Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This Morning

It was all just a blur really. Did the marathon, came home, fed the animals, ate and then went to bed then got up again at 4:30am! Tried to make myself look presentable, remembered to take my medal and my completed scarf, then it was off to London again for the This Morning programme on ITV. This time I was collected by a car with blacked out windows! I didn't realise they were blacked out until Mike told me later that he couldn't see me once I'd got inside so he just waved at the car as I left.

The driver was lovely. He and his wife had moved to London from Serbia 12 years ago and he loved the area we live in 'cos he came from a farming community. We chatted all the way there (he's had lots of famous people in his car as most of his work is ferrying people to and from the TV studios) and made really good time until the inevitable delays started. There was no warning on the radio but the traffic was at a standstill. I didn't worry at first as we only had 6 miles to go and it was still only 7:30am and I wasn't expected until 9am. At 8am when we had only moved 1/2 a mile I did get a little restless and the driver started playing with his sat nav to find alternate routes. Each road we tried was as bad. Finally he doubled back and went a totally different way thus avoiding the problems and we arrived at the studios just 5 minutes after 9am so no worries really.

He was very sweet and showed me where to go to gain entry then I was on my own.

The entrance to Studio 8 was not at all glamorous and looked just like the loading bay at a department store with all sorts of junk piled up with a little cubicle for the Security guard to sit in. Whilst I was waiting outside for an escort to take me to the studio I noticed a small group of people by the entrance. I thought they were just smokers, banished to the outside for a quick fag until I saw them pounce on someone heading our way - they were autograph hunters and they busily thrust their books and pens at a cheerful Brian Blessed who chatted with them and then came to wait with me. He teased the security guard, who obviously had no idea who he was, by giving him several false but famous names before finally helping him out and telling him who he really was!

No sooner had I gone inside than I was ushered outside to some makeshift tents set up alongside the river Thames. As usual for this week of media attention, the Masai Warriors were present, all wrapped up in their blankets against the bitter wind.

There has been much interest in their shoes, which are made of car tyres so I couldn't resist a close-up of them!

In the far tent there were 3 massage tables and Michelle (the stilt walker) and I were asked to sit on them so that it looked as if we were getting a massage whilst Philip Schofield interviewed us. I had been asked all sorts of questions about the Alzheimer's Research Trust and why I run marathons etc so I was quite disappointed that it turned out to be mainly a PR exercise for the London marathon and Guinness World Records. I suppose I shouldn't grumble really as it gave the Alzheimer's Research Trust a bit more publicity and exposure on national TV can only be a good thing. Philip Schofield was very sweet and I did manage to mention that I intend to auction the scarf for the charity and the camera zoomed in on their logo so that was useful publicity. We were presented with our Guinness World Record certificates by Craig Glenday, the Editor of the GWR book. It was a temporary certificate with just the record that was set but without my name on. The official one will be sent to me later (as soon as we got home MIke put it up on my office wall for me, next to my previous one).

Here I am with Philip Schofield. He was very charming and happily posed for photos with everyone.

The poor massage girls had been standing outside in the cold wind for 2.5 hours and they didn't even get to do a proper massage on any of us! We'd all been told we were going to get a massage as a special treat and I was really looking forward to it but it seems as if they were just part of an elaborate 'set' that was staged for the occasion. Never mind, whilst we were waiting to go on air, one of the ladies very kindly got stuck into my neck and shoulders which were very stiff and sore and she really loosened them up for me.

I was given this little bag with some goodies from the Body Shop, all for soothing feet and legs. Very nice too! I did notice on the label though that it says 'Press Use only, not for resale' so again, it's all about PR and marketing. I suppose I can't complain too much as that is exactly what I was doing!!!

The other people being interviewed were 'Blind Dave' (as he likes to be known) and his running companion who have just completed 7 marathons in 7 days on different continents (he has a lovely guide dog!), Buster (the elderly man mentioned previously), the Masai warriors, Michelle (the stilt walker - she did really well and got round in 8:32 or thereabouts) and the 24 (or was it 25) members of the Metropolitan Police who ran the marathon chained together - an amazing achievement as they had a real mix of abilities.

Once the interviews were over some people headed off but others had to wait for a taxi home so we adjourned to the Green Room. It always sounds rather glamorous when you hear about it but in reality it's just a plain old rest room, full of junk with tea and coffee making facilities. There were some scrummy chocolate brownies on the table that had been made on the show earlier so we all dived into them! This is Brian Blessed with Craig Glenday and one of the Policemen in the background.

And here I am with Brian. He is a really big character and great fun to chat with. I love larger than life characters like him. Doesn't his beard match my hair colour well?

Finally, I couldn't resist standing in front of the 'Hall of Fame' montage with photos of all the TV stars. I think I'm a bit long in the tooth to get my photo up there though!!!


Nezumi said...

Congratulations on the new world record and the great publicity for Alzheimer's (my mom has early onset Alzheimer's so its a cause close to my heart also)
Plus a congratulations for getting up to do the "this morning" interview the next day after all that running and knitting, hope you give your feet and hands a rest for the next few days :)

Shan said...

Oh my gosh YOU MET BRIAN BLESSED!! IT'S BLACKADDER'S UNCLE! "Who will rid me of this pestilent priest?!"

It's my first visit to your blog - not sure how I came to be here but I'm so touched by your mum's story. I'm so sorry that happened to her - I will go investigate the Alzheimers' Research Trust.