while we were there.

We had a lovely evening as always at the Pink Ribbon ball in Dublin’s Burlington hotel. The charity that puts on the event – The Marie Keating Foundation always does a first-rate job, it’s a fantastic evening for all to attend, and they raise lots of money as result.
This year after dinner, there were two acts to entertain us, a swing band ‘The Legends of Swing,’ and Bryan McFadden – Ex West life. Bryan was great; I’m a fan of his solo stuff, if not of the West Life boys, and I hear he put on a good show. Yes you read that right, I HEARD he put on a good show. Where was I when all this was going on? Outside chatting to an old friend I bumped into in the bar! How typical of me, but I didn’t mind, it was great to catch up with the friend again, who coincidently is also called Bryan too!
I also caught up with another chap during the evening – Ronan Keating. If you’ve been on my website, you’ll know I have a bit of a soft spot for Mr K, who I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of times. He’s a grand (as the Irish would say) chap, and lovely to chat to.
This time I had my fitness hat on (which didn’t match my dress unfortunately!) and was talking training matters with him.
He hopes to do the London Marathon next year, and another long distance walk across Ireland (this would be his third) to raise money for both Cancer Research UK, and the Marie Keating foundation.
Not an easy thing to do I was telling him, when the training for each event is so different, and both events are so close together. But he seems to have it all in hand, so after a brief discussion, I wished him best of luck with it.
But I’ll wait and see next year if he manages to do both….

Me grilling Ronan about his training regime! I feel like I was ‘papped here, but thanks to the people that took the time to send me these photos.
P.S. Ronan's not really cross on the second from last photo, even though he looks like he's fuming!

And in more formal pose with Ronan, and then hubbie!