Interview: My chat with Kierston in the Echo
What is your earliest memory?
I remember when I was about five years old, making my younger brother dress up as a horse, using my dad’s belt and he would say gidiup gidiup. We would laugh and run around our house in Leigh for hours.
Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?
I love taking walks on the beach in Leigh. I also love Rollacity when I am in the mood to roller skate!
Are you often in the mood to roller skate then?!
Always! When I’m down here that’s what I do. I’ve properly roller skated from when I was a kid. When I was 14, I used to roller skate everywhere – all down the seafront – and every time I’m back down here I do! It’s great here. You’ve got this roller skating rink right on your doorstep in Rochford. And now you’ve got the trampolining open next door, so it’s perfect.I go and see my dad and then I go roller skating and then trampolining! Continue reading
CLEOPATRA, coming at ya!
Hands up who remembers that pop refrain from the late Nineties?
Well, Cleo Higgins all grown-up at 33, is quite literally going to be coming at ya – as the lead female in Thriller – Live! at the Cliffs Pavilion this week.
The show – created to celebrate the career of the King of Pop – is now in its seventh year and has played over 3,000 shows globally, to 2.5 million fans and visited over 26 counties.
But musical theatre was not an avenue that Cleo had any real yearnings to explore.
Instead the ex-girl bander, who rocketed back into the public eye on TV show the Voice in 2013, was lured by the temptation to spend time belting out some of Jackson’s hits – including Can You Feel It, Off The Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal and Beat It.
When we chatted her voice was super-husky – having been a bit under the weather – but enthusiasm for the show positively radiated down the phone line.
“I am a major, major Michael Jackson fan,” she says.
“Musical theatre isn’t really my thing… but Thriller – Live? Well, that’s not really musical theatre is it?
“The show’s just huge – it’s become a thing of its own. The music – Michael Jackson’s songs are just so strong. His fans just love it.” Continue reading
WHEN ex-Westlife star Shane Filan was last in Southend for his first solo tour it was in the wake of something of a tough time.
After 14 years in Westlife and their forty-four million sales, just when he should have been set up for life, he found himself bankrupt and staring at a bleak future in 2014.
A bad Irish property investment left him hugely exposed financially and he was making his first scary steps as a solo artist, on the road, alone.
But two years on, he’s back with a new album, a new tour and Shane – who along with Feehily and McFadden, was the lead singer in Westlife – is in fine form.
When we chat his Irish burr is unmistakeable and he’s clearly happy to be going back on tour.
“Southend had a great atmosphere last time around – and it’s a great venue,” he tells me, chuckling his way through the conversation.
“I actually brought my daughter with me to Southend – we had a bit of a daddy/daughter time. She was on stage for part on the show – on a couch in the middle of the acoustic section.
“Touring is best part – getting out there, seeing fans, performing. It’s just fun.”
Does he feel in a different place emotionally this time around? Continue reading
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
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.
The latest series of DCI Banks concluded last night. Here Andrea Lowe reveals how she got to grips with motherhood – on screen and off.
Andrea Lowe has one of those faces. One which instantaneously you just know you know. Which is rather unsurprising considering both the sheer amount of television work she has under her belt – and her ageless English rose look. Andrea Banks
Andrea was back on ITV this month reprising her role as DS Annie Cabbot. When she left the series in 2012, both her and her character were heavily pregnant. They both took maternity leave. Now they both have little ones. Has the parallel between fiction and reality been, well, a little odd?
‘You can’t think too much about people getting on the tube and calling you a b****!’
Maimie McCoy’s dark presence as Milady in The Musketeers has rather bewitched our screens on Sunday evenings. Here she tells me why she took the role – and about her back-up business…
Continues here: http://www.lady.co.uk/culture/television-film-radio/3755-you-can-t-think-too-much-about-people-getting-on-the-tube-and-calling-you-a-b
She has baked for Pierce Brosnan, President Obama and the Queen – can Mich Turner teach us too?
Baking, it seems, was always going to be a big part of Mich Turner’s life. Even at a tender age, the celebrity cake connoisseur and judge on ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, was baking biscuits.
‘My earliest baking memory is when I was four years old, standing on a chair in the kitchen and making little butter biscuits,’ recalls Mich. ‘I would always pretend to be Delia Smith. I’d make biscuits in front of my imaginary audience, showing them what I was doing and how I was doing it.’
She’s come a long way from then, becoming one of the UK’s finest cake bakers – making creations for everyone from the Queen and President Barack Obama to David Beckham and Miranda Hart. But when she started out in the industry, things were rather different. Cakes, and cake making, didn’t have the kudos they do now.