Saturday the 11th of February 2012
Botley Market Hall
We have been ruminating on the life of celebrities this week, reading about the downfalls of a life in showbiz - the stresses of touring, living in the public eye and generally dealing with the hazards of fame. To be honest, we don't know what all the fuss is about….
We prepared for Week 2 of our three month worldwide (almost) tour, heading off in the tour bus (fiat van) to the South Coast and Hampshire; not so much sun, sea and sandwiches as traffic, tribulations and technical problems.
On Saturday we had to travel all the way to Botley, a gruelling journey of at least 15 miles from Hanger Farm Arts Centre.
The weather was beautiful; we visited the coast for inspiration and a jacket potato, managed to successfully avoid the papparazi and arrived at the very grand and auspicious looking Botley Market Hall, resplendent behind a faux classical portico.
No facade in the welcome we received however; you can really judge your level of fame by the reception you get and in Botley Market Hall - or as we like to think of it, Botleigh Manor Hall - we were clearly top of the tree.
I mean, does Tony Bennett get Fish and Chips, Louise's Apple Pie and all the tea and coffee he can drink? I don't think so!
To be honest - and I don't think we're boasting here, it's just a fact - as we walked in the hall, you were instantly aware of the whole room lighting up. Was it mere coincidence that they were testing their new LED stage set? I don't know!
A few more technical problems, but nothing was going to stop us from entertaining our adoring fans. Comments on the evening included,"It was fantastic"
There was something for everyone - warmth, sweetness, lightness, sauce, nourishment, spice - and then we had a show after the fish and chips and apple pie."
The hall was full of Botley's finest - plus a couple from Hedge End, but then you can't have everything.
The audience were soon rapt - just like their chips - and we left them shouting for more - at least, it sounded like more - sometimes those first consonants are hard to make out! I think they enjoyed the Opera Dudes variety of singing, dancing (yes dancing!) and comedy.
All that was left was to sign the odd autograph - well invoice actually - and retire to our delightful celebrity accommodation care of Derek and Louise, complete with ensuite chicken coop and complementary skiffle boards.
So we return to Nottingham with all the luxury and extravagance that the combined efforts of Fiat's upholsterers and Welcome Break's tireless staff can afford, happy in the knowledge that Simon Cowell and all his wing-footed minions can rest easy, knowing that showbiz is in good hands. Strangely, most of the traffic seems to be going in the opposite direction - maybe the press got the dates wrong and the Doodlies think we're performing tonight?!