Tuesday, December 18, 2007

ICE TIMES

Brighton 30th January 2008 first of my shows. Worked from lunchtime to 9 am with the producers Giles and Ben yesterday we moved things along apace.

Ice Times will have me skating and story telling with some surprises as well there's loads to do o develop the storyline with efects to give it theatrical depth. I love the challenge of that and it will keep me occupied over CHristmas.

Now I need a skating partner.... anyone out there?

Ireland for Late Late how was very good I sat next to George Hook who has a radio programme The Right Hook and commentates on rugby, lovely man we had great banter. The skaters were all quite nervous Royston skated ok but could have done a little better, Glenda had some moments where she forgot her routine and Celia had had some big falls that had taken the wind out of her sails. She did however courageously do what she set out to do with grace and flair looking lovely out there. Finally John was so funny, he managed to skate without his zimmer frame - for a little while but his overall creative presentation whilst lacking in technical ability was great entertainmenet so I had him first.

Celia won the public vote and was a well deserved winner - well done to her and everyone.

And thanks to Caroline Moody for coming up with the idea and making it happen with 7UP and RTE. A win all round.

Love

N

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Jumping off a bridge in Dublin

Well last week was SENSE event in London helping people skate around the Broadgate Rink for charity.

This week I found myself in Dublin to help celebs who are to skate a solo routine next week live on air for charity. So on the Late Late show and doing the Michael Parkinson interview thing with Pat Kenny. Great fun…. There again next Friday to help the celebs and judge what they come up with.

I so admire each of them doing it – and I love the pace they were improving – Royston is doing Frank Sinatra and I choreographed him a little number – it will be fab. Celia was a top model and now has a model agency – she’s going to use some of that catwalk savvy in the routine, she has natural grace and was an Irish dance champion – translating some of that flair is her goal. John is a thinker and when I got him to relax and dance a little off ice it was a heart lifting moment. He’s skating with his zimmer frame at the moment – but not by next week. Glenda is young, fearless and through the falls will come up with something with zest and panache. Can’t wait for the show next week.

I had to have a Guinness of course and foud myself in this little pub by my posh hotel – with very thin walls (great to be woken up at 6 am by the TV next door and someone throwing up at 6.30 – charming). Anyway, I was educated by a lovely guy I sat next too about the diference of GB and Irish Guinness. It’s not the Guinness it’s the way it’s delivered and poured apparently. They have separate gas canisters in Ireland? Anyway I think that’s how it was put to me.

Jumping off the bridge was my new friends metaphor for stepping out. Once you’ve jumped you have to sort things out, focuses the mind. I did this by going for my fourth Guinness! Next morning on the ice I wasn’t too hot and four days later I still feel very fat!! It was a great evening though I did learn that ‘weighing achor’ is different to jumping off bridges…

I loved Dublin. “Do you have Christmas?” I asked one of the drivers who feried me around – ahhh yes big time, he told me. I explained how we are having to be more and more politically correct in our fair country in case we upset people who don’t believe in Christmas. “ If They don’t like it they can go home,” was his answer to that. Delivered eloquently in a beautiful soft Irish accent. At the Lord Major of Dublin’s house they have a full size crib with proper animals – it’s outside his house. Cows, sheep, ducks etc – great attraction I’m told.

Met Christopher Biggins at Late Late show – he must think I’m from another planet. I said “So are you doing a show in town?” I did not know he had won Get Me out of Here? Would help if I had a TV of course…


Two babies on the way.

(1) my first son due to say hello Feb 23rd 2008. Christiane is doing great.

Working on names – Plantagent, Erkhart, Horace, Horation Slater – perhaps I have mentioned that already. Well it was a suggestion – “Thanks for calling me Plant dad” I can hear in the future. Perhaps a rethink.

(2) One Man show – plus a skating assistant. First one in Brighton January 30th – too soon! Arrgh… need to find the girl to be my assistant and get the skates sharpened. My producer friends have apparently told the theatres that I will be doing routines in these shows…. Thanks guys. I did say I’d be speaking and skating but no more. So they’ve really dropped me in it. Never mind watching celebrities being challenged it’s my turn! As ever a little spur will help move things along... it always does for me.


Oh yes and singing. I’ve joined a choir – The Brighton Welsh Male Voice Choir and sang with the chaps last week in a concert in Worthing. They are great. We even sang in Welsh – I wasn’t very loud in that one. Great fun, got a red bow tie and now I’m part of the team. Watch out Domingo I’m on my way – moving up from second tenor to tenor to give the high notes a bash tommorow.

Sang in one of our church bands this morning. Didn’t do the Pavoroti thing though. Well, there’s a time and a place.

Off to a well earned bath…

Bye for now.

Nicky

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Honeymoon - THANK YOU

A huge thank you to everyone who gave towards our honeymoon. the pictures are now up at flikr - click the link adjacent to see.

Love

Nicky

Sense and Sensibility...

Jut been asked to do a charity gig in London for Sense at Broadgate Ice rink. It will be fun - here are the details. if you know any city or London firms who would like to participate jump in!

I'll see you there.

Cut and paste address to your browser for details.
_____________________________________

Date Tuesday 27 November 2007
Location Broadgate Ice Rink, near Liverpool Street, London

______________________________________

http://www.senseevents.co.uk/OneStopCMS/Core/SendUsAComment.aspx?guid=%7bB0F518DA-AD24-4848-84D5-42A8BD0CBBD6%7d

About the Ice Skate

This fantastic event is being held at Broadgate Ice Rink, right in the heart of the city. Any company can enter a team; all you need are five people who are willing to skate in three exciting heats.


Heat 1: Speed Skating - an exhilarating dash around the course to see who can skate the most number of laps in 10 minutes.

Heat 2: Speed Skating Agility Course - test your balance! Teams weave precariously in and out of cones whilst trying to complete the most number of laps in 10 minutes.

Heat 3: Agility Course - a really fun heat, where teams transfer all their tennis balls from one bucket to another after weaving in and out of the cones. Any balls dropped mean you go back to the start.

Places are limited for this fantastic event, so to join in the fun. All you need to do is:

Get a team of five together
Pay a £125 registration fee per team
Raise £1500 in sponsorship per team
Turn up at the rink
Get your co-workers to come along and cheer you on!
We need city companies to enter now, so get your skates on for Sense!



Post-event reception

After the grand final, come and celebrate or commiserate at the post event party at Corney & Barrow.

Location Corney & Barrow, Broadgate Circle

Friday, November 9, 2007

Set Up moving ahead well...

How are you doing?


I mean really? I’ve been thinking about that. Part of me is beat up with the, “You haven’t made it yet” story and part of me is excited about “What’s next!”

I had a breakthrough today. Connected up almost all areas of studio I’ve developed over the last year. Great to see it all coming together and the mix of effects I have. Neil at Focusrite thanks for linking me in – customer help as it should be.

As you isolate an area of quiet for recording though you find that some of the equipment makes a noise, like my pesky and beautiful Oasys. So I’ll have to turn it of when recording voice! Hey ho… never mind.

We’re nearly at the stage of starting to record now. Routing microphones and effects and plug ins rule my life at present. Learning to be a recording engineer was not a part of my original plan but its interesting, I might be turning into an anorack!

Went to the National TV Awards last week with the Dancing on Ice team. We nearly won but were pipped by the X Factor. Next year we’ll get them… It was surreal to do the red carpet thing – five years ago I lived around the corner in Earls Court and I watched from the other side of the fence whilst the great and good celebs arrived. Funny to be in there with them.

Partnerships seem to be coming up in business which fits into my plan of not working alone in the medium term and lyrics and songs have been flowing – about Red Carpet people and having a baby – but not at he same time!

That’s it for now.

Au Revoir

Love

N

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A VIEW IS NOT ENOUGH...



Home safe and sound. Been on honeymoon going around the world in 38 days. Twelve different locations, loads of brilliant memories and wonderful friendships rekindled or started.

Thank you to everyone who helped us do this great journey and for the gifts along the way. It was a beautiful time.

US – Chicago / San Diego / Los Angeles
FIJI – Suva / Nadi / Drawaqa
NEW ZEALAND – Rortarua
AUSTRALIA – Yandina / Hervey Bay / Brisbane / Sydney
CHINA! – Hong Kong

I’ll be creating an overall fact sheet to explain the journey, so you can see if you’d like, we only missed out on a Harley ride and somehow there wasn’t ime for me to jump off the Sky – Tower in Auckland this time. Such a shame that…

Funny though for me coming home, after being on the road for that long, a life filled with people and places, working with Christiane to sort, ‘What’s next.’ Only one fall out over the period - we do work well together – I always new we would.

Well, I’ve come back into my beautiful workspace and the environment I’ve built for my office, superb view over the sea, great surroundings, no commuting stress and….

Well I don’t like it. It’s not good being alone (even in a beautiful space), which is how I work a lot of the time. I can and have done this working from home for years, building ventures with partners, working on projects, but I’ve seen I want to have a community to work with now. Strange to me how I was used to how things were. Being away for five weeks is long enough to see other models.

So I’m going to change my model of working so that I have a more social workspace. Don’t know how yet but it’s a goal to be sorted. People make the place for me, that is the main thing I learnt from my travels.

Other than that I come back to address the projects I’m developing. Bit frustrating that some still need time to finish. Prioritising ‘the big rocks’ to be accomplished first. Making some new projects that have great potential move forward too.

But.. some people do one job and get by fine on that, I think I’m giving myself about seven jobs to do at once, creating loads but things take time. Funny that. My Napoleonic tendencies of building an Empire whilst not having the block secured may be kicking in - but watch out when the Empire emerges... in my dreams anyway, and who's to say I'm wrong? The intenet is the key.... I hope! Or maybe I'm delusional, too much coffee can do that to you I've heard.

Books to be completed, shows to be finalised – one show booking in now into theatres in the UK is great, others now in the pipeline to create the ongoing SHOW BUSINESS I have envisaged and been working on, partnerships developing in various areas as I seek to expand the capability of what I'm doing and work with great people. I'm vey lucky that I've found some great people to work with.

MUSIC… I have 200 lyrics and 30 songs. I often forget what I've done (out of sight and out of mind) and then I read my lyrics from the two lyric files I have and think - they're good - I always have a "Did I do that?" crazy moment. Yet which ones to produce and still the 'How to master my Oasys keyboard to produce the sounds I want?" are issues. I’m getting there, its starting to fly but it is a challenge. Sometimes I think its a bit mad to be looking at the format of lots of songs. I see the model is bring one album out, focus on that, sell loads and then bring another out in the next album cycle. I want to make more than nine songs a year. Well i might have to break the rules when I get going... Or publish them under diferent nom de plumes!

I was amazed the other evening though, there I was creating the orchestrations and the lyrics and overall production – at the same time! Would be nice if the Korg actually enabled some note recognition without having to export or notate by hand but hey – as long as it songs brilliant - I can live with it.

Met Jason Gardiner at Al Murray's TV show screening the other night. Sounds grand, and was. He has one track doing very well and another coming out in January - "Just pick the best one" was his advice. Sound advice.... I need to choose! But I love loads of them - arghhh... We also met Henry Cooper, John McCrirrick and his wife, Holly Willougby and Dan her hubby and her mum and dad along with Patsy and Morris Martin. Henry and Morris reliably told me that we were robbed of the try in the wold cup finals. I thought so. It was a great show, talented man is Mr Murray. Anyway back to the blog.

I’m sure that there will be a tipping point when things flow. I can feel the possibility – I just get frustrated that I can’t write, orchestrate and produce songs in 15 minutes. But then it takes people longer than that normally! Takes longer than two weeks to write a book too! 250 thousand words so far, but do they make sense?

And voice? I’ve not been singing recently, been writing and I need to focus on the singing to bring the songs to life. In fact I also need to link up all the great kit I have in my studio to maximum effect. I have superb capability now....

I don't think Christiane will let me out the house to sing if I can’t deliver the songs well. Well she might let me out of the house, and to be fair I might just go sing anyway but it will make her nervous if I'm not working more in this area before I come out to play! She’s an angel as a singer and has a great ear, I wing it, so I’m planning in when – realistically - I can start the music part of my work and build from that. Thinking about 2021? Ahh well that takes the pressure off.

Got to be careful I don’t procrastinate – a deadline always helps me deliver!!!

Funny how writing is different to singing (duh) and I can only do one thing at a time! Must be a guy thing….

Anyway - back to the view, the big rocks and the next seven things to be done. Today, now let's see - publishing is the business I'm in - let's get these books moved ahead….

Have a great day. Thanks for reading.

Love

Nicky

Monday, October 8, 2007

Australia - Yandina - Hervey Bay - Brisbane...

Today in Brisbane - walking the South Bank and reminding Christiane of the card she sent me years ago. The card is still on sale and has a pretty girl with dark hair walking on the side of the South Bank. I though she was calling out to me from her travels when she sent me this. Apparently this was not the case - but deep down I bet she wanted me really! She says I'm dreamming. Anyway the dream has come true as I walk with the pretty girl along the same stretch and now we're married and bump is enjoying the journey too. Amazing.

YANDINA
Stayed with Christiane's Brother and his family in Yandina - brilliant time. HIs sons Ryan (nearly four) and Patrick (one and a half) are lovely - when they're not angry overtired or having atantrum that is! We were learning parenting skills from Ang and Anthony. I was also given some great - How to be a dad books! Funny, scary and inspiring in equal measure.

Visiting tourist spots, wave surfing - I only got bombed out once - although I swallowed a lot of sand with the sea water. Here's me out with Anthony at the edge of where all the body surfing guys were coming in. What I didn't compute was that we are first for the sharks! Anthony was thinking as there were another two guys near us we were fairly safe. A one in four chance of being eaten alive. Comforting to be told this afterwards!!!

Saw kangaroos in Anthony's back garden and crept downstairs and out into the garden to get pictures of them. Ryan, standing on the balcony, shouted at me to stamp my feet - gives the snakes times to clear! Not quite the same as Brighton.


I've endured snake stories, shark stories, spider stories and I was very brave to go into a friends back garden - well I thought I was brave.

Just brilliant to have a good chunk of time with Anthony and Ang and to be welcomed into Christiane's side of the family that resides in Australia.

Anthony took us all over and up to Hervey Bay where I met Christiane's Aussie mum Sharon. She was very welcomming and pronounced 'You've passed' as I left. Thank goodness for that!

We had a shock though as a good friend of Christiane's - Sue - had discovered her partner had committed suicide just two days before we arrived. So we went to see her and her two offspring Harley and Lizzie. A time of tears, laughter and... well... it was ---- can't think of the word ---- somehow very good to be there and to be able to see her and offer support at such a time.

Sue has a Harley - and we haven't made our Harley ride yet on our trip. I didn't get to ride it but we did power it up and it felt just like I thought it would. The Harley ride is definitely on the list of things to do.

Where are the flies? Just not the same as Perth where I was overloaded with them. Better here.

Had an authentic Australian experience drinking an ice cold beer on the veranda of an old pub/hotel as the locals chatted around in the centre of town. 1891 the pub had been been moved on skids to a new location nearer the railway. It worked and it's still there. Surreal to have a betting shop at the end of the bar counter but practical?

BRISBANE
A few days getting to know new friends in Brisbane. Steve and Emma have three boys, Keelen, Kristian and Toby - the boys are stars all and it's another insight into parenting to see how a 9,7,4 year old can get on... Steve lets them do stuff - like my brother does with his boys. As Keelan climbs up the stancheon of a motorway bridge we were walking under his dad explained to me that he was calm about it. Keelan was only thirty feet up so I suppose I can understand! Actually it's a tremendous insight and a privilege to meet new friends that Christiane has known for years and see how people in other countries make their lives work. Inspiring.

Terry and Rosie are Emma's mum and dad. Their hospitality too has been lovely - I could get very fat here! Except that Steve - who has a body like some kind of model and is super fit had me swimming this morning at 7 am. He did 25 minutes of crawl (freestyle) I have to stop for a breather after every one length....

Went to amazing church last night. Very humbling. The service was held in a crpyt beneath the main church and a lot of homeless or - how to explain? - let's say marginalised people attended. It was beautiful and real. We sang a mix of hymns and - 'If I were a Butterfly' and 'What a Wonderful World' type songs. It moved me deeply and reminded me of how much I have and how lucky I am.

Sydney tomorrow and then on to Hong Kong - around the world in 38 days. I'm having a suit made in two days in Hong Kong. Apparently it takes a lot longer than that normally - brilliant - just have to decide the style, colour, cloth, finish etc.. Which could take me two days anyway? No pressure then.

To Sydney tomorrow - off to walk around the South Bank and see the modern art gallery - it's a tough job but someone has to do it...

Love

N & C

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Auckland - New Zealand

An hour before our flight in Auckland Airport.

Around the world in 38 days continues.... We had a fantastic time in Fiji. I wrote a song on the beach of a desert island - Drawaqa - with Jim - and we performed it for our group in the evening. It's called Paradise Island and is destined to be a hit. By being in the place, and writing with a Fijian, firstly your vocabulary changes then the tone of the song as you become used to island rhythms. Great fun.

I was designated chief of our band and had to 'be chief' on another island we went to facing the chief and his band in all their regalia - a bit daunting. Drinking the cava was an experience - numb tongue then numb everything if you keep going... apparently, I didn't by the way.

We went on a large sailing ketch and had storms and sunshine, the whole island experience.

Swimming in the coral was gorgeous, cut my arm and back a bit swimming under Christiane though. Trying to be smart.

Suva and Nadi on Fiji seen and lots of memories and vistas.

Sketching the boat at 6 am as the sun came up from our desert island home being one of those.

Had a great time meeting Malcom, Katie and Holly and going back to Christiane's school for a Peace Day morning event in Suva.

NEW ZEALAND

I love it. England plus a bit of San Diego. So clean. Three days not really enough to get the feel of the whole country but Maori village yesterday and trips around Rotorua brilliant.

Watching the ALL BLACKS perform when you're in their country is definitely a different view. I supported the Fijians in Fiji, the All Balcks here so it will be the Australians in Oz next.

To Brisbane today. Never been will be great.

Not got it together to get videos and shots up as we go yet - this is a recce though - we'll be going around the world again I'm sure.

Just bought an English paper here. Britain looks a disaster area against the view and culture I see in New Zealand.

Mind you this is only after a few days here..... maybe I'm missing something?

Love to all in blighty.

Nicky and Christiane

Friday, September 14, 2007

San Diego

Staying with Bruce and Julie. Lovely condo. Swam this morning and sat in the hot tub in the garden - what a life.

Dinner last night was focus of our visit over here. Wonderful time at Crab Catchers at La Jolla Cove. Christiane had crab I had the daily special. We had the best seats in the house and the pelicans put on a great show for us as the sun was setting. A glass of champagne to start, great conversation, a truly beautiful woman alongside me, all was right with the world!

Seven years ago I sat a couple of tables along and enjoyed the sunset but had no girl - now I have the girl - thank you God. And thank you to our kind friends who treated us to dinner last night on our honeymoon.

We have been going to ice rinks to see what is available here in San Diego.

The San Diego Ice Arena - I called spoke to the admin lady - went along, arrived 15 minutes later than I thought and she was in a meeting. To be fair she said she would be. But, she couldn't come out to say hello to visitors from England - 6,500 miles to visit and not a minute available to say hello? Same happened when I came and tried to reach the Skating Director seven years ago. She never returned my calls and then didn't turn up for a meeting - you kind of get the vibes of a place. Battered signs outside, torn insulation in the roof, lack of kindness and flexibility of at least saying hello. Good to see though. I always feel that an ice rink has a personality and it can be gleaned from the welcome and the overall feel of a place. I may be right but it's always worked like that for me in the past in any place in the world. My summation of San Diego Ice Arena is that it's every man for himself and the management is not welcomming or open to entrepreneurial developments. Of course I could be wrong but the facility is a million miles away from the look and feel of Chris's in Chicago. Anyway, don't want to be based there at any time thanks. Good to see Eric Millot's face on the coaching board - he's a guy I new from commentary. No doubt they have some good skaters at the rink if he's on the staff. Don't know the other names on the board...

Rink in the mall near La Jolla - simple single pad, nice welcome - no one there at lunchtime except girl in shop. Nice welcome though. Good lunch. Some new jeans for me - the one's I have have got past being ripped and trendy - they are wrecked so half price clothing (as it is here) was a bargain. Simon Hewitt just joined them - good luck Simon. You and Matt and loads of girls, looks like an opportunity for you.

Ray Kroc Community Centre - met with a smile by Brian on the desk of the ice rink, had a chat with the rink manager Mark - lovely guy, open to opportunities and met Woody too. A fantastic facility integrating ice, theatre, social and community action and a pool and a Christian ethos. I was excited when I discovered it on the web and in the openness of people including Lisa - Captain John Van Cleef's wife (he's the boss man) who was lovely. They are building another 40 such centres around the US. Brilliant - what a difference a smile and a warm hello makes. Inspiring to see the community action part of the work and a church on site too. Well it's a Salvation Army facility! I never new such a thing existed! On the way into the ice rink the arch over the entrance had the slogan THE DOOR TO OPPORTUNITY strong sentiments for the kids that enter - and I liked it too...

I'll be knocking on their door to see if I can link in my BAVIP and ice and dance and performance in some way? Who knows? It would be excellent to help kids develop and achieve their goals in life.

Driving here is like being on a race track - Christiane calling directions - me just going - you can't slow down or you're lost. Seventy, wizzing across lanes and making good time everywhere... Then dead stop at rush hour! On lady was going slow across some lanes last night and it needed Christiane to shout for me to miss her. I didn't expect anyone going slow. Exciting. Compact car is a contradiction in terms of size. Goes like a rocket and is big by UK standards.

Learning about life in America. Housing tax 1.2% of property value per annum - what is that about! Seeing Chicago suburbs and centre and now here is a great perspective enhancer.

To LA tomorrow seeing friends and going to a murder Mystery party tomorrow night. Will be great fun. Church on Sunday at Jill's (my US Pastor's) church. Prophecy time scheduled for that day at the church - now that would be good to hear what God has planned for us. We shall see.

Off to find a Harley to Hire. Then to the stadium seating for a movie tonight. Busy, busy! Loving the sun and American air. Pacific Beach here we come...

Love

Nicky

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chicago to San Diego

Great to be on honeymoon. Fantastic time in Chicago with my great friend Chris (Howarth) and his family: Bev, James and Jean. They spoilt us amazingly.

We ate - Cheescake Factory ribs were gorgeous. We had a drink up the Hancock Tower. We went on Chris's boat (brilliant fun) - I skied for the first time in years. Got up fine and crossed the wake etc - but I'm so unfit!

We went to the Art gallery and had a wonderful afternoon seeing Impressionaist paintings, my favourite, at the second largest collection after Paris. Monets, Picassos, Gaugins, Turners a wonderful Pissaro and some Van Goghs amongst many others - and you can take pictures of them! So i had a camera full of images to remind us of our visit.

We also saw the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a tap dancer in the open air theatre in the centre of town. For free! How amazing is that - the sound was superb.

James and Chris alternatively tried to kill me on the tube that is pulled along behind the boat. A glorified yellow tire. I managed to hold on quite well before being wiped out.

I'm so proud of what Chris has accomplished and its great to see the house and the boat and the job (well three jobs he does actually - coach, skating director and assistant manager). He is living the American dream.

Met Susie Wynne Barth last night for first time in ten years - I tried to persuade her to skate with me when she was last over. She looked great and we had a laugh at Chris's.

Today San Diego then. Lunch at George's overlooking the Cove at La Jolla. Gorgeous.

Pictures up soon.

Love

Nicky

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Give me just a little more time!

It is Wednesday, on Friday morning we are off around the world on our honeymoon. Five weeks and seven locations, some trip.

For everyone who contributed to help make this possible a huge THANK YOU. It will be an amazing time for us and I will see places I have never visited before. The places:

CHICAGO
SAN DIEGO
LOS ANGELES
FIJI
NEW ZEALAND
AUSTRALIA
HONG KONG

I have so much to do before I go. But then I always have so much to do at the moment, I love the fact I’m never bored!

When I have an end date it is wonderful for me. Something about the ‘last ten minutes’ always inspires me to create and achieve more; however stressful it may feel!

Yesterday I completed a major design task for the marketing material of a new show we have in the pipeline. Photos, copy, design development, an incredible amount of progress has been made in two weeks. I really did not think it was going to be possible and the result we’ve achieved is brilliant. My job is done for now on that project. It is great to have partners who take it on to the next stage now, whilst I swan off around the world.

Writing and design on books has been going well from a design point of view and I’ve had some major breakthroughs. Again the deadline of going away somehow forces answers to questions to become more apparent.

I think I have written around 100,000 words over three months to get stuff out of my system! Not what I would have chosen to do but I think that’s how it is. Now I’m writing ‘for the reader’ without any justifying why I’m writing or saying why what I’m writing is good. It is good and that’s that, much more grounded, effective and powerful, a much better place to be.

So a trip to take, friends to see again, and new experiences to be enjoyed I am a lucky man.

But could I just have another week or so before I go away to get things finished?

Love

Nicky

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writing, designing, editing, pre-flight testing...



Well the summer is wizzing by. Storms and autumn weather make me question global warming for Brighton!

We had water streaming into part of our apartment this weekend as we discovered a leak in the roof!
This was whilst we were having a great party, some guests though turned up drowned by the torrents of rain and had to dry out clothes. I love having people round. it was very relaxed Hopefully our roof will be sorted very soon!

EXCITING DAY
I’ve had a very exciting day so far. But I can’t tell you about it yet. Need to get clearance from Christiane.... Very exciting.... Anyway.... moving on.

BOOKS...
I’ve written a huge amount in the last eleven weeks on Being a VIP. One book turned into two that has now turned into three as a possible series. I’m learning about ‘forgiveness’ and ‘love’. Sound a bit soppy? Not from where I am right now. You see I’m looking at creating a framework for us to see where we want to go and how to get there. Part of this process is in ‘freeing us from the lies that bind us’ some of which we know and some we don’t.

This is a huge area and one that has the potential to cause damage to people if not treated well. So I’m getting advice from Doctors I know who are specialists in this area to add to my thoughts!

It’s amazing to me how BAVIP is taking far longer than I expected but, for me, how now gained tremendous depth. It is a very powerful framework for helping us win. Many of us don’t live full out and achieve what we could in our lives. My passion is to help change that - for me and as many others as I can reach!

As ever though the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I need to complete and get the layouts and content to Gordon, my agent, to pass on to publishers. We’ll be looking at US as a prime market.
Anthony Robbins hello - I’ll be coming to add something extra to the party!

MUSIC
So it looks like the EP won’t hit the deadline I’d set. I’m recording some areas but no point in stuff being half finished. The Oasys keyboard I have is a monster to learn for me. It has levels of complexity that has me learning algorithms and stuff I didn’t think I needed to know. I’m learning to be a producer, amongst other things. The sounds though are awesome and I was listening to Chill FM and thinking I can just do that music for you, I can just create soundscapes straight off. Amazing... I work with the patterns and structurse and intuitively compose onto them. Fun and a bit crazy because I always do something different. I’m getting to the point of needing to capture them each time and have a process to get them out in the world through the net. That’s the goal.

I’m composing on the fly in the evenings and learning the depth of Oasys. Wrote a very strong lyric on Monday from reading and research I’m doing around BAVIP. Stephen Kay who created Karma on the Oasys responded kindly to a ‘woe is me this is too difficult’ email re the keyboard last week. Encouraging that the guy that invented some of the technology I’m using had the time to offer some help. I’ll be working through his advice.

OTHER
I’ve got the rest of the kit I specified over time now to set up so shortly I’ll be able to create and record music and get it for sale onto our webshop all from here. That was always the plan.

Lots to do as ever, but a sense of strong progress. I can feel that the books will really help people have more freedom in their lives and dare to rekindle and then achieve their dreams, this will be brilliant.
My road testing of BAVIP is proving that the structure, visuals, metaphors and overall approach has great value for people.
Shows - planning some.... Will tell you more when they are in train. A team is together and a new approach is planned - it will be something fun. I’ve four shows in the pipeline.

HONEYMOON & MARRIED LIFE
I love being married to Christiane, she is an angel and we laugh a lot. I always new it would be great and I feel at home with her whether I’m having a dip in enthusiam or going for it.
Time to go away - so much to get done? In some ways I’d like to get on with getting on but that’s my way. Five weeks away will be gone in a flash.

Chicago, San Diego, LA, Fiji, Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Hong Kong and home for a rest! New friends, old friends, new places and experiences, what a privilege.

FINALLY
Funny thing for me, I have set a course for my life in two distinct areas one is showbusiness, the other is encouraging and enabling people to excel. I love everything about both.

To be able to be clearer about where you want to go and apply myself to those goals gives a wonderful underlying sense of life purpose, even when the challenges come as I step out.

And underlying it is faith for me, church is great. Tim who spoke on sunday described us as a Rag Tag group not afraid to say we’re a bit screwed up as we go. We need forgiveness all the time. And I used to think people in churches had everything sorted. We’re the ones who need as much help as everyone. Great to be honest and a wonder to have a place to go when you’re at the end of yourself.

Thanks for reading.

Love

Nicky

Friday, August 3, 2007

BOOK PROGRESS

I've been writing and writing for eight weeks now. Over 120,000 words in two books! But does it make any sense? Got a bit stressed as it is taking so long to get to conclusions on the two books I've found myself engrossed in.

The first book is ACT 2 - an autobiography that has loads of funny stories and anecdotes.

The second is looking at How To Win using my BE A VIP system. This has grown and deepened and I am excited for its potential to free people up to perform at their best and also to inspire people to go for their dreams. I think its an American market focus as it has a Christian basis but anyone will be able to use it. The more I write and design the more I am excited about its potential.

I've created a keynote presentation to go with it and I see the book with the DVD in the back as the optimum way of helping people have breakthroughs individually and in teams.

The BE A VIP book will also need a website and I've created a ten week course people can run and I see a show coming from it where people can bring a specific challenge they are facing and then we sort it in a show fashion. Anthony Robbins here I come!

Music? It's all about time... and I may not have enough! It will be a push to realise my goal of having things on the net by the time we leave on our honeymoon. But I think it's still possible. We shall see.

Wish me luck with the writing, it's the formatting and design that's next for BE A VIP.

Love

Nicky

And I've just my new computer - but the screen resolution doesn't work properly - so it will have to go back. It's a 17 inch Macbookpro and is gorgeous. But I got the high resolution screen and it makes things very small - when I set the screen to show things slightly bigger they are burred! Pain as I need the computer to do the music and the book layout.

I'm learning that however long I think something will take I should treble it!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Still Alive... YouTube video...

My apologies for not having posted anything for ages. Been a little busy, Google account won't let me sign in and technology is getting tired. I need to update my system, looking at a major upgrade - exciting.

Well I got married on May 5th - and so many friends came to the service, reception and party. Pictures will follow. Neil posted a brief video on youtube - enter nicky slater in search engine and there's one from Roy - with a dog pre service! And Neil's handheld pirate video. It was an absolutely brilliant day. We have wonderful pictures. I am a lucky man.

Married life is great. Sorting out our respective boxes of stuff and I'm throwing loads out and helping the charity shops locally too.

Christiane likes order and I do too. Takes time to get my stuff sorted though. I am a stationery junkie and have six boxes of files and associated goodies to be given away! You know how you just move boxes around and restore them. Well I'm trying to get rid. Cathartic process.

I've done two cruises since being offline. Fantastic time. Will share news on these when I get pictures and technology sorted.

I'm writing two books at once right now - been very productive but now need to edit what I've written and get actual output of product - 70,000 words in two weeks! Lots of 'and' and 'buts' !

Lots to come and now I can get back into the blog I can add content.

Love to everyone who reads this - thanks for tuning in....

Love

Nicky

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blog stalker....

I think I have a blog stalker.... Ha ha... here's why.

I sat down to judge rinkside tonight here in Glasgow and on my pad someone had written. MR BLOG! It wasn't in blood or anything so dramatic. And it's not exactly a threat or anything but.... who could it be?

I have my suspicions, in fact I think I know who you are... Ha. Nothing like intrigue to add interest to an evening of judging.

This is perhaps the thing that crime novels are made of? Or maybe not! Maybe I should just relax and go get a Guinness... Yes I'll do that.

More important things to deal with such as seven days and one hour to go to being a married man... Wow - seems a long way off still. Being on the road is like being in a bubble. We get catered for and looked after very well. Will have to learn to cook and shop again when I return. After a week away on a cruise that is.

Me with Christiane...



Life's rich at the moment.

Anybody reading this from Glasgow who came to the show - thanks for the noise. Great audience again.

Love

Nicky

Friday, April 27, 2007

Glasgow

Ahh to be in one place for a couple of days how lovely.

Awful journey up for me. Well awfull in terms of sleep. Watched Spinal Tap and Be Cool on dvd drank a large amount of lovely white wine and killed a bag of Cadbury's buttons. Thanks for leaving those Bonnie - totally clobbered my fitness diet! Slept for 15 minutes and arrived at 5.40. into a room that had a sound going like I was still on the bus! Moved rooms .... you know when you're so tired and you've got into bed and you don't want to move... anyway.Then moved again the next day.

But... wrote the outline of a poem about the journey. Inspriation always comes in experiences.

SURREAL

Rock n Roll Touring
Dvd's - Spinal Tap then Be Cool
Travelling to Scotland on old Vantool
This sleeper’s seen some action
Axels bump and groan
Insomnia rules for me as it rocks n rolls
We've got to stop soon
The driver needs to break
Rock n Roll with Health and Safety
Surreal, I'm still awake

Rock n Roll touring
Glamour this is not
Arriving early morning
Show me to my cot
Room so loud too tired to scream
Six am move to a change of scene
Ahh sleep... move me tomorrow
Goodnight - or is it good morning
Time to dream....

Had breakfast with Bonnie. She's a wonder and inspiring. She gave me some wise advice. Great to get to know people more on the tour.

Off to try out a portable studio and buy a replacement case. If you see me in Glasgow you may notice to fake tan. we had it sprayed on yesterday and i definitely got my money's worth! Hope it's not orange in the sun!!!!

Love

N

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bus Travel


2.45 am. Leeds. Arrived and bags delivered, movie finished. 12 days to being married. Hmmm.... Hmmmm...

Nervousness amongst tour members re my blog postings. Or maybe they want one themselves? Anyway - as if I would post anything that would not be flattering. Ha. News of the World... Nothing here for you.

Newcastle was great for us. Sell outs again. Different winners in the competition. Clare winning with friends and family and Andrei's family present was a great moment. Duncan won too. Bonnie tonight - changing times.

I made a fopar tonight. Teeth not in straight. 7,000 people heard me get into a hesitation phase!!! Not ideal. Ha - I need to write my notes more clearly.

Feels like the downhill part of the tour now for me. 10 days to go. A great experience. Super people and, as ever in something like this you learn a little about yourself...

Catering - led by Susie putting me on a wheat free diet for rest of tour to get me in shape for marriage. Skating once a day so getting fitter. Had a night off tonight on the journey though. Lovely 2001 Rioja G thanks... Getting a little Rock n Roll here. Plus chocolate and crisps... well once in a while... perhaps indulgence is ok.

Fighting with keyboard - it's PC based. Rats - I love Macs. Expected this issue. Reading and fighting with manual - the power of the machine and it's PC basis makes it a monster to tame. But.. well it's a challenge. Will be good to overcome. Korg - you don't make things user friendly here....

Sheffield, Scotland, Ireland.. Brighton, cruise = my next three weeks. Busy time.... Then......... Brighton looking over the sea :)

I love this show business. Talking backstage today, being a part of the whole set up. this is a great world to be a part of from Paul - Swannee on sound to Mr Rommell leading in the nine trucks to ship the equipment onwards - I love it all.

Rock n Roll.

Love Nicky

PS - KB reading this, arms were much better tonight... :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

And previously on the DOI Tour



Sheffield was very nice. They have a Renoir in the gallery above the library - bizarre.

We stayed at the 5 star Lowry Hotel in Manchester - this was the view from my window.

Bowling and shooting


After the show in Notingham last night we all went bowling after the show... I got 3 strikes! Then beginners luck ran out!


It was great. I ended up shooting zombies with Stef. Very satisfying.
Eggy with Heidi. TV playback director and ITV exec come show caller for judges.

Hugo. Thanks for the pictures....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nottingham - Dancing on ice Show 24


The Tour is hugely successful with packed houses every city and every performance. The skaters are improving and the show repartee is developing all the time.

Picture is of the Dancing on ice rig. Nine trucks on the road with the tour. Rock n Roll.

Had a fun moment in the Lowry hotel in Manchester when the window cleaner dropped in – on the sixth floor. And there’s me in bed with the blinds open. Ha ha.. Very funny. I had a similar moment some years ago with a girl fiend at a time we were having the outside of my place painted and scaffolding was up. We woke up with a painter outside studiously painting the window frames. We were both starkers and had to hide under the covers for ages!!! No such trouble at the Lowry I got up and took a happy snap. Five star treatment or what?

We have one show a day this week and to be honest I think I prefer the rhythm of a two-show day although I’m having loads of time to work with my new keyboard. It is amazing. I want to know everything about it and improve my performance skills in a week… It may take longer than that but that’s the drive. So that, working out and one show a day plus a party tonight and tomorrow is quite a packed schedule. Think I’ll go for a skate tomorrow I had two skates in Manchester, which was good…

Need a recharge too – saying the same things over and over is a bit boring. Keep trying to get new things to say… about the same routines. More stimulating for everyone when it’s fresh routines for us judges….

Wedding plans coming together. May 5th is not so far away now. Apparently Hello and OK don’t want to send a photographer – but Hello would like to see the pictures. Think my demographic is too old and my notoriety too low for them. Ha ha.. Well it’s one less thing to think about on the day.

I’ll next see my beautiful Christiane as she walks down the aisle. I hope someone has a hanky ready. She’s being brilliant organising stuff and Neil is co-ordinating along with other teams. Feels a bit luxurious and indulgent to just be turning up on the day but I did design the website and order of service etc so I think I’ve done my bit.

Need some new shoes. Jason and Robin both agreed that my show shoes (boots) would not do when I asked them. Well I’m in Nottingham so shoes are not a problem.

Hotel is superb but my rooms a bit noisy. It’s across from the old courthouse. They used to hang people below my bedroom window apparently. Across the road in the courthouse is a museum. I popped in yesterday. Did you know a giblet was a device that a dead body was held in and hung up so people could come along and see it deteriorating – a kind of deterrent of olden times. I saw one yesterday – a giblet, not a dead body silly... macabre! Well at least I’m learning things on tour.

Wrote a couple of songs in the last week. Lyrics feel strong. Had a summery song coming today as I walked back from the gym – have the chorus – I think it will be an ABBA type piece.

The people on the tour are great. I travelled on the rowdy bus from Manchester with the skaters. We stopped for a drink in Rochdale hotel and Stefan bought me a Guinness. The landlord let me take it with me so I’m sat on the bus with a Guinness and pork scratchings heading towards Nottingham as Stef plays his guitar and everybody sings along…. Rock n Roll!

Must get the pictures up.. They will follow when I can find the lead… and the camera!

Love N

Sunday, April 8, 2007

WEMBLEY - DANCING ON ICE TOUR


Dancing on ice Tour hits Wembley. It’s show thirteen of forty two today and every house is full and the audiences are loving the show.

Last night the bus was swamped by people on the way out – very rock and roll. Love that. Hate my picture in the programme though – apparently I’m told I’m looking better than I did in the series – must be the good eating, lack of alcohol (for lent) and working out… Have to keep it up now!

I got a deciding vote in the Bolero the other night – we were tied as a panel and Andy Peters came to me… Quite a moment to remember my birthday by as opposing groups of fans desperately tried to influence my decision. Interesting to have 7,000 people shouting their opinions at you and to keep calm and keep going. I pleased fifty percent of them with the final result!

Last night I gave Duncan a 6.0 for his birthday. His mum was in and we all wanted to see him skate bolero. Great fun.

We are staying at the Landmark Hotel in London. Which is extraordinarily expensive; has huge rooms and has rubbish service in the breakfast area and bars. Don’t stay there. The guys bringing in my keyboard were excellent as they carried it in (thank you) but such a shame they are let down by other areas. When you have to ask four times for a coffee that costs £5.75. Water £9, vodka and tonic £12. Maybe this is normal – but not in my world. Twenty five minutes to get breakfast – that costs £25! Hello. And there’s no kettle in my room. Have to go and buy one! I like a little cup of coffee whilst playing the keyboard. Everyone is experiencing the same thing. Whoever runs the breakfast staff should be shot… metaphorically you understand. (In case any M15 spider is reading this and thinks me subversive!)

Had my fiancee Christiane and my brother Kim and his son Sammy to the show yesterday – a great day. We all ended up playing football out the back of the arena with Andrei and Alexei and Paul our sound guy. Good fun.

Also met with one of my best friends Neil and his new lady Tracey today. She is lovely – as expected and they are very much in love. A lovely time together.

Christiane has gone now – and I’m a bit bereft. I won’t see her again until our wedding day now which is May 5th.. So I see her next in her wedding dress. Now that’s an exciting prospect.

And we’ve got great news of going on a cruise the day after the wedding for a week. A nice little trip to Amsterdam and back – after that we’ll probably chill in Brighton for another week. Our main honeymoon will be in the autumn going around the world.

And the photo - team members at Champneys! A relexing morning.

Must go. Change of costume for the second part of the show. I’m getting a little late as we get used to the show running time….

Love

Nicky

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

ON TOUR...




On Dancing on ice Tour, George, Oasys, et al…

I love being on tour again.

It’s show day 4, show 6. Things are wizzing along. Superb audience reaction a great show and the celebs are taking to ice show touring like ducks to water.

And I’m enjoying this touring life. The best touring food you could imagine – thank you Susie and Rachael and the team. Lovely hotel, and today off to Champneys. I’ve never been before. I came out all floppy… work out, sauna, steam, Jacuzzi and lunch with a .. well I have to own up facial … I need it! Brilliant fun. What a life.

And this is part of my strategy to get in shape for my wedding on May 5th. But it’s hard work. No alcohol for lent, no carbs, eating well and working out every day! Christiane will have a new me – if I can keep this up for another few weeks!

GEORGE
Welcome George Slater – who came into the World – now was it Saturday? How time flies at 9lbs 8 ozs to my brother Kim and Mo – his mum…. Sammy and Harry now have a brother to look after! And I have three nephews. I can see a boys day out in Brighton in the future.

OASYS – ENVISAGE – ACHIEVE…!
I have always had the idea of building up a set of touring cases that can be with me on touring shows as I travel around. I saw a friend of mine with this set up a while back.

Two years ago I developed this and invented the idea of me being able to be on tour being able to write and produce music as I travelled. Last Friday I realised the latter of these two ambitions. Albeit not in a way I had completely envisaged. Here I am on Dancing On Ice Tour with my new (awesome) Oasys keyboard / studio. It’s case is being made – they are not that quick at making them!

The other evening it was like flying a plane over Birmingham, you can perhaps see from the pictures. I am delighted with it and spent an entire day learning about the operating controls…. Now to write some melodies.

That’s it for now – sat in the Production Office absolutely knackered. 10 minutes to home. Too tired to go.. must get on.

But finally thanks to Yvonne Debbie and Sue who welcomed me into the rink – their picture is attached.

Talk soon

Love Nicky

Thursday, March 29, 2007

DANCING ON ICE TOUR REHEARSALS...

Sat here in the production office in Brimingham. Just about staying warm. Exciting to see everything developing. The show will be brilliant fun with many surprises as well as the stars of the TV show.

We're staying in a great hotel and I crashed out for 10 hours there last night. Was running to get everything finished before I came away as I won't be back home until 4th May - the day before my wedding.

So a 3am to bed followed by a 7pm up was my final day in Brighton.

Better sleep than some of the tour people here are getting as they race the closck to bring the show to life by Saturday.

For all of you coming here you will love it. I think the atmosphere with the big arena crowd wil be electric.

Meanwhile on the mundane but essential front I'm very pleased to be sorting Ikea deliveries and door assembly etc - did loads of work before leaving but funny how managament skills are improved when you simply can't do things yourself anymore.

And my new keyboard is delivered to me tomorrow. I am very excited. It is a monster a Korg Oasys and is to facilitate composing and arranging music for me. I have a steep learning curve to address. That will be me for every morning for the next four weeks.

That's it for now.

Love

nicky

PS Pictures will be up soon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dancing on ice - Champion of Champions & the Final

Well it’s all over. You watched in your millions. Over 11 million viewers for the final. Brilliant. The right couple won. Kyran and Mel deserved to win. Twice! Both routines in the last two weeks were fun, fast, packed with content and even saw Kyran dancing…

Clare and Andrei did strong numbers too but Clare does not have the skating strength of Kyran at this time. Andrei is determined though and he really wants to win – watch out for battle royale on the tour.

Duncan and Maria show excellent presentation. The champion of champion final though brought up some issues for me with their performance. Karen (Barber and myself used to do an exhibition – New Fangled Tango - it was easy, crowd pleasing and was a stock exhibition for us). I realise that this was coming to mind watching Duncan and Maria – I only gave them a 4.5 for the C of C event. Why? Well because what they did was an exhibition rather than a competition piece. What do I mean? Well competition is where you are pushing yourself, trying new elements, daring to take risks. This leads to you being scared in the process and either breakthroughs or stutters or complete disasters. It can look a little ragged on television (because you don't see the speed and doing things at speed makes it harder to co-ordinate lines). Duncan took it easy, looks very good on the TV, two feet on the ground going round the corner is smooth and he has wonderful presentation (but it's so easy for him). So I just ended up seeing very little content against the others who are competing hard and pushing themselves. Duncan can do so much more, he just needs to risk and step out of his comfort zone. Then he could challenge the leaders. I'd really like to see him do that on the tour. I think he acan do more than he thinks he can.

Bonnie was great and would have been right up there with Kyran had she not lost concentration. She was really enjoying herself and just lost the edge. Great shame. She had greatly improved her skating as well as maintaining those wonderful lifts with Matt.

In the C of C event Stefan tried difficult moves – I just think he needed another week. He’ll get into his stride on the tour. Gaynor and Daniel were a 6.0 for the relationship they can create on the ice – it’s beautiful to see but the fact Gaynor wasn’t skating consistently like this series competitors showed as her routine progressed. Still the quality of the realtionship and how that comes over is impressive.

A LITTLE CROSS...

I got cross in the show. Takes quite a lot to get me cross but, thinking back on it, a number of things linked together to push my buttons.

I’ve been getting fed up with my lack of involvement on the panel as the series progressed. Our brief as judges is that every time a couple skate we are to be ready with comments – fair enough.

Time and again I don’t get asked. I’ve been thinking – don’t worry it’s fine… But actually I think I was more frustrated than I realised. I hadn't realised this was simmering below the surface... and I was kidding myself.

I think this, added to the fact that in 6 couples for the C of C event I got asked for just one comment, primed the fuse…

Then on the back of my one comment Jason said I was absurd. To top it off I had no possibility of replying. Felt stuffed really.

There you go….. Wasn’t so much Jason – could have been anyone. Frustration just found a focus.

And - well I don't take kindly to name calling. I don't like agreesion and name calling with an arrogance at the best of times but people do what they do. Just caught me at a time when other things were kicking in... you may have seen me get a little steamed up! Ha... and they say it's only television.

Anyway it took me a while to settle down. I don’t think it’s fair that I was not able to answer an aside live on air. Did on Defrosted but the audience is very much lower so feel a bit done really. Not the greatest experience of my broadcasting career to date – hey ho….

Having fun with Stephen on Defrosted helped afterwards – he’s great to work with. Lovely pen from the Defrosted team – (thank you) - they’ve been great fun.

After show party was great meeting friends old and new – had to leave early 2am to Brighton…. I could have stayed.

Anyway see you on tour if you’re around… leaving Wednesday – I don’t have enough time to get everything I have to do finished before I leave! Arghh…. Too busy...

Love

Nicky

Monday, March 12, 2007

DANCING ON ICE 2007 – THE SEMI FINAL


Excellent skating. Why I gave Kyran a 5.. A big hair moment on Defrosted and The TV Times....

This was a superb evening of skating, drama and entertainment for the semi finals of DOI. What we see on our screens is now the product of a well-oiled machine consisting of the entire front and back of house staff on Dancing On Ice. I love seeing what goes on backstage and getting to know more of the staff of different areas. The Dancing On Ice family feel is certainly growing for me as many of us are now enjoying our 16th (I think it is for series 1 and 2) show.

CHRIS & JAYNE – Moondance: I love this song. In fact I sing it as a part of my singing repertoire and when I last performed it the girls got up and danced. I think some of them took rather a shine to me “and I want to make love to you tonight” being the words in the song that perhaps made an impression. I didn’t by the way! Just in case you were wondering... Moving on… back to Chris and Jayne’s skating…

I loved the interpretation of this number, as ever some sublime choreography and finesse in a perfect show number. How Chris and Jayne can keep producing this quality and surety in such a short time week after week is amazing. They are the best in the world at this – and it shows. For me it’s some of the transitions between the highlights that are the highlights. And, as you know, the show is always live. Great entertainment and the risk element that is always present for all the routines in the show, which always adds to the excitement.

OK let’s first take competitors in the order I ranked them:

KYRAN & MELANIE – Loved the body popping, the attack, the ice coverage and the fun. So, just to remind ourselves, this is a rugby player body popping and dancing on ice and skating so fast that Melanie has to work hard to keep up! Who would have thought it possible?

But… last week’s routine with Wally for me was better. Previous blog says why I liked that one. This one, whilst being the best on the night, did not have the completeness and overall quality of the week before. It also had a mistake; the jump into the teapot position requires Melanie to complete the rotation before going into the sit position, she didn’t complete this and it was right in front of me. So it wasn’t perfect as a performance and not as strong as the week before. Overall then a 5.5 from me for this skating performance.

You might have seen Stephen and Phillip saying they thought I regretted not giving a 6.0. Well, for the record I didn’t and I don’t. I wish I could have given the 6.0 to provide a full house with my colleagues but, had I done that, I wouldn’t have truly reflected what I saw in the performance.

Getting booed for 5.5 is a somewhat surreal experience though. Weird to be ‘odd man in’ last week giving a 6.0 and ‘odd man out’ this week not giving one! Believe me I do not plan this nor know what my colleagues will give. It’s not comfortable being odd man out but my job is to reflect what I see with integrity and honesty. I wouldn’t have done either week differently.

So for the record – 1st place to Kyran and Melanie – and very well deserved again.

CLARE & ANDREI – the best and most difficult ‘Unique Element’ of the competition. Clare was supporting her own weight in an inverted lift. Andrei was just balancing her with one arm, very impressive.

This was a packed routine that was ambitious, daring and strongly performed. Once again (as in what I’ve seen in weeks previous) I feel the routine needs a bit more polish, showmanship and speed. I tend to feel another week would give so much more to the overall programme.

It’s a trade off – simple done well or more difficult with some ragged edges. Clare and Andrei go for the difficulty. If they can embed more quality, showmanship and speed in there too then they will be pushing for top spot. Always a big ask in the timeframe of Dancing on Ice. For the record, what they achieve each week is more than we thought was possible last year. This reflects the higher standard of DOI 2007 and their ability and Clare’s amazing ‘Go for it’ attitude.

DUNCAN & MARIA – First run through for me was a little disappointing. A lot of static moves at the opening and they were going for more individual skating from Duncan in the routine. So this is where the – simple done well – philosophy applies. Unfortunately the flow and grace I’d seen in the past was not evident throughout this piece. The routine looked tentative and uneasy it earned a 4.5 in the first run through from me.

The skate off for Duncan and Maria was a completely different matter. Speed, confidence, more power and flow resulted in greater ice coverage and a tremendous overall improvement on the first skate.

How often the skate offs seem to release the couple to just – Go for it. There is literally nothing to loose and this creates a new relaxed approach from the skaters. Being relaxed and getting down into the ice with softer ankles and knees gives you more speed.

EMILY & DANIEL – Emily was the weakest individual skater left in the competition but had the best ‘relationship’ with her partner in terms of expression and softness of the performance. Emily’s smile and the way Daniel is able to work with his partners top bring out this feeling of trust that seeps out to us watching is a real gift in terms of care and coaching.

The upshot of this was that, whilst Duncan was skating more on his own, Emily and Daniel’s routine was a better overall piece for me. I tied the couples in the first part of the competition giving Daniel and Emily a 4.5.

I was in a quandary just before the skate off as separating the two couples into an overall result (had they skated the same) was going to be tough for me. As it turned out Duncan skated at a much higher level and that was worth a place in the final.

All the skaters and celebs have done wonderfully well and Emily has contributed as much as anyone up to this moment. A wonderful smile, soft movements over the ice, excellent interpretation and the ability to come back from confidence knocks being items of particular note. And all whilst holding down her day job as an actress – awesome. And the synopsis programme showed how much she has contributed through the series.

Well done Emily.

BIG HAIR MOMENT – Stephen and the Defrosted team are always great fun as we play with the IceStrator (no noughts and crosses please! – we got into trouble when we did that!) and they wound me up with a ‘big hair moment’! They showed a photo of me when I had long locks from a few years ago. It’s above. Ha ha… unexpected and fun. I did say that my fiancĂ©e had said she wouldn’t marry me if I didn’t have the hair cut off. This was wrong – she would never be so controlling! It was another way around, an ex girlfriend said that if I had my hair cut short she would leave me. We were splitting up so it went…. I kept the ponytail for a while as a momento but then found it one day in a carrier bag! And it looked like a dead rat… yuk. So I binned it.

FINALLY – thanks to Busy for the car ride home. I’ll see the next part of The Illusionist next week please. Perry can I have Victor and Busy as my drivers please. And can you remind me of which one is which next time!

HA TV TIMES – front-page slot on TV Times – great fun. My quote was only partially correct. I love performing and I’m developing as a songwriter and singer. I love the old swing songs and I’ve been writing loads of my own material. I’m building a musical around some of this work. I need to get songs produced and on the web as the next stage here – loads to do.

As I think of developing an act (which will be great fun to do but will need a bomb to get me out there) I wonder whether perhaps this could involve a little dancing too – dancing on ice? Well that would be fun….

That’s it for this week. Roll on the final….

Love

Nicky

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

DANCING ON ICE - WEEK 7


In haste....

Saturday was a roller coaster for me. I had a driver to take me to the studio who was all over the place and jerking the wheel so I got there feeling very sick. My outfit didn't work as shirt too big and then I got a call from a girl who was a girlfriend a long time ago and is happily maried now. We met last year with her hubby Dick and the children coming to Brighton. She came to my show last year and I went and stayed with them afterwards and we had a great time tgether. So I answered the phone saying 'Hi Hilary' and it was Dick. Hilary had died the night before and he knew she would have wanted me to know. Now Hilary had battle cancer and been beating it over the last few years and I though things were alright. But they weren't. I was shocked and heartbroken. This news came in the afternoon and ten minutes later I had a judges meeting with our producer Maria and the show rehearsals etc went on as usual.

Anyway somehow, with fantastic help from people on our team, Heather, Maria, Stephen was really nice to me about it and many others, I got back into gear and was fine for the show.

I will really miss her she was a super lady who inspired so many people around her, never said a bad word about anyone, and had the most wonderful faith in God that shone out. Now she's seeing what Heaven is like. Through the sadnes that helps me smile...

Anyway the show.

THE PERFECT SCORE - 6.0

Highlight was Kyran and Mel for me. I gave a perfect score of 6.0. I had not expected to. So what makes a 6.0? Here's a list of som of the things they did right.

-how they introduced the piece - with Wally the suitcase as a prop - to both the audience and the judges
-interpreted the music briliantly with surprise from the off and superb acting by Mel
-used the prop as a part of the routine in an innovative and fun way
-included strong skating from the celebrity partner - with the prop - at speed
-very good and easy ice coverage
-a superb relationship between the couple throughout the routine
-very strong and secure overhead lift
-keeping your interest with lots of content and fun throughout
-finesse with the rose for your partner at the end

In the end it's the whole performance that impacts me as a judge. This had everything and deserved the top mark. I may not give another one all series but this was definitely a highlight for me.

So well done Kyran and Mel. I said that the routine was good enough to be in a professional ice show and a couple of days later I'm totally settled in that opinion. Brilliant effort by the whole team of choreographers and coaches with Chris and Jayne and Karen and Stephen doing wonders.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

LEE & FRANKIE
Lee and Frankie were voted out in the skate off against Clare and Andrei who skated a blinder in that part of the competition. A very strong routine for them with the chair as the prop.

The prop didn't help Lee and Frankie. I felt that it was one thing too many to cope with. Lee did well in using the broom to help with lifts but... well I did think it got in the way a bit. He looked a little stiff in places as he grappled with the extra element. I would have liked to have seen him have a another week and be able to skate out more. I always thought he had the most potential to become a very elegant skating man in this competition.

Well done Frankie for the bravery and for helping Lee get so far and well done Lee for the great moments you gave us. Sorry I missed you in the bar afterwards.

EXCLUSIVE
Did exclusive with Ben yesterday and Clare and Andrei. Ben was challenging me on the marks I gave. It was good fun - once I got over the surprise of his approach! Ha... takes me a moment.

That's it for now everyone.

Love

Nicky

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WEEK 6 – DANCING ON ICE



THIS MORNING - Lisa, Philip, Matt, Fern and me.

WEEK 6 – DANCING ON ICE

There was controversy over the skate off. Pressure on the skaters was showing up and forcing errors.

Judging is not getting easier and the skate offs were awful to have to judge.

KIERAN & MEL showed that he is a natural comedian and the way he was able to skate out and interpret his routine was great fun. On screen we loose the impression of speed and often, the faster you go the more out of line or ragged things can look, you have to be much more precise on the turns and movements at speed and in exact unison with your partner. But he is going so fast I thought Mel had to skate out to keep up with him at one point! KIERAN IS confident in the lifts, covering much more ice than any skaters and with this energy that fits the music. Goodness knows how he will cope with a slower romantic tune! We shall see.

EMILY & DANIEL I think Emily is getting better every week. However it’s clear to see that it’s tough for her to let go of the things that have gone wrong the week before. Sometimes you get into the expectancy that something will go wrong. And then of course it does. Funny how that happens. Until the end of the routine I thought Emily and Daniel were doing a fine job. Then came the mistakes and with those they should have been in the skate off. Once you get nervous and rise up on straight legs you are lost in skating – the flow stops, this is what is happening and also a tensing up when things don’t quite work. It’s a mind game for her now. We need to see her ‘not caring’ so much and letting the blades flow. Confidence makes a difference… Gaining and showing that is Emily’s challenge.

LISA & MATT Once again Lisa’s brilliant presentation skills shone. Matt is a great partner for her and presents her superbly. In the air in the lifts and when doing some of the transitions she is poised and assured and impressive. Strong dance ability helps the overall look of the piece. Always though with Lisa it is the underlying skating skills that cause me to hold back my marks. Lisa’s skating has not progressed as fast as many of the other celebs. Some of whom have excellent showmanship skills others who are less impressive in this area but are skating out. This lack of basic skating ability, whilst covered by Matt to an untrained eye, was still of concern to me. This added to a slip at the end of the programme and difficulty with the under arm rollovers caused me to have a lower score.

LEE & FRANKIE Confidence shows and for me Lee’s stance and the relaxed expression he brought to the piece added a new dimension. He is dancing more and more ‘with Frankie’ (rather than alongside her) which is a big step forward. There are still jerky moments in the skating but there is a surety there that was new. I’m after good skating edges and dancing and expression combined. Lee is getting the hang of his arms a little more (lot further to go) and that, along with his potential to be the best ‘natural’ skater here shows more scope for next week.

CLAIRE & ANDREI Back on form. Skating out to a packed programme, giving more dance energy and superb posture and strength in lifts. Very strong overall package. I love Claire’s go for it attitude and the overall package she delivers with Andrei. She hasn't quite got the finesse and showbiz pizzazz that Lisa has and that is what I think she has to add to be right up there for me.

DUNCAN & MARIA He is able to dance and present as a showman. Duncan is he best of the men in this regard at this stage for me. Going out of line in the flip over lift I thought he was going to head off the ice with Maria! That was a scary moment for me watching (I think Maria's heart would have stopped0 – but well held sir being the result. He did not look too steady in places. This in part is because he’s going for it, which I applaud. You have to give all you’ve got in this competition. Maria, as for all the pro skaters here is doing a superb job. The skating needs to be developed more, the stronger the base platform the more you can do on it. How much Duncan can develop this will be key in the next few weeks for me.

SKATE OFF
Hmmm…. On the skating performances Emily and Daniel should have been in the skate offs. LISA and MATT and DUNCAN and MARIA being there meant we would loose someone who had skated well enough to stay in that week. Of course you never know how the skate offs can go. (Stefan v John last year being a case in point…) For the record I had LISA 5th and EMILY 6th in position. They were my lowest placed two.

We had two excellent performances in the skate offs. Duncan skated much stronger than for the competition itself. My decider is always, if I find other things equal the skating ability to dance on ice is the decider. So, whilst the presentation of both couples was of a very high standard, Duncan’s skating was stronger, and this is the tiebreaker for me, so I saved him.

LISA is on the arena tour to come in April so she is not out of the loop. Keeps Matt busy too!

Enjoy week 7 – PROPS WEEK. Remember Stefan last year with his broom. He was brilliant what’s going to happen this time?

Love

Nicky

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

DOI WEEK'S 4 & 5


Haven't had time to post in the last couple of weeks so here is a brief catch up.

Week 4 - Stephen was voted off with Kristina. Here we are at This Morning. Had a great time getting to know Stephen a bit more - lovely guy - I will take you up on the singing lesson.

Week 5 - Saturday - Dancing on ice week 5 complete. Kay is voted off. Show didn't have any breakthrough performances for me. It levelled off a little. Still amazing what the skaters and celebs can do but no one stood out. I have the feeling I'll see someone come on leaps and bounds this next week.

Monday - Interviews on This Morning with Kay Burley with hosts Phillip and Fern. Then afternoon for DOI Exclusive with Ben and Kay's partner Fred.

Tuesday - missed Sunrise on Sky interview! - flipping taxi didn't have enough time to get to studio and then found and just sat in a traffic jam and - bless him - the driver didn't know an alternative route! He didn't even know the way to Richmond. Stress! I've never missed a gig before and this was crazy. After the service we get to drive us to Dancing on ice and around from the drivers this was a bit of a shock. Anyway - no one died. I just hope I don't have that guy, on a busy day in London again. (Until he's learnt the options for routes that is!)

DANCING ON ICE
The boy's are looking good - Lee was much better and Duncan improved the most for me. Kieran was faster and is skating more over the ice. the sportsmen (Lee and Kieran) need to become stronger showmen now and the showman (Duncan) needs more attack throughout his routines - he had more speed in places but them eases off. He's realting very well to Maria.

The girl's - I hope Lisa gets the ice flow feeling as she is still up on her skates, this is the block for her as her presentation is very good. Emily is moving ahead very well - a little stutter is just to be put behind her. Daniel is caoching her (as he did Gaynor Faye last year) briliantly and you can see the relationship on the ice. Claire was thrown by the music choice ( part of me thinks she could have used the empotions as a trained actress and that would have added to the routine). Claire has gone from first to fourth. But that's fine she can always come back up. DOI changes week by week. For me Claire relaxing and relating more to Andrei will make a difference to the performance.

Other stuff - I wasn't well in week 4 - had flu I think so didn't enjoy the experience that much. Last week was better. If you saw Defrosted and me and Stephen skating I hope you liked it. My nephews (7 and 3) were laughing out loud at his antics. And the ice strator - I couldn't do noughts and crosses and explain skating at the same time - he's too fast for me!

A word for the professional skaters on Dancing on ice. Maria, Frankie and Mel are all doing amazing jobs as are Matt, Daniel and Andrei. Al the professional skaters have been committed and brilliant with their partners. We see the celebs loming large but much of the powerhouse behind them is their partner.

Hope you enjoy this week.

Love n

Monday, February 5, 2007

DANCING ON ICE - WEEK 3


Week three of ITV's Dancing on Ice.

Chris and Jayne were brilliant with their opening routine. The setting up of the James Bond entry of Chris superb, and the risk of not getting the clasp done up quickly as jayne skated over and had diamonds put round her neck scared me. You can't afford to get it worng. This is live! What a great opening.

Claire was again the skating star. 5.5 was well deserved. As i said on air I think she can present out even more and I agree with jason about her giving more Oomph (my expression not his) to her dancing. that is her main challenge.

Kay skated with freedom and a "This might be the last time I'm going to skate so just enjoy it" abandon, for the skate off. This gave a better flow (FLOW - by this I mean more coverage over the ice). Kay had a more relaxed approach and a much better performance in the skate off than in the competition to my eyes.

Skate Off So What (perhaps that's what we should call it? We saw this happen last year with Stephane and Kristina and John and Natalia. Stephane was amazing in the skate off , he beat John and John left the show. Which we were all upset about as we wanted him to stay! That's the pig of being a judge sometimes you just have to choose the best at that moment - that's the job. I'm sure John got me back for my marking though. He did encourage me to wear a bright lime green bow tie for the last show. I did look daft! Thanks John...

Lisa was showing more skating along with her super presentation skills and Kyran had a packed programme. He is really skating out too. No wonder he got so tired in the week he is giving it his all.

I'm impressed by the quality of Lee's skating. He has the look of a classic male ice dancer. Slim, long legs, he looks the part. A long way to go with learning more show business presentation and skating skills but he could be a very elegant ice dancer. As you might have heard me say on air.

Duncan had a bit of a stutter. This can be good. I hope he can relax more in the next week and get some more ice coverage in to his routine. He has excellent audience presentation skills and great rhythm. He's a fighter and a showman I'm sure the skating will come.

I read that the show was watched by 10.1 million people on Saturday. If you were one of those thank you for watching.

My boss on Eurosport - Simon Reed - said it was like Saturday Night at the London Palladium (a show that used to be a feature for families on Saturday nights). That's how it feels to me. A show the whole family can watch that is exciting, glamourous, fun and just a bit scary and unpredictable too. my friends, probably like you are sitting down with the family every week. And fathers throughout the land are often finding that there are not many ice rinks close by. Can I go skating daddy being the call!

There was was one slight downer for me you might have picked up on air too. Two ladies in the audience started to harang Jason with direct abuse during the show when he was speaking. For me I can undetand a boo or a hurray ( a lot of expression can be put into both!) But the personal stuff reminds me of when I got acosted on the streets of Brighton a while back or the loud, bad mouthed girl on the train from the airport berating a poor French couple last week. I can't help feeling just a little cross and sad at this behaviour. It seems to be more prevalent these days But then perhaps I am old fashioned and value repect and manners too much?

Perhaps security can deal with this if it happens again, as Jason requested next time? I hope so.

That's it for this week. if you watch Eurosport on Thursday I'll be there with Chris howarth for the OD of a Grand Prix event. maybe see you there. I think it's Channel 410.

All the best

Nicky

PS If you have questions I'll do my best to answer them. I can't give any behind the scenes details though. Otherwise I'll be thrown in jail - well probably not literally but I'll get into hot water! I can only comment on what's in the public domain.

Dancing on ice 2007 - the difference




It hardly seems a year ago. there we all were amazed at the exploits of celebrities skating with professional skaters. Well. here we are again. Bigger and better than ever. What a show it is and a privilege for me to be a part of it.

The difference this year for me comes in a number of ways:

(1) Celebrities know that it is possible to master (to a degree) the ice dancing part of the show It reminds of the fact that it took a long time to pass the barrier for the four minute mile. Then, once it was broken, in the next year more people broke the record too. There is a psychological point of: 'Will it work?" "Is it possible?" Now I think we are in the "It does work, how good can I be..." phase.

(2) The coaches and professional skaters know it can be done and more of what needs to be done. The demands of the show are huge. A new routine each week is incredible by normal competitive standards and models. But having been through it before there is something to build on. The downside of this is that you can know how much work is needed whereas before you were constantly running on adrenalin!

(3) Everything was new last year, now the production machine is stronger and what we see on the screen is a superb mix of professionalism and teamwork from a huge production team

(4) Chris and Jayne skating a new number every week. Wow. The risk of skating live to the nation each time and the effects and grace and power and fun they have in that. Brilliant.

(5) Personally I feel more used to the role. Last year I was very challenged by it at times as I had always hated the judges when I was skating. Some were great but a lot of the time deals were being made and I was too aware of them, particularly in international events. It soured my experience of competition I think. So for me to be one and try to be impartial all the time and supportive of all the skaters and not get wound up was a challenge for me. I learnt the pressures a judge faces. I learnt that you have to be strong and stand alone at times. There were good times too of course last year but it was a fierce learning experience at times. this year... perhaps I'm a bit more settled in myself and that's making a difference. And having had experience of this particular event as in anything you get more practised. (Hope I don't now make a bloomer next week!)

(6) The standard of skating from the celebrities is much higher straight from the start. I can't get over how good they get so quickly. the sets and the lights and music helps but it is amazing the job they do with their professional partners.

There's more but it's behind the scenes and my contract says that's top secret and I'll be put in the Tower of London if I divulge it! Well not exactly those words but close....

Talk soon
Love

Nicky

PS Thanks to Ken McKay for the use of the photo. This one was from last year... Tess did the styling...

BLOG REBORN

My brother suggested I get blogging again as Dancing on ice is up and running....

So watch this space

n