‘You should never miss a bedtime…’

Witchy Travel Tales, author, Sibel Beadle, What Katy Did UK

Witchy Travel Tales author: Sibel Beadle with daughters Vie and Kie

A BILLERICAY mum’s bedtime stories, written to comfort her daughters as she divorced their father, are soon to be enjoyed by children everywhere.

Sibel Beadle, 46, who lives on a former farm at the edge of Stock, started penning the Witchy Travel Tales for her girls Vie, now ten, and Kei, now eight, two years ago.

Now the first of the five tales is on sale in book stores nationwide.

But how did it all come about?

“My husband left two and a half years ago and my decree absolute was almost a year ago,” Sibel explains. Continue reading

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My chat with… Gareth Gates

Gareth Gates, Katy Pearson, Footloose, #whatkatydidUK

Footloose – Gareth Gates as Willard (c) Matt Martin

WHEN I chat to Gareth Gates – star of Footloose – the Musical coming to Basildon’s Towngate Theatre on August 21 – he is fulsome in his praise of our county.

“I love Essex,” he confesses. “It’s a great place, fun. My best friend in the world, Matt, he lives in Essex. He lives in Southend, so I’ll be staying with him probably while I’m performing.”

In fact, it transpires he even owns a house here.

Six students at Rayleigh’s Masters Performing Arts College actually have the Pop Idol’s runner-up as their landlord.

“I own a house in Leigh-on-Sea – a student house,” he explains.

“Matt [Plummer] is the principle of Masters – the performing arts college – and I bought a house literally down the road from there in Leigh for the students.

“I’ve got six students living there.”

So, he’s no stranger to Southend or even Basildon – where he has performed before. Continue reading

My chat with… Depeche Mode’s ‘Fletch’

Depeche Mode, Fletch, Andrew Fletcher, by Katy Pearson #whatkatydid

Interview: My chat with Depeche Mode’s Fletch in the Echo newspaper

What is your earliest memory?

It’s in the place I grew up in – Basildon – and it’s me and my sister. We had a barrow load of sand and we tipped it accidently over someone’s lawn and the man was shouting at me. It’s hazy but That’s my earliest memory.

Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?

I like Leigh-on-Sea. I’ve got lots of friends who like there now and I like all the pubs and restaurants, especially those by the front on old Leigh.

Are the Essex roots still quite strong?

My sister lives in Basildon. My niece lives in Basildon. My mum lives in Billericay. So yes I guess they are. Continue reading

My chat with Lulu

Ahead of my phone call with Lulu I have been pre-warned she’s been “rather poorly” and won’t be able to speak for long, as her voice must not be “over-exerted”.

The Echo newspaper, interview, Katy Pearson, Essex

The Echo newspaper

Lulu, however, appears not too bothered by the bout of flu which had seen her laid up for ten days (“I just had to say that’s it and rest!”) and is in rather chatty, affable form.

There’s no denying it’s her from the moment she comes on the line – sounding just as she does on TV – her Scottish roots coming through clearly one minute and then lapsing into a trans-Atlantic drawl, mixed with the accents of the various places she’s lived.

The tour which is to bring her to the Cliffs Pavilion in March is in celebration of the 50-year showbiz career she’s enjoyed, since she shot to fame with her rendition of Shout in the Sixties.

The years since then have encompassed two highly-publicised marriages, decades of TV credits and hits galore for the Grammy-nominated singer.

But this tour, she tells me, feels like something of a new beginning.

Continue reading

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The Daily Gazette by Katy Pearson

The Daily Gazette

The Echo by Katy Pearson

The Echo