Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
We were guests of Christopher Biggins yesterday in Wolverhamption for Aladdin. A long trek for us back and forth but well worth the journey. A super show.
Biggins - as I expected - is wonderful and a strong cast and great 3D effects add to a superb entertainment package for all the family! To see pantomime through the eyes of a nearly 3 year old was a joy. Tiger loved it.
Met Paul (Zerdin) co-starring afterwards, lovely man and doing a super job. Loved the emperors main song and the baddie too... The show raced along with funny gags and spectacle and even an elephant! Biggins did a little extra twirl "The choreography is for you Nicky" - as he moved across the stage.... 'With refined elegance!'
Another week and its over - if you haven't seen a pantomime this year go see this one - you will love it.
Biggins said - "I read your bit in the Daily Mail" - I started to splutter about being misquoted etc... Funny I wake up realising that the reach of such a piece is more than I know and that - it's inaccuracy - that caused me to stop reading half way through, is factual to friends and colleagues in the media business - although some know these things can be inaccurate... As a friend of mine said - 'It didn't sound like you..." Indeed. However there it is.
Rats - from now on. "Written sign off!" I do know this but was reminded of my dissappoint in the piece as I met Biggins. Hmmm... And the world of pantomime - some decry it - I have never done it. Buttons, Stephen Adnett (costume designer of DOI said)...
Anyway onwards and upwards a great panto and today church, a birthday party of a three year old blonde my son is friend's with and I'm packing for my great train journey to Berne tomorrow. A 12 hour trip... I love the Eurostar.
Commentary for the European Championships with my great friend Chris Howarth this next week . The ISU have changed the rules for the ice dancing... and I do find the technicality inherent in the sport so complex and difficult to commentate on compared to how it used to be... However - I will do my best and hopefully raise a smile or two for viewers.
Sport is a million miles from music and entertainment for me currently so it will be a head change. I was writing a "Driving on road anywhere" song as we came back late last night - an interesting story... No doubt some song about travel or rail will come up tomorrow...
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Kyran texted me - he's giving his DOI comments in The Blue Room? Where's that...
Just been interviewed by Steve Gilmore on TALK RADIO EUROPE - 30 minutes live! 'We only normally do 15." he tells me...
Will put up link soon. All about DOI and not being there what's going on etc...
He asked me to do an interview every two weeks on DOI - which would mean I would have to watch it!... Agh...
So let me get this straight - last five years I've been paid to be there - now people want to hear my views - it will take my time and headspace and I get diddly squat... Correct! Might be fun though.... and Christiane wants me to be getting more twitterers....!
What to do?
Monday, January 17, 2011
Dancing On ice view - show 2... I don't have one - I didn't watch! So I get from Christiane that it was better - audience more in evidence, better lights around central set, Karen only asked twice, Jason being constructive, judges all agreeing with each other... Emma much better - I can imagine they are becoming more of a team than we had been - no threatening overlapping roles.
And I was thinking for a moment that they needed me! Ha ha - the show rolls on...
I do think the judging panel - going from 3 skaters - two of which were ice dancers and therefore specialise in partnerships to one, who comes from a figure skating background, is a mistake. But then I'm a skater and many of my skating friends were saying this to me last week. However, this is not a show for skaters, it's a show for the public. Pity though that that the skating public is feeling let down by the way things have altered judging wise.
I've also had loads of feedback about the madness of the public voting for two to be thrown off initially - Angela Rippon should have stayed on in my book.
My trainer in the gym on Saturday morning said 'I'm missing hearing why things are good technically - I can see what I see but I want it explained to me - the technical bits...' Bless her - as I cycled and circuited and she ran me ragged...
So I hope they get another skater in - an ice dancer who is eloquent, charming, good looking and able to cope with the vagaries of colleagues and live entertainment... hummmm.. so that would be me then! Somehow I don't think so.
Slater Enterprises is recruiting... exciting possibility for MD and a Manager for me... doesn't half shake my cage though... I may have to actually produce something!
New website coming up this week - I hope... and Radio interview Wednesday - to Switzerland next week for the Great Train Journey...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I did a course - it turned into a three year journey. Part of the basis of it was BEING YOUR WORD - which is simple. You do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. In the bible it says - "Let your yes be yes and your no be no." As my son repeatedly asked me the same question today I referred him to that verse.
So.. I said I would write my version of what I said in the Daily Mail - To set the record straight today... But I have not done it - and I may not do it... because.. ?
1) hey ho - I need to help a jounalist who has to report against my recounting events by insisting on a sign off - they have conflicting pressures and me having this in place can help them stand against editorial pressure or little edits and additions... that may or may not come and it also helps me maintain integrity - my policy from now on is.. with friends or people I don't know for journalistic items - I insist on sign off...
2) nobody died
3) I've had a great day and I need to go to bed now - and you can make of that what you will...
Friday, January 14, 2011
I was in the Daily Mail today - centre spread. I did an article on Dancing On Ice where I was interviewed by Lisa Sewards, a lady I have met last year and we spoke on the phone for the interview. I did not ask for sign off on this as I have met the people involved and thought it would be fine.
Unfortunately, whilst some of the content is correct much has been written 'in quotes' that I did not actually say. This is always a a pain as I am careful of what I say and how I say it.
Now Nicky you should know better by now. You may say. Well... Perhaps you are right but the inaccuracies do make me wonder how this works. I say what I say and then it is re-packaged by someone else. But, next time - if there is a next time - sign off will be mandatory. That will help the interviewer and me maintain accuracy...
I will go into detail and re-write the piece for this space later - and let some people know the words were not mine where I feel I need to. Some won't care but some - even though they know this can happen - may doubt my sincerity!
Anyway - for the record - "I sat down to watch Dancing on ice - WITH A GUINNESS... - not red wine.
Moving on -
I did not say "Emma is more exposed as she doesn't have enough ice dance experience." She has no ice dance experience for a start! I did say "Emma was more exposed as she had more time to comment and didn't look comfortable in that..."that's what I saw - and it's a new thing and she can get better. I like her for goodness sake.
I was quoted as saying "Jason has no experience either." Meaning, I think ice dancing, as it follows on from comment re Emma. This of course is correct, but not something I would say. He is a choreographer, not an ice dancer. So bit concerned about that throw away line...
I did not say "The emphasis is on an entertainment rather than having an ice dancing competition and this is the wrong way round." I did say - 'This is an entertainment show with ice and some judging, it is not an ice dance competition." - the 'wrong way round' comment was not mine.
....and here's my trouble with this - I start to read it and get to the point of thinking this is a fictional interpretation of what I factually said and find reading onwards difficult - words are being put into my mouth - literally 'in quotes.'
There's lots for me to set straight here- whether it makes a difference who knows but at least I can feel that what I said exists - as I said it somewhere...
I did think of taping the whole thing and next time I'll do the interview on my vado video camera and post it - that way at least I'll have some verbatim backup.
Towards the end of the piece - to be clear "I did not battle with my lawyer..." - this in incorrect.
And I never said - last quote "I hope he meant it..." re Robin... I took the comment as real. He's a mate I believed it. I never said this... nor looked wistful! We were talking on the phone for goodness sake - it's fiction...
Lot's to clear up in the middle of the piece but - after driving back from Manchester I shall not do it this evening.
What has happened is that the general meaning of what I said in some instances has been repackaged and then put in quotes as if I said it verbatim. This is disappointing.
But - nobody died - well apart from my good friend whose funeral I attended today in Manchester and was always a happy man. So I shall take my example from him - let this go for now - and go to sleep happy!
Tomorrow I will write - my version of my interview... :) Slightly fewer people will see it but it will reflect more accurately what I said.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
If you have never watched TED I would encourage you to have a look. It is something very special. Wise, extraordinary people given 15 minutes to speak to other achievers at an exclusive gathering - that we now have access to for free :)
Here are two specific talks I watched last night and early this morning.
The theme that occurs to me for both is VULNERABILITY. What comes up for me is how can we/I be strong in the World yet vulnerable? I am learning here...
Also, what is it about spirit that makes me cry when I see it and hear it portrayed. The elephant and the lions...
And... connectedness... what we all really want to have. What is the risk? Stiff upper lip I can have, close my heart down I could do - my protection in the past. Not so these days - thank God. Still on a journey though...
Enjoy watching both these talks - food for thought... Enjoy...
Beverly + Dereck Joubert: Life lessons from big cats
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
Monday, January 10, 2011
DANCING ON ICE
I had to watch it as I'm doing a review for the Daily Mail this week. I hardly ever watched in the past as I don't like watching me.... So I went to where Christiane would normally watch DOI with friends. Guinness, crisps, notebook and pencil at the ready.. let the show begin.
It was a bit bizarre and a fun time for me / us. Pat and Sarah and Christiane and Tiger and me 'watching' the show together - as opposed to them watching me being in it and me 'being in it'. Actually Tiger didn't watch he proceeded to position himself carefully in the way of me watching the screen - just by accident as he looked at something else...! Mummy can you take him... he knows how to push my buttons Bless him. Thankfully he passed out half way through and slept soundly through second half.
Brilliant to not be 'emotionally attached' and have a more detached view. Great therapy and it would have made a funny webcam slot - I had my audience - of 3 (my son was asleep) in fits of laughter or with - Ooh aahs... I see... at times. Pat, who normally leaves this gathering to go and play games on the computer stayedto watch as 'It's interesting to hear what you really think." The show for me was in their living room - how funny - you had to be there. We are having 2,000 guests next week... sign up now - Only kidding... I made me feel valued anyway - good for the soul.
The world was absolutely distraught that I was not there on the show and I was flooded with messages - two texts and one phone call :)
The time went quickly. My marks differed from Robin's at times I was more with Jason - who was very restrained. Lots of thoughts - perhaps I'll start to blog them. I texted Robin - who was looking great - to tell him so and send love to certain former colleagues there..
Some bottom lines - judging panel is too light, Karen's role contrived and just doesn't work, set is huge and impressive but layout change is half completed - big cave in middle of set - either have judges in it or have a logo or something... Set doesn't show audience enough and give intimacy which was there before (Christiane's comment) . Where are Simon's 'scores on the doors. Simon Latus provided the scoring system - it gave drama - it's a budget cut! Mistake in my opinion.... (((addition Monday afternoon - I was wrong on this scores still there - just didn't notice! - glad Simon still employed-N)))
'It's safe - tension has gone." - was Christiane's comment. Everyone has time to speak - great for judges, but Emma bit exposed in that place in first show. Marks out a ten - a throw away line from Phillip - Why? - loose unique positioning of a 6.0 also less increments for judges - Robin got stuck with 4 couples on 5 because he didn't go low enough on lowest ability skater score - I think...
Golly I was good with my marks my quips and contributions and Jason - you would be pleased to know I could actually heard what you were saying and was answering to that.
So... I have lots more but must save for Daily Mail!
Show one of series started - have we started or is this the prequel?... Reviews will be made things will be tightened and adjustments made.
My what a freedom to be able to speak and not be contractually hidebound to not... The key thing for me would be the good of the show and not to knock down. It is a fun entertaining show, with excellent production values and it wizzes past - particularly when scrolling through on the Sky Box thingymajig...
Back to work - I'm not being paid to be on Dancing On ice so mustn't waste time on it.
Ha - in my world, the world of my mind 'The show would be better with me in it!" Then the tension would be back a bit - Karen's role needs to be tweaked or sit her on the panel (a conflict of interest but then this is entertainment) - then DOI would rock and roll more. And - as the competition hasn't started yet there's still time to get me on that panel. ITV you have my number... :) There again in the real world...
Change is good - ... stop Slater stop or they'll be nothing left for Daily Mail...
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Oh my... New Year - enjoying being head down in my studio.
Daily Mail want me to give opinion of Dancing On Ice - which means I'll have to watch it - without being there! Ha - it will be an interesting experience. I may need therapy afterwards...
I'm enjoying the lack of schedules and pick ups and costumes and (some) challenging colleagues. It's certainly an interesting journey to be on the outside looking in.