A quick video blog from last night to summarise this week and to talk about the Teenstar competition I judged at The O2 Arena. Sorry about me not being very cool…
It’s been over three months since my last update. Blimey, never meant to leave it so long; I don’t even know where to begin now.
I guess I will start by saying that one of my closest friends passed away in the past month at the age of 22 and I guess that along with my own ongoing health issues has kind of put a lot into perspective for me and I took a few weeks away from London, taking some time away from the crazy showbiz circus.
I’m back on my feet now and making an effort to carry on with work. I’ve just about started to get inspired again and there’s a few projects I want to get off the ground before the end of 2013. Since my last blog i’ve interviewed the likes of Jennifer Aniston, JLS, Amanda Holden, Catherine Tate and David Tennant.
I went on a press trip to Orlando Universal to write about their incredible Halloween Horror Nights for the Daily Mail travel section. It was the most terrifying experience of my life but I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun with a fantastic group of journalists. Though I think the scariest moment might have been when I was forced on stage to do karaoke in front of a crowd of 500! If you’re wondering, I performed ‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner and yes, there is a video somewhere. eek!
I saw my childhood heroes Mutya Keisha Siobhan (original Sugababes) perform live and caught up with Mutya after the show and I also turned the old age of 21 years old back in July. Though one of the biggest highlights would be taking part in reharsals of a new CITV show called The Munchbox where I got to practice some of the games and even took part in a cooking challenge – to everyone’s surprise, I WON!
In my last blog I told you how a talented young guy called Luke Friend won the Teenstar competition which I judged the finals of at The O2 Arena and i’m thrilled to say he is currently in The X Factor live finals.
My own health issues remain ongoing and things just seem to be getting worse. I’m having blood tests twice a week and i’m on medication that stops my immune system though i’m having more scans and tests in just a few days. I dread to think how many hours i’ve spent of 2013 in hospitals.
To end this LONG blog post (sorry!) I will say that i’m thinking of changing the website somehow. It feels terribly arrogant to think I warrant a website as such but I do think it’s important I have a blog or online ‘base’ I guess. The past few months have just made me think differently about a lot of things, especially my career. I want some sort of direction; I love what I do and all the opportunities I have but the issue is I don’t really know what it is that I do which is an odd feeling.
Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of being a judge at the Teenstar UK competition at The O2 in London. I’ve done some of the regional auditions before but it was an honour to be asked to judge at the nationwide grand final. But what made the day even more fantastic was that the overall winner was an incredibly talented lad called Luke Friend who I have championed since the very beginning in my first round of auditions as a judge. Just call me Sharon Osbourne already.
I also got invited to the Henley Royal Regatta as a guest of Mahiki last week. I had a blast though i’m not entirely part of the champagne and diamond watch gang just yet. Was good to see the lads from Lawson and some of the Made in Chelsea cast.
It’s been a hectic time for films, I went to a media screening of The Lone Ranger last night and it was nothing like I was expecting, I thought it would be a lot like Pirates of the Caribbean but turned out to be an action packed romp of a western! I worked the red carpet of the Pacific Rim premiere last week, it was awesome to catch up with Rob Kazinsky who you will recognise from Eastenders and True Blood, we spoke about everything from nude scenes to making it big in Hollywood.
This weekend I will be doing interviews at Wireless Festival in Olympic Park. The line up looks incredible, I cannot wait to see Justin Timberlake live again, he is my idol. I will try to track him down for a quick chat and let you know how that goes!
I’m also loving the response i’ve had from my psoriasis blog, it’s got so many hits all around the world and it’s great to receive advice from fellow sufferers as well as messages from people who have found my advice useful. Be sure to follow that blog and have a click around at http://www.psoriasislife.wordpress.com
ALSO.. Going to start doing a lot more on my Youtube channel hopefully, just something I want to try so will post videos on here once they’re ready…
Until next time… J x
A quick video blog from last night to summarise this week and to talk about the Teenstar competition I judged at The O2 Arena. Sorry about me not being very cool…
As i’ve briefly mentioned on this blog before, I’ve been struggling with a condition called psoriasis since January 2013. I remember when I was first told of the condition by the doctor, I googled it walking home and realised almost everything about it online was impersonal, cold and complicated.
It’s with that in mind that I decided to start up another blog http://www.psoriasislife.wordpress.com and it will discuss tips, advice and my own story with the condition. Basically i’m saying to other young people who suddenly find they have the condition ‘Hey, i’m not a doctor, i’m just a typical young person and here’s some tricks that have worked or not worked for me, give it a go’….
Hopefully it will work, hopefully it will enable me to write more about it and most importantly, hopefully it will help some others who are in a similar situation.
Please read the blog at http://www.psoriasislife.wordpress.com
My last blog post was on 7th May and it’s been non-stop ever since then.
That weekend I did interview on the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet. Got some great chats with the likes of Mary Berry, Sarah Millican, Louise Redknapp and the cast of Made in Chelsea and Downton Abbey.
The following week I attended the Waitrose Summer Party at the Natural History Museum which featured an incredible performance from Paloma Faith, her talent and pesonality never ceases to amaze me. Pippa Middleton was also at the party, we had a quick chat but i’m not holding out hope for a royal invite to dinner anytime soon.
I also attended the UK Fragrance Awards where I caught up with Stooshe, Spencer Matthews and the Strictly Come Dancing professionals. Later that week I got a last minute call to make a mad dash up to Pinewood studios in North London, home of The Voice UK to interview Will.I.Am and Tom Jones. Both were fantastic fun and I’ve never met anyone with such an obsessions for technology and spaceships as WIll.
I also got an invite in early June to attend a Lord of the Rings movie marathon in a Leicester Square cinema. It was such an endurance test to stay awake from 9pm-9am but I had a blast and I certainly won’t be forgetting that night anytime soon. (just don’t make me watch any of those films again for a year). After i’d caught up on my sleep, I was straight back in Leicester Square to catch an early screening of Monsters University, a hilarious prequel to Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.
Then it was off to Wembley Stadium to interview the performers at the Capital FM Summertime Ball. Those who swung by the press room included Taylor Swift, The Wanted, The Saturdays, Rizzle Kicks and Labrinth.
I’ve also been doing some work for Heat magazine recently which has been absolutely fantastic, i’ve grown up loving the publication so am thrilled! I attended the Man of Steel premiere to ask Superman aka Henry Cavill if he needed any socks to fill out that bulge! (Cheeky!) see his less than impressed face here. Despite the thundering rain, I also managed to interview Amy Adams, JLS, David Haye and film producer Zack Snyder.
Heat also sent me to interview Katie Price at the press call for her 49th book recently. it was my first time interviewing Katie but she was such a gossip!
Lastly, my battle with psoriasis is ongoing and getting tougher with each week. I’ve decided to turn my tumblr blog into a diary documenting the struggles of psoriasis and it’s a place where I will dish out any advice that works for me that hopefully will be a help to some other people.
Until next time, J x
April began with numerous meetings about TV productions I’m working on which include some documentaries and a factual entertainment series. Hopefully I will have more news to share on this soon but first I need to speak to more commissioning agents at different channels, so if any happen to be reading this – then please do email me! You may have seen my previous post where I uploaded a video of me on the news! Click here to see that video. I’m very proud although not sure if I was ready for the world to know I’m a massive Latoya Jackson fan! (I prefer Janet, ok?!)
I have also returned to judging the ‘Teenstar’ competition, which gives young talent the opportunity to perform at The O2 in London and is ran by the same people as the legendary Live and Unsigned competition. This is so much fun and I love mentoring people whether it’s in journalism, music or something I’m new to myself.
After health problems earlier in the year it has been good to get back into the journalism side of life. I’ve been attending parties again and interviewing the rich and famous.
I had a fantastic interview in early April with film director, Danny Boyle, the creative director of the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony which stands as one of the most iconic events of my lifetime. The interview was for The Sun newspaper and we spoke all about hypnotizing David Bowie, the Queen’s acting skills and keeping her majesty’s involvement a secret from the media.
I’ve also been attending a few brilliant fundraising events recently. James Ingham raised an incredible amount of money at his Jog On To Cancer event for Cancer Research UK. Melanie C and Beverley Knight performed at the event whilst Alesha Dixon and Union J were also in attendance. James has raised over £27,000 for the incredible cause with the event as well as running the London Marathon. Bravo James!
At the end of the month I was invited to an actual wedding with a zombie theme to celebrate the release of new XBOX game, Dead Island: Riptide. I tried playing the game but was awful, my video game abilities stop at Pacman but the game came highly recommended. The wedding had entertainment from the Mexican band featured in the Doritos advert and a show-stopping performance of the ‘Thriller’ routine from the bride and groom. It was so much fun and was certainly a party nobody will forget in this life or the next.
I also attended the Teenage Cancer Trust party where I caught up with Blue! They cleared up all rumours of a rivalry between any of the acts on The Big Reunion tour. But that’s not what the Honeyz girls told me earlier this month. I also spoke to Lindsay from B*Witched who filled me on the groups future plans.
At the end of April I went to The O2 Arena to see P!nk in concert. It was the fifth time I’ve seen P!nk perform and she just keeps getting better and better. Her superhuman stunts had me amazed. Whilst i’m talking of superheroes, the brilliant folks at Disney and Marvel invited me to an early screening of Iron Man 3 last month; it’s out now so if you haven’t seen it yet, make plans to do so. It’s brilliant, I just wish I could see Thor 2, Captain America 2 and Avengers 2 and 3 already!
Over on my Tumblr account I am taking part in the ‘Blog Every Day of May’ blogging challenge. There’s a task for each day so head over and subscribe to see them all, I’m going to try and be quite honest with it. Click here to read my 5 tips on working in journalism.
As I write this blog, I am recovering in Southampton after even more surgery and as soon as I return to London I have more hospital appointments to look forward to. (slight sarcasm intended). But I do have plenty of other things to actually be excited about, I can’t wait to check out some upcoming films like Monsters University and Star Trek: Into Darkness as well as the Sony Radio Awards and the BAFTA TV awards!
If you’ve made it to the end of this blog then I applaud you, until next time. J x
I got an email earlier this week asking if I could appear on Arise News, a new global news channel which is broadcast around the world in more countries than I can even name. Because of my job as an entertainment journalist, I was asked to discuss the Michael Jackson court case in which his family are accusing concert promoters, AEG, over the singer’s death.
This topic is very complicated. Yes I do believe that the Jackson family have some very valid points in their favour ; surely a man known for health issues who even has a personal doctor living in his house, isn’t going to be healthy enough for such an extensive tour. A tour of such scale would have been gruelling for even the healthiest popstar, half of Michael’s age.
On the flipside to that, there is controversy that the children, who Michael always tried to protect from the media, are now being dragged through such a high profile court case.
A jury is being assembled at the moment and the trial is expected to last 2-3 months, but as I explained in the video above, I believe it will be settled out of court and much nearer to the end of 2013.
On Thursday night I took part in a 24 hour radio show to raise money for Comic Relief.
It was the wonderful guys at Quest Radio who organised it and they raised a staggering amount, over £2000!!!
The show was so much fun; the guys quizzed me on all things showbiz, there were Red Nose style space hopper races and a gym instructor who came and put us through our paces at 8am after being awake for what felt like days! A rather humiliating video of the workout can be viewed here but be warned, I had three stitches and hadn’t slept in about 40 hours so don’t judge
As you can imagine, I slept like a log as soon as I got home.
I try not to be superstitious but just to stay on the safe side I usually steer clear of walking under ladders and I do my best not to break any mirrors, so obviously I had some reservations about the year 2013, you know, what with 13 being the number of the devil.
Rather unfortunately for me, the year hasn’t gone quite as I had have hoped so far.
I spent much of January in Southampton where I had surgery to block off some veins with titanium to prevent excessive blood flow. Glad to say that all went well.
What followed was perhaps, worse. I developed a case of Guttate Psoriasis (which affects the skin) following the surgery and it’s a condition which could last forever. Some days it’s unbearable, other days you hardly even notice it. Initially I had to take a few weeks out to try and treat the condition as best as I could which involved so many trips to hospitals, it took almost a month for doctors to diagnose the condition, before long I got bored of moping around and just had to get back to London.
Anyway, as soon as I could I got back to work. I attended the premiere of Oz: The Great and Powerful where I interviewed the cast and crew before watching the film, click here to read my review. I’ve also been busy reviewing Wreck-It Ralph, Red Dawn, The Croods and a Paloma Faith concert.
I’ve also been dipping my feet into talent judging recently with the Teenstar competition, ran by the people behind Live and Unsigned. I’m looking forward to judging the live regional finals in April in front of an audience. It’s been so much fun and hopefully more opportunities will come from it.
I also got a little political around the time of the by-election which was taking place in my hometown of Eastleigh. You can read the blog I posted on here at the time for the full story but I was touched that so many people supported me and yes, I was happy with the result of the election.
The forthcoming weeks and months include more surgery as well as the beginnings of new ventures. I’m hoping to get a lot more travel journalism under my belt in the near future, with some trips in development already.
2013 got off to a rocky start to say the least but one good thing to have come of it already was working with London’s top photographer, Darren Bell on one cold January afternoon.
I’ve got lots of exciting projects in the pipeline so hopefully you will be seeing this photo and many more from this shoot all over the show soon.
Whether you’re in the arts/media industries or not, Darren is your man to call. Take a second to check out his website and see his talent! www.darrenbellphotography.com or follow him on Twitter @darren_bell