Friday, 5 August 2011

Lets spill some beans!

I was asked a question on twitter this week: Who are the nicest stars you have worked with? Enough crap is written about today's celebrities so why not dedicate this weeks' blog to singing some praises!

Lovely Louis - Stuck in the pouring rain of Glasgow, stood by the stage door and waiting for a Glaswegian cab that was so  going to take forever, Louis left to the flash of the paps cameras and the filming of the X factor exit, he sped off and the car stopped and reversed, Louis's window came down and he told me to jump in. Being noticed can sometimes be the nicest thing ever. He really is  lovely as well as making me howl with laughter on so many occasions!

Jonathan Ross. I have done many warm ups for JR but my best memory of him was when I was appearing on the Big Big Talent show. It was for me a disaster. I got slated by Gary Bushell and my whole night descended into a complete car crash. In the green room after the show Jonathan took the time to come over, give me massive encouragement, huge support and put a smile back on the face of a seriously disappointed comedian. I will be forever grateful not only to him but for the lessons learnt from that particular show!

Michael Buble: Seriously one of the nicest most humble men I have ever had the privilege to work with. He finished his "Evening With" show by staying behind and meeting every single one of the audience. Also, at The X Factor, he went outside in the pouring rain and met all the crowd queuing to get inside, with NO TV cameras or press - he just did because he could! He thanked me personally and took time to recall some of the jokes I had told at the X Factor. Just goes to show - you never know who might be listening!

Amanda Holden: Not only is Amanda extremely funny she is also a sweetheart who gets so excited sometimes she actually squeals! Amanda would do anything for you, (well nearly anything) and I class her as a true friend as well as being seriously talented.

Prince Harry: The Prince came to see the X Factor and I found myself stood outside Simon's dressing room having a conversation with him. I really did however want the ground to eat me up. He said "You are a very funny bloke - I loved the bits where you ripped into the judges". I replied like a cockney twat "Thanks mate!" He laughed at my obvious embarrassment as did his security team. He really was a down to earth nice guy who made you feel very at ease.

Shane Richie: I spent a whole 2 years touring with Shane and a Christmas eve with his family, I swear I have never laughed and cried so much in all my life!

Robbie Williams: I don't know RW at all really but anytime I have worked on a show he has been on he has always come over and said hello and always remembers my name. True gent, very funny bloke and yes, I am a huge fan!

Piers Morgan: Piers is the straightest guy I have ever met. There is no side to Piers and he doesn't mince his words. I remember taking the mick out of Simon's make up artiste Julia, to which Julia got the hump  (understandably - I can sometimes be relentless!). She had a go at me and the tension was to say the least "high". On arriving back in the Britain's Got Talent green room, with everyone in it, Julia and I keep our distance. Piers piped up in front of everyone "So Julia, are you having drinks with Roycey tonight?". Piers is fascinating and I love being in his company. He is  also married to one of the most beautiful women I have ever met.

Celine Dion: I was doing the warm up for her "Night With" at ITV. Celine had gone off for a costume change and I was in the middle of a routine when we running late and the director and producers were really pushing for time. Celine walked on ready for her next number. The floor manager waved me off so i stoped in the middle of the gag. The crowd moaned and Celine announced, "No honey finish it, it's funny". A cry from a member of the team in the floor manager's ear went something like this: "Get that lanky prick off the stage" (or words to that effect). I tried to walk off but Celine insisted I carry on. She was charming, beautiful but above all she took notice of me, thanked me and treated me with respect. I was touched and did not stop talking about it for weeks!

Ant and Dec: I think I have learned more from watching the "boys" work than any other artistes. They define the word "professional" and it really is a masterclass watching them both in front of and off camera. They are also probably the two most "ordinary" celebrities I have worked with. They are, without doubt, the two biggest stars in the country today. But being in their company you really would not think so - no sides, no ego, no game, it is exactly what is written on the tin! Total respect and admiration for not only great presenters but two brilliantly funny comedians.

Robin Williams: I was working at the Wimbledon Theatre for a comedy evening to celebrate Prince Charles' birthday. It was a who's who of comedy. I was stood in the wings, extremely nervous. I had a pat on the shoulder and as I turned I nearly fell over! Robin and I had a 15 minute chat - he gave me some tips, we talked about comedy and he is one of the only people who left me seriously star-struck!

Davina McCall: I did my first ever warm up for Davina. I had done a lot of years as a stand up comic so was used to pressure but I don't think I have ever been so nervous in all my life! She put me at ease straight away and shone like the star she is!

Russel Brand: I did the warm ups for Russell on a couple of his shows. It has to be the hardest warm up I have ever done. Why? Well when you're warming up for one of the funniest guys around the audience really have no interest in you. I worked my arse off! I was about three quarters of the way through my bit and Russell just wondered on - no big intro, no huge build up, no big play on - he just wanders on and delivers some of the funniest comedy I have ever witnessed. After the gig, as I was walking off, he called me back and thanked me. He was simply lovely. I am not one bit surprised he is enjoying Hollywood stardom. He deserves it all - and more!

Eamonn Holmes: Eamon is fantastic and also very funny. Whenever we are together we have a good gossip and put the world to rights! God love him! 

Dermot O'Leary - Dermot and I were running for a train home from Manchester following the Manchester auditions. When we got to the train I was, of course, travelling normal class and Dermot First class but he insisted sitting with me in second class - even though the whole carriage had their cameras out. I begged him to go to the peace and quiet of the first class compartment but he would hear nothing of it. Great bloke!

Sir Elton John: This man changed my life around forever and didn't even know a thing about it!

Sharon Osbourne: I love Mrs O - not only does she really make me laugh but I think she is extremely sexy and very beautiful. She is also my daughters' favorite star (along with Simon!). Sharon is the most generous celebrity I have ever seen at a studio. At the end of the X Factor, personalised gifts were given to every member of the team - and I mean EVERY member of the team. She really doesn't miss a person or forget what everybody does to make the show. She is warm, considerate, funny and I love it when she goes into one! True passion, true worldwide star! Come home soon Mrs O - I need a hug!

Phillip Schofield: The Boss and the master!  A gentleman and one of the best TV stars I have ever watched work. When Phillip steps in front of the camera you really have to stand back and admire his poise, quick thinking and natural god-given talent. He is a pleasure to work with and makes you feel very at ease.

HRH Prince Charles: Following my warm up at the Royal Variety Performance I went to go home when a message was sent down from the Royal Box that his Royal Highness wished to meet me. I was blown away and ushered into the "Line Up" next to the biggest stars this country has to offer. The look on a certain comics' face was simply priceless! HRH spent a good five minutes chatting to me and asked the head of the BBC if my spot could be televised. He said "Of course. We will see what we can do" . It was never televised, which is cool, as after all I was simply warming up. I was to be again blown away. A letter arrived from HRH personally written with some truly amazing words. Today I still look at this letter with a sense of pride and achievement and now refer to Prince Charles, to anyone who will listen, as my "mate"!

Stephen Mulhern: Stephen is absolutely charming. I remember once at BGT in Birmingham I had left my daughter for a few minutes with my wife in the reception area while I went to get them a pass. When I returned Stephen had taken my daughter to the pick and mix and filled a bag of sweets for her that would have given her a sugar buzz for the remaining year! It is true to say everyone loves Stephen - including me.

Paul O'Grady: I love working with Paul, not only because you feel like you are in the presence of TV royalty, but because he seriously makes me laugh. In any given ad break he can go into a "Paul" rant which if you have witnessed one you will know how funny it is. I would love to see Paul go and do a live stand up tour. It would be a show not to be missed. I was once asked to walk Buster around the ITV car park and I have never in my life guarded something so closely in all my life! It was like carrying the crown jewels!

JLS: I love JLS! They learnt all their dance moves off me and one day, if they work hard enough, they too will have a body like mine! Great bunch of guys who I have no doubt will be around for a very long time.

Lionel Richie: When I was warming up for a special with Lionel the floor manager, Nick, asked me to sit on a stool by the piano, just for lighting, as this is where Lionel would sing to a lucky member of the audience. I perched myself on the stool and Nick sat at the piano pretending to sing "Hello". Suddenly Lionel walked in - Nick got up and I sat glued to the stool not knowing what to do. Lionel sat at the piano and sang "Hello" directly to me, looking at me straight in the eye! The song and rehearsal then disintegrated into chaos as I agreed to every word he sang by nodding my head and winking at him. He laughed along and the whole rehearsal took about 15 minutes - it was truly a great moment!

Gino D'Acampo  - Italian, good looking, talented cook, great dad, fabulous husband and seriously charming - god he cannot be real - but believe me, he is! (I want a "Gino" teddy bear for Xmas!)

Ian Collins - Ian presents Talk Sport's night time show. Ian helped me, guided me and became a true friend. He gave of himself when he did not need to and had a huge impact on my professional career. I will always be very humbled by his selfless encouragement and actions.

Gary Barlow: I only met Gary for the first time this year on XF and I was extremely nervous about meeting him. I walked into the green room in Glasgow and walked over, introduced myself and within two minutes we were laughing. We share the same sense of humour, both support the same football team and work out at the same gym - well two out of three isn't bad! 

Simon - No need for a surname here! Truly my favorite. So many like to put him down or look for a side but I can honestly, with my hand on heart, say he wins the "nicest celebrity I have ever worked with" hands down! Simon is extremely loyal, passionate about anything he puts his mind too and the hardest working man I have ever met. When you work with Simon you always want to impress him and go to any length to make your part the very best it can be. He has an aura around him that is quite magnificent as well as hugely inspiring. I  can never ever remember a time hearing Simon not saying "thank you". He is the politest man I have ever had the pleasure of working with - a true gentleman and generous above and beyond anything I have ever witnessed in my life. If you knew Simon, like I knew Simon, you too would be bowled over by this quite brilliant man. Simon is one of those rare stars who can bring a room to a standstill simply by arriving! A recent survey of kids asked who is the most famous person in the world.  Simon came first, God came second - need I say more!

There really are so many others I could mention but the ones above are the ones that have stood out! I am sure I may have forgotten some, if I have, sorry!


  1. Marc Owen-Banks5 August 2011 at 12:40

    Brilliantly written and if I may say Ian very humble yourself. You play a huge part in setting things up for these guys and gals, and some of what they do, they couldnt do without you.

    Well done mate!

  2. Heather Rowstron5 August 2011 at 13:43

    I Think your the Most #Humble If ive ever Heard! Great Blog...Yet Again...Well Done You xx

  3. Thank you Roycey!


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