Jane Reynolds' Weekly Magazine/Blog – 18th Sept 2011

Daz TV Choice Awards 2011 - Jane Reynolds - reporting from the EventThis week’s been rather different to usual. Getting out of my normal environment’s made a welcome change, and you couldn’t get more different than being at London’s Savoy Hotel for the TV Choice Awards, could you?

When I got on the train up to Paddington I went to my reserved seat (in an almost empty carriage), to find a man and woman sat in the next seats, who then proceeded to try and out-do each other with tales of what geniuses each of their respective young children were (yawn).  When I pulled the little shelf down to put my water on it, it was all covered in sticky dried-on coffee.  Hmm.

TV Quick Soap Awards - Jane Reynolds' weekly blog

Jane, Olivia & Jade

Just outside London, I got a text message telling me that my car was at the Station ready to take me to the Restaurant we were meeting at, and had a nice chat to the driver as weaved our way through streets I hadn’t been on for five years+ as we headed to Covent Garden, where I met up with my companions for the evening; Jade Foote – the winner of the Soap Blogger of the Year 2011 (I was 3rd), and Olivia Gerrie from the Agency representing Daz/the Awards.

Savoy Hotel - TV Quick Awards 2011We had a leisurely meal, a glass of wine and a good chat, then walked the short distance down to the Savoy in the pleasant late-afternoon sunshine. As we rounded the corner we saw the barriers with the fans all stood behind, but Olivia headed straight up to the door and we were immediately ushered in and downstairs to an enormous room where the interviews would be taking place.

The first person I saw was Alison Hammond (from ITV’s This Morning), who was the main TV interviewer for the evening, and there were lots of TV cameras and reporters all just stood around waiting for the action to begin. Emmerdale’s Kelly Windsor was the first to arrive, and that was when it started feeling all very surreal.

It’s funny seeing the people you usually see on TV standing right there in front of you, and the thing that really struck me was how (for the most part), they all looked much softer in ‘real life’ than they did on-screen.  Some of them spoke differently to their Soap characters too, and it was nice to be able to get to have a word with them all as they came over to our little bit of carpet.

The Winners' List

The celebrities did a circle round the room, stopping at each group of reporters (we were in the ‘online reporters’ bit), having a chat, and letting us take photos before moving on to the next group and finally disappearing back upstairs to go into the Event itself (no Press were present at the Awards Ceremony).

What DID feel exciting, was having been given a list of the Winners when we got there, and knowing that as I listened to them saying that they’d been happy to be nominated etc, the person I was talking to WAS actually the winner – or not!

I’ve put an extra little section at the end of each of this week’s ‘Soap-y Corners’ with more information/photos of each Soap’s characters, and there might be some more photos for you next week that Jade might be emailing to me, but her Internet connection’s broken, so she hasn’t been able to send them for today unfortunately.

Olivia did a sterling job taking photos for me/of me with a few folk, and she was an excellent host/companion in every way that night: funny, professional and keen to ensure that Jade and I got the most out of the evening.  There was one person in particular who I really wanted to meet though, and when she appeared I suddenly felt myself go red and felt giddy as a kipper!

Sharon Marshall & Jane Reynolds - TV Choice Soap Awards 2011

Me with Sharon Marshall

I’ve never been the sort to get ‘star-stuck’.  I could count on the fingers of one hand the people I can honestly say I’d be really, really overwhelmed to meet, but one of them is This Morning’s Soap presenter Sharon Marshall.

You’ll know that my passion is for witty one-liners/comedy, and Sharon (along with the Daily Mail’s Jaci Stephen), is one of my two ‘Soap-y’ heroines.  I watch/read them both religiously, and laugh out loud at their humour.

Sharon is so quick-witted and funny, and it absolutely made my night to actually be able to talk to her – for what seemed like only two seconds (it probably was only two seconds)!

Just kidding.  We had a little chat (well, I basically just told her how great I thought she was), and then had my photo taken with her.

Ooh, I’m that excited I’m even going to print it off and put it up in my office this week, which is really something for me as I’m not big on photos (especially ones with me in them!).

People have often said that I look a bit like Pauline Quirke, so it was great to get a photo with my ‘sister’ too!  What do you think?

Me with Pauline Quirke

There were people there who I recognised but couldn’t put a name to, and others who I hadn’t got a clue about!  Some of the women were wearing dresses/shoes that defied gravity (as did their cleavage), and there was a lot of colour in the room (unless the all-over tans were real), but behind the designer dresses and suits they’re still ‘real’ people, and as I took a moment to just stand and take a good look around the room at the height of the ‘action’, it was interesting to glimpse the tiny flicker of vulnerability behind some of their smiles as they hovered waiting for the reporters to talk to them.

No matter how rich or famous you are, there’s still times when you must feel like that little person on your first day at school (desperate to be liked), and I imagine it must be quite nerve-racking for Celebrities in any walk of life to have to stand there at Events like this, just ‘waiting’ to be picked

Towards the end, there was a lot of activity as Ant and Dec and some people from The Only Way is Essex showed up.  I didn’t know who they were, but theirs were the brightest dresses and most made-up faces of the night. God knows how long it must take to get that amount of slap on.  I’m no expert, but – to me – the women who looked best on the night were the ones whose make-up didn’t look as if it had been baked-on!

Once the final call for Dinner had been made and they disappeared upstairs, it was suddenly all quiet, so we got a couple of photos taken and then finally walked out into the street again. The folk stood behind the barriers looked up expectantly, then just looked as Olivia liased with our drivers on her phone.

It turned out that they were waiting for us round at the front, so we went back in and walked right through the Hotel which – after its £100 million restoration – was spectacular.

We said our goodbyes and I was driven back to Paddington.  The train going back had screens in the headrests where you could read news etc, and lots of people were doing that, but mine didn’t work …

The next morning, I was doing a spot on a local radio show.  The other guests that morning were the founder of the Butlers in the Buff (Tulisa had one in last week’s X Factor), and one of their young men, Lance. He was absolutely gorgeous – so sweet, polite, well-spoken and very handsome, but I was more worried that he’d be cold.  Rock and roll!

When I got back to my office on Wednesday afternoon – after 24 hours of ‘living’ – I felt like Cinderella after the ball!  The one thing it did make me realise though was that I love writing/broadcasting, and that even though I’m still not earning any money from it, it’s what I want to do and that I’ll hopefully be able to make a living from it one day.

Next week’s blog will be back to normal, but with the exciting prospect of photos in the ‘Soap-y Corners’ which I’ve taken on my iPhone and been able to upload myself (something I’ve not been able to do for months due to some sort of technical glitch).  That’ll be exciting – for me anyway!

You can catch my Soap-y Slot (Nick’s name, not mine!), at 4.15 this Friday on Nick and Barry’s Big Weekender show on Swindon 105.5 FM (and online).

There’s more gossip/photos on this week’s individual ‘Soap-y Corners’ if you’re interested.  Ooh, I nearly forgot: I shook hands with Anne Widdecombe on Tuesday night too.  I was wondering why she was there – until I remembered she’d done that dancing thing!

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