Friday, 29 November 2013

Ice Cream

Sometimes in life we have to do something slightly differently, sometimes we have to be a little brave, sometimes we have to embrace a little danger without first reading a health and safety manual or going on a stupid course to tell us how to lift a box, put up a ladder or carry round a cup of slightly warm coffee that God forbid will spill and hurt someone! Sometimes we HAVE to step outside the box and feel the fear, for me this has been the key to a new life and why I write this blog today….

Life today can be so blinkered, so by the book, we follow like lost lambs rather than lead, reinvent and make new paths and new rules, we seem to have become scared of our own shadows and scared of our own potential! Is it so bad or so radical to make a choice based on common sense, a gut feeling, a passion, a burning desire and the most important: a dream or a goal? What is the worst that could happen?

Allow me to give you an example; I had a fantastic time with my daughter in a pub not so long ago playing Trivial Pursuit, (Another resident of this fine establishment sat watching
Keith Lemmon and “Juice” on his I-pad so it must have been a cool place!) she thrashed me (This only underlines the fact that she got her intelligence from her mum not me!) 
At the conclusion of the game Rox wanted Ice cream, (three scoops!) After the normal Dad - Daughter Ice cream consumption debate had come to a conclusion (This was not a unanimous agreement) I (Not we) agreed on two scoops not three, one scoop for Rox was never to be an option, In other words I gave in and met her halfway, two scoops it was to be!
The menu clearly stated that only one or three scoops were available, Rox used some common sense and drew on 4 years of hard work in maths and worked out the cost of two scoops which impressed me much as doing "Thirds" was way outside my mathematical spectrum, even for Ice Cream! I was proud that she took it upon herself to think outside the box or in this case, a menu!
I ordered the ice cream from the lovely lady who worked behind the bar, her reply?  "Sorry we only do three scoops or one scoop! I asked if she could do two, she said they only do 1 or 3, she was not to be shifted on the "Ice cream rules of the house" To save my daughters ensuing sugar buzz and because I am a little weak I ended up having two scoops for the price of three! Yep I had to pay for a scoop I never had! Why? Because that was the rule and nobody was budging on the fundamental issue of there not being a two scoop option and to be honest a debate on a scoop of ice cream was not worth my energy nor the barmaids!

The point of this is we seem in this world today to have lost all perspective of thinking outside the box, to considering the risks, to challenging ourselves to make "Choice" on free will, to bend a rule, to just do something that feels "right" We seem nowadays to be so scared of our own shadows and those we work for we are slowly disappearing up our own arses, controlled by others without any belief in ourselves to make a choice or simply go it alone. I like the saying “Feel the fear and do it anyway!)

Greatness comes from those who step outside the box, make new paths, challenge the rules, stick their heads above the parapet and stand up for what they believe to be right, the list of great names is endless but every single one of them stood out because they were brave, passionate, fearless and more importantly didn't define their life on what others thought! They believed in themselves, followed their gut instinct, embraced their passion and walked through fear and criticism! What happened? They became legends, history makers, idols and inspirers, we read about them, talked about them, emulated them, inspired to be them, we had heroes, role models and excitement filled our hearts and souls that maybe, just maybe, one day we could be as great, inspiring or thought provoking!

Life HAS to change, if even just by a tiny little step! To change today for our future generations is the key, the youth of today HAVE to be inspired, they have to have role models, they have to be able to look up to someone or something, they have to be allowed to express, discover, reinvent without critism, ridicule or doubt. We, the adults have to embrace their ideas, be excited they thought outside the box, we have to stand back from our own fears and barriers and be inspired by youth, we HAVE to otherwise we're all going to wonder round doing whatever the manual tells us and what a truly dull world that would be, what a "Grey existence!” If we don’t start to inspire by change we will slowly become the sheep that follow, uninspired, disorientated and soulless, we will just keep doing what everyone tells us!

Life is not always great, not every day is going to be an amazing day and when the days are hard and sometimes dark We HAVE to stop blaming everyone and looking for scape goats we HAVE to start taking some responsibility for us, our families and our future. Stand up, be counted and inspire, doing something good, look into ourselves and lead not follow, own the day and own your destiny.

It was only one scoop of ice cream, but it says a lot about where and what we COULD be turning into!

As adults we have a huge responsibility to let our youth, our next generation, our future expand, reinvent and prosper because one day one of them will lead us and with a glimmer of hope and a good wind hopefully that person would have taken comfort, knowledge and strength that one adult in their life said, “Throw the rule book away and serve as many scoops of ice cream as you want!”

Progress not perfection, two scoops not three!

Thank you for reading.

NB: A message to the abusive anon' e mail sender who clearly wants me to shut up writing and return to my dark place, to die not live, to feel pain not happiness to be the victim of the abuse once more -

I know not that boy of my past for my path to times gone by is covered, I know not the route back nor how to return, so I guess you'll have to stop reading these blogs because this is just my beginning as a free man not a scared manipulated abused boy.

Regards (To quote you) "Your arrogant, egotisical tosser, who does not believe himself to be the Dali Lama!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Brown Nose Day!

I received a tweet from a person seeking help as a direct result of my life changing actions over the past ten months, this filled me with more joy than any applause, any laugh or any standing ovation! (Not that I get many of them unless we are doing it for a camera shot!)

To know someone is seeking and making huge steps to change their life because I made a statement will stay with me for longer than any gig. I say this not to big myself up or gloat, not one bit, I say it because I am proud of the person who has taken a step and chosen to remain silent no more and more the point live without the pain of that silence, I am also very proud that months of self-searching, pain, tears and heartbreak on my part resulted in another human taking a very brave step, she will, In my experience, know a new life, one beyond her wildest dreams and one lighter and more fulfilled than any writing could describe. Her tweet was kind and it inspired me to write this blog.

Steve Brookstien takes great pleasure in calling me a brown nose on twitter, I laugh (Inwardly) whenever I read this because if being kind, if paying a compliment, if saying something that is positive rather than negative, if recognising something good rather than something bad is now deemed as “Being a Brown Nose” then I am happy to herby announce myself as “King of the Brown Noses”

It is harder to be kind than horrible, thoughtful than thoughtless, peaceful rather than angry, it is harder to say something positive and encouraging, it is easy to hide behind a twitter name and be horrible and damn right insulting – really it is!

When a person posts a tweet (I do not include some of the comedy banters that go on twitter) that is hurtful and insulting it is saying more about the person posting it than the person, organisation or company they are attempting to hurt or insult! I was taught a lovely saying a while ago: “When you point the finger at someone, you should look and see where the other three are pointing, (You just tried it right?) Yes, right back at yourself!” You see, to be angry with another is actually, in most cases, being angry at ourselves, it is, in my humble opinion also wrapped in the core emotion of fear and most of the time from a place of jealousy, which, if you’ve spent the last months in serious therapy as I have, is fear itself! (Don’t worry I’m not going to get all Therapist on you, I am no way qualified!)

Another bastion of the hurtful twitter postings is Katie Hopkins who recently posted some frankly insulting tweets! Katie’s stall is laid out, she writes shocking tweets, makes shocking statements and sends us all into a frenzy, her job is done and we the reader will move on but what about the person she so brutally destroys at the click of a send button, a typing of a piece or the spout off on TV?

In this new world of social media (I’m getting old right?) anyone can become as insulting, thoughtless and angry at any person they choose simply by writing 140 characters, the scary bit is they can hide behind a mask of anonominity, the positive is we don’t have to read it or even buy into it, sadly for us showbiz folks we feed off people pleasing, so it’s kind of a double edge sword, for me, I don’t give a toss what people say, honestly I don’t, I used to, but not now!

So what’s the answer? If you are angry today, stop, look at why, take a small time out, it may be you have every right to be angry and that’s great, anger after all is a real and healthy emotion! But, taking your anger out on another is without question an action of great selfishness and something I and no doubt most of the population of the world are guilty of, but the joy of living is we can do the opposite today!

So why don’t we for just one day try and be “Kind”, to look for the positive not the negative, to pay a compliment, to give a smile, to stop and give some time to say something nice, to look for the good not the bad to say something we would love to hear ourselves, to think of another rather than to think of ourselves, to pay a compliment because we mean it rather than a “thank you “because we want something?

Let us not take for granted what we have around us, don’t walk through today with your head buried, look up, stop, breath, take it in, embrace it, own it, be the carrier of the flame, be the light and the love, be a special person you were born to be, give freely of yourself and do something amazing for another, it can be free, it can be just a wink, a hello, a nod, a handshake, a hug, a hand reached out, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a call, a text and even a lovely tweet!

By doing this you might just change somebody’s minute, hour, day, week, month even their year!

I categorically promise you it will change yours, for just a fleeting moment you will get out of yourself, your pain, worries, frustrations and anger, you will embrace the greatest gift in life and think of another, it will take you to a new level and it will, if just for a second, put you in step with the universe.

Just for today let’s try and think of another, let’s stop before hitting the send button and just for a fleeting moment think how 140 characters, a look, a tut, a stare, a huff a back turned or a whisper may effect another.

Call it what you want, but just for here, just for n let’s rejoice in “Brown Nose Day”


Saturday, 23 November 2013

I am very sorry....

My wife and I had date night last night and chose to spend it at the cinema in the company of Ohpra, Forest Whiticker, Robin Williams and a man who never ever fails to bring a smile to my face Cuba Gooding Junior and the movie "The Butler"

The movie was advertised to start at 8:45 so babysitting times organised, popcorn at the ready and glasses cleaned I sat ready to enjoy some of Americas finest ply their trade, my wife and I then sat for nearly 45 minutes waiting for the start, so bloody annoying and more the point this meant we would have to leave 40 minutes early to get the babysitter home.

Dear Cinemas, if you say start at 8.45 then bloody start at 8.45, I'd done my crisps and drink before the opening credits and knew I was not going to see the ending! 

On this occasion however I didn't need to see the ending of the movie for it to have a seriously impact on me! 

Within 15 minutes of watching I felt ashamed to have white skin, I felt ashamed of the behaviour of previous generations of white skinned humans and I felt utterly embarrassed being surrounded by fellow cinema goers who had no doubt at some point in thier lives experienced racial hatred or ridicule, violence or bullying, name calling or segregation and all as a direct result of the colour of thier skin. Not for one second watching the scenes unfold in front of my eyes did I feel comfortable or even happy - it was, for me, beyond awkward! 

Thanks to technology and "Blogging" I get to talk, I know not to very many people but today I would like to use this very small voice I have to say sorry! 

I want to say to any person reading this who's skin is a different colour to mine how very very sorry I am that you, your parents, your grandparents and your previous generations had to endure such hatred, such pain, such evil, such ridicule, such humiliation and such dam right vile racism at the hands of sone white skinned human beings. 

It is beyond comprehension and extreamly embarrassing to watch as a human being with white skin, no wonder future generations have been so very angry! No wonder anger and resentment still runs deep, this was happening less than a lifetime ago, horrible! 

Last nights movie explained so much in my head and made so much, so easy to see, thank you to the writers, makers, actors and studios for making me feel so bloody uncomfortable - it was, on this occasion, worth every cringing moment as you opened my eyes and emotions to a far bigger picture of life, you did what movies do so well, you made me think! 

I wrote a tweet earlier in the week saying racism is taught, I also believe it is born out of the emotion "Fear" Fear of the unknown!  To fear something when we have not encountered the fear itself is to only be fearful of self not others! 

I have a message to those who may have that "Fear" and who still look at humans with different coloured skin as below them, as less than them and as a lower class of the human race; change, open your own eyes, do not follow what you have been taught, make your own decisions, be humble, forgive yourself and make new paths, don't run with the crowd or follow the pack, lead, unite and conquer what is wrong in your heart, because deep down you know it is wrong and then go and watch "The Butler" 

This world is about change and I believe good always conquers evil, The President of the United States of America leads the free world today, only a lifetime ago he wound have had to sit in a segregated area and been spat on, this is why this world can be and will continue to fight and win over those who choose such a blinkered fearful existence. 

Life is for living, let us live....


Friday, 22 November 2013


This morning I renamed my two fish that swim in my hallway "Rebecca" & "Addlington" Roxanne however has called them "Joey" & "Essex" both re-namings are as important as each other! congratulations to ITV who just got a house talking and a mass fish renaming even after a show came off air 20 hours a go! 

Rebecca you are beautiful, interesting, passionate, real, engaging and above all an inspirational human being, you, yes you are who I want my kid aspiring to be, not, and I write this as a parent, celebrities so far removed from reality they are slowly but surely disappearing up thier own arse! 

Last nights show did way more than make me laugh at Joey, the camp mates and of course the comedy legends Ant and Dec - I have to congratulate the producers on making me and hopefully many more people stop and think about the reality of what's happening around us and what our kids are looking up to and aspiring to be and become!

I honestly believe that a huge tide turned last night, one that's been waiting to turn for a long long time! 

Of course we like to laugh at reality shows, I'm as guilty as the next resident of this country at laughing at others stupidity, flamboyance and disrespect for others. of course these many reality shows are entertaining of course they are what fill our family conversations but last nights show filled my house and my head with a far different, far more inspiring and far more thought provoking topic - the topic of what really is beautiful and what are our next generation actually aspiring to be? 

The huge problem with so many reality shows, as I see it, is our young and a whole generation that want to start changing themselves because they feel less than, not good enough and unable to feel part of normal life as a result of watching our new generation of celebrities constantly trying to change the way they look! 
This in itself is a huge topic and not one I'm going to expand on here but it's amazing that a show like "I'm a Celebrity" brought this to the forefront and really got me thinking! 

I've just read Joeys story from his childhood, well done to the journalist that wrote this story, it's heartbreaking, and as a result of hearing about his journey I'll be far more mindful now when I laugh and become annoyed at his antics, really I will! No wonder he can't tie his shoelaces, blow his nose or tell the time - I feel guilty for even laughing now. I want to laugh with Joey but not at him! 

Everyone has a story and thanks to I'm a celebrity" I have been reminded to not just take people on face value, what's the saying? "Never judge a man unless you've walked a mile in his shoes" 

So I say to you, if you think you're a bit over wieght, if your nose isn't perfect, if you are paler than half the population of Essex, if your hair isn't perfect, if your clothes aren't the latest label, if your car isn't top of the range it matters not one little bit as long as your heart is good, your spirit full and your mind focused, because if you have these three things you shine brighter than any cosmetic dental implant and that in my book is a diamond I'd rather stare at and admire. 

Change for you, be who you want to be, don't change to be who you think is great, that's thier stuff not yours! Lead not follow, make new paths not tread old avenues, don't compromise yourself and who you can really be that's about as real as the very spray tan some of us have had in the past! (me included! It's progress not perfection!) 

I am also as guilty as some I mentiion wanting to change, most of it is positive, some however I am sure will see as vanity. Let me explain, I have a bald spot, I've had it since birth, I cover it with a product not because of vanity but because it covers a childhood of bullying and being calked "Baldy" amongst other things! You see when the fake tits appear, when the constant spay tans are promoted, when watches are worn on ankles it may be for a far deeper reason and not just for us to take this piss out of and laugh at, it may also simply be for vanity, who am I to say, shit I've taken the piss a hundred times out of Harry, Amy and others - guilty as charged, but life is always about change! 

I love we have stars, I love eccentricity, I love the bizarre but I love more that a beautiful woman with a beautiful nose and a huge heart and who went through years of pain, self sacrifice and hours and hours of training to swim one race to win one medal taught us all a lesson last night and made me think, contemplate and re name the fish! 


Saturday, 16 November 2013

A List.....

I got burgled this week and found myself looking at what had been taken. 

Something hit me yesterday as my wife and I sat making a "list" of items lost to someone obviously in a desperate place to enter the private property of another and steal. We, like most of us in the Western world have so much "Stuff" we couldn't possibly list or remember everything that had gone, this in itself was a personal wake up call for me. 

We listed what we knew for sure had gone and the rest, well, the burglar obviously needed it more than us - this however was a huge "Light bulb" moment for me personally and a another lifetime wake up call! 

Stuff is fine, I've worked hard for it and like most parents and spouses I try to give my daughter and wife an amazing life, I also like nice things and dream of better and bigger, that's not a crime, to strive in a healthy way is, in my book, a healthy energy, to work hard for a better life for me and my family is a good thing and I won't feel guilty about it.  The question is how much "Stuff" in our life do we take for granted, how much do we just take as a "Given" and more the point how much "Stuff" do we not pay any attention too or even remember we have?

I came to a huge realisation this week, I've spent way too long not appreciating what I have and have spent way too much of my energy focusing on what I want! I have for way too long focused on everything not in my "Now" 

I've been guilty of running through life without ever stoping and taking in how truly blessed I am but more importantly how special the little things in life are! 

This is why I had a this realization; 

At the same time as we struggled to list our "Stuff" families in the Philippines only wanted to once again hold thier families one more time, to turn back a clock to have just one second with thier children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers and communities. My "List" seemed pathetic and as I struggled to come to terms with the workings of my new computer while parents with bleeding hands dug deep in ruble looking in desperation for their children that only days a go they watched laughing and playing in the streets and roads now gone for many a year to come! 

Let's is all stop, even just for an hour and make "A list" of all we have, start with things that are free, health, family, friends, love, laughter then move on to what's around us and how easily a simple glass of water is to get,  a soft pillow, a TV to shout at, a door to lock, a wallet to hold money, a tree to buy at the festive season and electricity to light it! This list will grow and grow and it truly is a humbling expeiance! 

Stop, take a breath and look at how blessed we are in the western world at what we have when others, a mere non stop flight away, just want a cup of water and one last hug from a family member they will probably never find. 

You don't have to donate or give but you can stop, for just a moment, and appreciate your life (As I have) and take just a small moment thinking of others and appreciating the very spot you sit or stand in when reading this, no doubt on a tablet, an i-pad, a computer or an expensive phone. 

They took stuff from my home but they did not take my loved ones nor my spirit, laughter or soul - I'm truly lucky and very thankful for that blessing. 

In line with the gesture from Simon to donate money from songs downloaded on tonight's X Factor I shall donate my fee to the same cause, why? Because today I am blessed enough, alive enough that I can! 

I do not write this to ask you to give to any charity, that's your choice, but to simply stop and make a mental list of what beauty lies around us. 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


I am guilty as charged for referring to myself as "Just the warm up bloke" way too many times to mention, indeed if I am honest, in some peoples eyes or on some of the shows I have worked on  this is true, I am not so lost in show business to think that my small role is any more important than anyone else's! 

Today I realize that this is not and will never again be the case! Why? Because I am proud of what I do, I give every effort I can when doing it and over the past seven days I think I may have proved, not only to myself but others, (I hope) I am far from "Just" anything! 

I am alive, on top of my game and embracing life on life's terms and trying, wherever possible, to change everything in my life to a positive energy, to give not take, to shine bright and to tread new paths not follow a crowd because I'm scared of choice and change!

This last week has seen me work with some of the biggest stars, not just in this country but in the world, I held together audiences so that the biggest names in TV, radio and music could ply thier trade. Is this a big headed statement? No! It's a statement of pride! 

I write this however not for me to brag about my blessed life but for you, it a small message to the double figured number of you that may or may not read this. 

Don't ever let anybody tell you you are a "Just" , not now not ever! 

You are as important as the next person you stand with, walk with and embrace, YOU are an integral part of life, anyone who questions that needs to remove thier head from the very place they referred to you as "Just!" 

A job title is unimportant, it's just a title! What you are as a human, what you put into this world and what you are prepared to give back to life is important. 

This week I warmed up BBC's Children In Need, The X Factor, worked in a big blue tent for O2, and shook hands with Cliff Richard on Loose Women, I also stood next to and called out the names of some of the biggest stars in music, radio and TV, today however it wasn't just me that stood in the wings and watched Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams sing with the icon Barry Manilow, it wasn't just me that met Cliff, got a picture with Lady GaGa, chatted to Kermit, Gonzo and Miss Piggy or met a man on his stag weekend with only his sister (Don't ask!) no, It was a collection of very very important people,  

Jay my lovely dry cleaner and his charming wife prepared the suit that I stood proud in, the lovely man at my local supermarket who collects the trollies gave me my wobbly trolley to fill with things to make my teeth shine and my belly full, the cobler who gave me comfy shoes to walk in, the brilliant outspoken inspirational father of many who drove me in his car so that I arrived on time, the team who made the dinner at The Apoloo so that I worked with energy, the lady who collected the used dinner plates so that we could eat again today, the person who laminated my pass so that I could get in and out of the building, the man that made the nail so that I could hang said pass with pride in my house, the person who swept my street so that my shoes stayed clean, the guys that stood in the pissing rain in Twickenham to fix a generator so my microphone would work, the lady who cleaned my dressing room so that it was a nice place to walk into, the guy who who stood out all night in the freezing cold to gaurd the building I will work in tonight, the list goes on and on, but it may, if we stop and think for just a minute make all of us realise none of us are a "Just" we are all so much more! 

If we take pride in our work, if we do it selflessly, if we could only, just for a fleeting moment, realise how important we are to life, then this world will be a better place. 

It's not wrong to dream, to hope, to have aspirations, it's not wrong to want better things for ourselves and our families but it is wrong to do it at the expense of others and even worse when we do reach our goals and dreams to forget who helped us along our way and no, not just the boss; the cobbler, the baker and the candlestick maker! 

If you question other people. If you look down on other people, if you choose to point the finger at others for mistakes you have made yourself, if you choose to judge by a look, a smell, a traditional dress, a sexual orientation, a hair cut, a car, a house, a pair of jeans or a job you could never see yourself doing, then you (And I, in the past, am as guilty as the next person) have an opotunity to change, not just us but the way of our  world! 

Let's all stop in our day and take a moment to talk to someone, to smile, to say thank you, to ask how they are. Stop and give someone a moment of your time, give encouragement, give advice, give of yourself freely, why? Because you can! 

In a world where everything cost something, this is utterly free and the best bit of it all is - you will learn something new about a fellow human, what a joy! 

You might just inspire someone to do the same and thus the ball will start to role...

Have I perfected this, not in a million years, but I'm trying and that's all that's important or indeed matters, nobody is perfect! 

Thank for not being "Just" a reader of this little blog, for by reading it, you just did a very kind thing for another, namely me!