Tuesday, 1 November 2011

John Levene – Guest of the Weekend 2011

For those of you who have read my blog you may have heard of the ‘Guest of the Weekend Award’ that has been mentioned for many events that I’ve been to. (If you’ve no ideas what I’m on about click here!)

Me with John at Spring Memorabilia
I’d talked with Tim a while back about making an actual physical award however with the best laid plans it never actually happened...

Not to let a good idea go wasted I instead decided to create an award for the person that really stuck in my mind, call it guest of the year if you want.

Before the idea of the award had really truly formed I already knew who the winner was, there was no decision needed it just felt right.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

MCM Expo London Film and Comic Con and Memorabilia - Day Two, And Relax...

Following a good night’s sleep (the free room upgrade the hotel gave me helped!) it was time for day 2 of the madness known as Expo/Memorabilia.

I hadn’t really got anything specifically planned for day two so decided to take the day as it came.

Upon walking in I gave into temptation and bought myself photoshoots with both Alexa Havins and Arlene Tur, they had both been so nice the day before I decided it would be nice to see them again.

Also on the Sunday Tim and Laura debuted their new Cosplays, Laura as X-23 (Wolverine clone) and Tim as Dakin (Dark Wolverine / Wolverines son), I had to try out the Dakin claws and somehow managed to make having talons growing from your hands look camp... Oh well, I guess it’s a talent I didn’t know I had...

Sunday was a nice relaxed day, far less busy than the Saturday which is nice as you’re actually able to walk round and have a proper look at things as well as seeing some amazing costumes.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

MCM Expo London Film and Comic Con and Memorabilia - Day One, Martha and The Doctor

My previous post got the moans and grumbles out of the way, now onto the event itself!

Expo and Memorabilia are two very different shows. Expo is all about anime, costumes and ‘free hugs’... Memorabilia is more of the classic signing event; they also differ a lot in how busy they are. Expo is manic (50K plus people) where as Mem attracts far less. Expo also seems to attract a younger crowd (well that’s how it felt to me).

The big draw for Memorabilia for me was Freema Agyeman, she’s never done an event before so this was an opportunity not to be missed. As there weren’t that many people at Memorabilia her queue wasn’t overly long (I’m done moaning about queues now). Freema was fab, she was really chatty and came across as really enjoying the whole experience. Now that she’s done an event I hope she’ll appear at more in the future.

MCM Expo London Film and Comic Con and Memorabilia – There’s Nothing Like an Organised Event...

...And this was nothing like an organised event.

The Doc and Babydoll
Now don’t get me wrong I was really excited about London Memorabilia, to put it simply Freema Agyeman was attending!

But before the good there are a few little moans I need to vent...

One: If you have 50,000+ people turning up to an event you need to have a well organised and managed queuing system... Expo have got most of it sorted, when you buy a ticket online it’s emailed to you and you print it off, simple.

Once you get to the event you ticket is scanned and you’re sorted... Well, not quite.

Once you’ve queued up to have your ticket scanned you then get to queue again to be given a wristband, here’s a really easy tip it you have lots of people scanning tickets (I think there were about 10) then make sure you have just as many giving out wristbands, if not you end up with a bottleneck...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

When Did You Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin?

Bit of a random title I know, the reason for it? It’s a result of the talk that Gillian Anderson did (have a look at the ‘An Evening With Gillian Anderson’ post). Basically, the final question of the night was ‘When did you / do you feel comfortable in your own skin?’

This got me to thinking, what would my answer be if I was asked that question?

Well, as a result I’ve decided to pen (or more accurately, type) a bit of a personal blog post, so here goes...

What you may not know (or believe) it that I’m naturally quite shy (no really its true!). Yes, I know it may seem odd that someone that swans around at events dressed up and posing for pictures could be shy but it’s true.

I’ve found there are two versions of me; there is me and the event attending me... When I’m at events I take on a lot of the characteristics and mannerisms of who I’m dressed as, either 10 or Benedick. Both characters are very outgoing, chatty and funny. I find this is a great benefit when wandering around at events; it lets me chat to people and come across as really confident.

Monday, 17 October 2011

An Evening With Gillian Anderson

Do you remember, back when you were younger, the first person that you bought a poster of? You know, the one that took pride of place in your room, the one that never was moved despite your changing tastes and moods? Yes, good. Then you’ll understand what I think of Gillian Anderson.
Gillian as Agent Dana Scully from the X Files

Back to 1993 (seems like another lifetime, well it was 18 years ago!) the X-files hit the screens and we were introduced to Agent Dana Scully.

To 11 year old me, Scully was the perfect woman, she was beautiful, had a strong character, was clever and was also a geek/nerd. She was my first celebrity crush for sure!

Roll on a few more years and times have changed, the X-files is no more and the Gillian posters had made way to more mature and minimalist room layout.

Then a couple of weeks ago I was told that Gillian was giving a talk at the Rose Theatre in Kingston and tickets were limited and only £6 each. How could I say no to that! (Thank you Sian so much for the spare ticket!)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Entertainment Media Show, Day 2 – Benedick meets Benedick (aka Matt meets David Tennant!)

So with day one of EMS completed and the series finale of Doctor Who watched it was time to put my mind to day two of EMS.

Why was day two so important, well unless you’ve been living on the moon you’d know that David Tennant himself was going to be there as a guest.

Now call me a fanboy all you like, but for me this was epic and I have to confess I was very excited! However, I also had a dilemma... What do you wear to meet someone who you class as an icon??

I’d been pondering this very question from the moment that he was attending was announced. Normally for an event I’d simply don the 10th Doctor suit and swan about as normal, but this was different, did I really want to meet David Tennant dressed at 10? How would he react and what would he think?

I asked the very question of what to wear to my Facebook Page and they replied with Ten but I still wasn’t really feeling it. I think the fact that the world and it’s mother (classic expression!) would be there dressed as Ten also didn’t really help, when I saw him did I want to be (or not be) remembered as just another Ten?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Entertainment Media Show, Day 1 – Has It Really Been Two Years?

Approximately two years ago the ‘Entertainment Media Show featuring Collectormania London’ (EMS) was simply known as Collectormania London, it was also the first convention event I ever went to so this event (in name rather than strict timing) was my 2nd anniversary for being on the convention scene...

Why does this always happen to me?
Originally I was going to go for my standard 10th Doctor look for this event, then the British weather intervened and we had an unseasonal October heat wave , so the Doctor gear was out and Benedick was in (complete with white paint!).

So Saturday morning Jemma was given the highly amusing show of me preparing to be Benedick, following on from Benedicks first outing at Glasgow (and another viewing of Much Ado About Nothing)  I’d got a better idea of how to apply the paint without having too many hand prints.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Peri And The Piscon Paradox - My Thoughts...

On Sunday at Regenerations 2011 I picked myself up a copy of ‘Peri and the Pisocn Paradox’ by the very talented Nev Fountain, I’ve been meaning to buy this since it was released back in January but I’ve just never got round to actually doing so (yes, I know, I’m a rubbish fanboy!).

So, audiobook purchased all I needed now was a nice long drive to listen to it on... Guess what, Regenerations is held in Swansea and that’s a good 5hrs away from me, plenty of time to listen to it in full.

Peri and the Piscon Paradox
For those of you not familiar with the story here’s a quick (non spoilery) synopsis care of Tardis Wiki:

The Doctor and Peri journey to Los Angeles 2009 to do battle with a Piscon. His name is Zarl, and he's a fish of utmost evil.

Zarl is going to steal all the water of Earth and sell it to the highest bidder. Or blow up the San Andreas fault. Or the planet. Or something like that. He's a bit vague on that point.

Fortunately, to stop him there’s help from an unexpected source: a future version of Peri. She knows Zarl's dark secret.

But should the future Peri be on Earth at all? Something smells fishy – and it's not just Zarl.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Doctor Who - In Moff We Trust?

So, here we are, the end of who series 6 is rapidly approaching and there have been a number of wildly differing opinions on Moffat’s time on the show as the man in charge...

Until now I’ve not really ever publically voiced my opinion and, believe it or not, this is actually the third time I’ve written this piece, the previous two times, I’ve gotten to the end and pressed delete rather than save...

Friday, 8 July 2011

London Film and Comic Con - I Need To Be In Three Places At Once...

It's going to be a busy Saturday!!

LFCC Timings

10.00 Louise Jameson – Photo B (buy on day)
10.05 Christopher Lloyd – Photo A
10.15 Camille Coduri – Photo B
11.30 Derek Jacobi – Photo B
11.45 Karen Gillan – Photo A
11.55 Gil Garrard – Photo C
12.20 Erin Gray – Photo C (buy on day)
12.45 Kyla/Holly – Photo C (buy on day)
12.55 Christopher Lambert – Photo A
1.40 Mark Sheppard – Photo B
1.45 Karen Gillan – Photo A
2.35 Mary Tamm – Photo C (buy on day)
2.45 Brent Spiner – Photo B
3.20 Walter Koenig – Photo B

At some point I've got to find the time for Autographs as well!! Fingers crossed the gold ticket does its thing!!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


You’re probably wondering who Kate is and what she’s done to get a blog post dedicated to her...

Well, Kate is... My SatNav.

She’s softly spoken with a slight Irish accent and is my constant travelling companion. To rework a quote from Idris and The Doctor, “she takes me where I need to go, but not necessarily where I want to go...”

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Wales Comic Con - Kate's Revenge...

The older I get the worse I get a judging distances... (Lincoln, that’s near Wales right?)

Having been at the Team Til Wedding the day before, Jemma and I had decided as we weren’t too far away we’d head over to Wrexham and give the Wales Comic Con a look, it was a new event for both of us and there were guests we both wanted to see.

As Lincoln was a little further from Wrexham than I’d originally thought we both had to be up rather early, which isn’t great when you don’t head to bed until almost 1am (I need my beauty sleep!!)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Wedding of Sao Til

Writing about a wedding, I hear you ask. Bit off topic for you isn’t it? Well... Yes, yes it is, but read on.

I first met Tim (aka Sao Til) in March 2010 when he was a guest at Timequest 2, a Doctor Who convention run by 10th Planet Events. For those of you who don’t know and are wondering why Tim was a guest at the event, he was the winner on the search for a Doctor Who Alien Superstar that was held on John Barrowman’s ‘Tonight’s the Night’.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Collectormania Milton Keynes: Monday - It's oh so quiet...

So here we are, Bank Holiday Monday, the final day of C17, didn’t really want to get out of bed (again, was a theme for this event!)

Me with Stuart Milligan

Having got ready I was presented with a view of bad weather and a venue that seemed really empty, oh well. Onwards!

My plan for the day? Well to be honest I didn’t actually have one (apart from checking out of the hotel of course)... Having got fed up with the weather I decided to do something I hadn’t done in a long time, attend an event as me!

Yesterday I’d had my photo with Tony Head (yes Giles from Buffy!!) however I’d not been to get his autograph yet so that was first on my list of things to do. Jemma had tagged along with me and was dressed as Supergirl which did get a smile and the comment of “you must be cold!” to which Jemma sheepishly answered “yes” while wrapping herself up in her cloak. After seeing Tony, Jemma then decided it was time to change back into something a little warmer!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Collectormania Milton Keynes: Sunday - Spoilers Sweetie...

CM:MK Day two, Sunday and we all know what that means... Alex Kingston aka River Song! Being a Sunday, the event didn’t open until 10am which meant I was able to have a lay in, however even with the extra hour I still managed to oversleep!!
Me with Tony Coburn

Today in honour of River I was going for the Silence in the Library look, big hair, blue suit and black (with a hint of red) shirt and dark red (almost black) tie.

Showmasters knew how popular Alex Kingston would be so had a separate queue for her, people were already queuing when I got out of bed, would need a bit of time travel to ensure I got a good number VQ ticket...

With me still quietly praying for a day of no wind the doors opended and thanks to some good timing (timelord, timing... sorry, bad pun) I managed to grab myself VQ ticket 32 for Alex, result!

Knowing my photo with Alex was at Midday I spent most of the morning doing what I could to avoid any sort of breeze!!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Collectormania Milton Keynes: Saturday - Cardboard Cutouts, Death and Shakespeare...

The 6.30am alarm woke me with a bump! (damned comfy Hilton beds!!) After dragging myself out of bed and beginning to get ready it was time to meet Team ‘Til (Tim and Laura) for breakfast. Take it from me the only way to start a convention day is with a cooked breakfast buffet!!

Susan, The Doctor and Death
Skip forward to 9am and I was fully ready and raring to go. I also couldn’t wait to see Tim’s and Laura’s outfits, they were coming as Death and Susan from The Hogfather and, well, they looked amazing!!

Now, I do have one major issue with Milton Keynes and that is the venue, this may sound petty but for me especially the fact it’s open to the elements makes it cold (which I don’t mind) but it also acts like a wind tunnel and to put it simply... wind is UN-FRINGE-FRIENDLY!!

Saturday turned out to be a day of random gifts, the first of which was presented to me by my fellow convention goers, a large flat box approximately 4ft by 2.5ft. To my amazement the contents of the box was.... me!!! Well not the actual me, but a lifesize cardboard version!!  JonJon (long story...) would now have a cardboard companion!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Collectormania Milton Keynes: First Evening – Tea and Tweets...

I have to confess until recently I hadn’t given CM:MK a great deal of thought, the Friday had been cancelled, the new venue wasn’t ready and I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ the whole event. Then Showmasters played a blinder, there were a number of quality guest announcements and suddenly the excitement was back, this was going to be a good one!

The Bar!!
After having had a very late night (I’d been in London seeing David Tennant again...) Friday morning was difficult, initially I’d toyed with the idea of going to Expo on the Friday but gave that up as a bad plan, so having finally woken up and packed it was time to grab Jemma and head to MK.

The one thing I do really like about MK is that it is easy to get to and the onsite accommodation is faultless, say what you like about Paris, but the Hiltons know how to run a hotel!

As is now becoming a tradition, no sooner were all the bags dropped into room it was time to hit the bar (for a cup of tea...)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Shhhh.... Spoilers!

With the mid-season break of Doctor Who rapidly approaching I got to thinking about, to quote River Song, Spoilers Sweetie.....

I’m trying to decide if spoilers are a good or a bad thing, to help me decide I’ve posted the question on my Facebook page (

River's Diary... Spoilers
Personally I think spoilers are bad, I liken it to reading the last page of a book first, or watching a race when you already know who wins....

But on the other hand spoilers do have their place; little teasers for example wet the appetite for what’s to come, hence the little snippets of the next episode.

It’s probably more down to personal preference as to whether spoilers are good or bad, one thing that does bug me though is when people indiscriminately share them. The last thing I want to see when I log onto Twitter or Facebook is a random post telling me the storyline of a show that isn’t due to be broadcast for weeks.

So for this short post it’ll end as it began, with the words of River Song.

Shhhh.... Spoilers!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Much Ado About Something...

It’s a quiet Monday night and I’m at home now fully recovered from my amazing weekend experience, to sum it up in four words: I met David Tennant!!

Now before I get into the whole of experience of Much Ado About Nothing I need to go back in time a bit (insert appropriate Doctor Who joke here...).  What you may (or may not) know is that I’m a lookalike, specifically a 10th Doctor lookalike and up until now I’d never managed to actually meet the man himself, despite several attempts in the last 18 months.

So, when it was announced that Catherine Tate and David Tennant would be taking to the stage as Beatrice and Benedict in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing it was an opportunity that could not be missed.

After doing battle with a crashing internet site and jammed phone lines I was able to book tickets, I confess I got a little over excited while booking and before I knew it I’d booked to go three times! I’d booked the final night (September 3rd) a Friday night in July and a night in May (20th) early on in the run.

Before long it was D-Day (or should that be DT-Day), I made it to London in good time and was at the Wyndham by 3.30pm. Once we’d scouted where the Stage Door was it was time to grab food and have a wander around Covent Garden (this did result in me buying both a flat cap and aviator style sunglasses, both of which are cool!).

Skip on to 7pm and it was time to open the theatre doors, we were amazed by how small the theatre is and how close we were to the stage. We’d got row M tickets and the view was perfect.

The show itself was amazing, really good and enjoyable to watch. I’m not going to go into detail about costumes or what happens as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t been to see it yet (I don’t know about you but I hate spoilers!). What I will say is that both David and Catherine are epic, they have great chemistry and play off each other really well. One of the true stars of the show had to be Dogberry, Master Constable of the Watch. Nothing is funnier than watching a Shakespearian fist bump accompanied by the word Boom! (Shakespearian Boo-ya?!?).

Merchandise wise there are three things to choose from, a David and Catherine poster (£10), a programme (£3.50) and copy of the script (£6.99), all are really good and well worth the cost.

When the performance came to an end it was time to shoot round to the stage door. By the time we arrived there were already a number of people there, the majority were all clutching their Much Ado programmes but there were also the expected collection of autograph hunters and eBay Dealers...

Nat and I managed to get near enough to the barrier to be in with a chance, there was then the wait until David and Catherine appeared, now there are a couple of advantages to being a fanboy (as opposed to a fangirl), namely I was tall enough to be able to lean in and get both Catherine’s and David’s autograph and get a few pictures as well. It was fab, I’d managed to see both of them and get the autographs I’d wanted, however this high point was cut short when I found out that Nat hadn’t been so lucky, she’d missed out on David, disaster!

It turned out one of the eBay dealers mentioned earlier had shoved a clipboard in the way so Nat had missed out, upon hearing this the decision was made to go back to London the next night, we would have our space on the barrier, and that’s exactly what we did!

Roll on 9pm the next night and we were back in London, and thanks to the friendly fans that were already there we got our space, it was at this point we also randomly spotted Alex Kingston (yes, River Song!) outside the restaurant near the Wyndham, we popped over and briefly said “Hi” she was really nice and quite stunning, she was in a hurry though as she had a taxi waiting so there was no time for a photo, oh well, Collectormania Milton Keynes next week!

10.30pm arrived before we knew it (chatting to the very nice, fellow fangirls Heather, Brittany, Tamara, Ellie and Leanne helped). We had our space on the barrier and had a great experience actually being able to chat to both David and Catherine, get autographs and the best bit was being to get a photo with David as well.

David and Catherine were really nice, they were both chatty and laid back, they were really great and it was a real pleasure to meet them.

As a weekend it’ll take a lot to top! Oh the life of a fanboy...

Me with DT

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Corsham Sci-Fi Family Funday - Doctor Without a Companion

Costumers and Guests
Having decided that a review cannot just say “AWESOME!!” in massive letters here’s my review of the Corsham Sci-Fi Family Funday. Prior to the event I was feeling far from 100% thanks to an evil spring cold and after a nice relaxed drive in truly glorious weather I made it to Corsham just before 4pm on Friday afternoon, after having a good catch up with Matt Booker, it was time to quickly head to the venue to see how the event setup was progressing.

With the event setup going well it was time for a quick change and to head over to Rudloe Hall Hotel for the group meal out with the guests, my table was joined by Richard LeParmentier (Admiral Motti from Star Wars). The meal was very nice and highly enjoyable (although I would have like a bit more food).

The Doctor with Cyril
My 6am alarm was most unwelcome, once I’d finally found the energy to get up and ready I appeared at the venue some point around 7.30am. After many cups of tea, flu tablets and throat sweets I was feeling far more human by around 9am.

Today saw me as Doctor without one of my normal event companions, which would have meant a distinct lack of photo’s of the event on my part, it’s hard to take pictures when you’re in them! However my saviour appeared in the form of Tiny Time Lords mum who offered to look after my camera and take some snaps throughout the day.

The actual event itself really flew by, time flies when you’re having fun as they say!

Now for those that have read my reviews before I’d normally say what I’d done and who I’d met, but in this instance it didn't seem right, as such here are the highlights of the day:

Audience with the Daleks
Costumed Guests: There were loads! All looked really good and had great fun mixing with the crowds. A special mention has to go to ‘Cyril’ the Shansheeth who looked truly awesome (For those of you not familiar with a Shansheeth, the look like giant walking Vultures from the Sarah Jane Adventures).

Audience with the Daleks: The Daleks were on form today, I had the role of operating the roaming mic to get the questions from the audience. The Daleks we pure comedy as always, especially when asked their opinion on the new Daleks. I managed to avoid most of the Dalek fire and remained fairly dry, they did get me with a couple of good shots but the fringe survived! If you ever go to an event where an Audience with the Daleks is taking place I highly recommend giving it a watch.

And the winner is.....
Fancy Dress Competition: Always a highlight of an event as it’s great to see what costumes people come up with. Somehow I ended up on stage on host (I’m still not entirely sure how that happened?!?!), luckily I was ably assisted by Tiny Time Lord and an on stage cameo from K9. For the judging I was joined by Alan Ruscoe and Richard LeParmentier, the costumes in both categories were great with the winners for the under 10’s being a Cyberman and over 10’s was Christina as The Tardis. Great stuff!

Charity Auction: As part of the event there is a charity Auction. There were some brilliant items on offer including signed pictures, limited edition prints and the star item was a figures of Amy Pond and The Doctor each signed by Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. I walked away the proud owner of the Amy Pond figure.

The Auction. I really should be banned from auctions!!
As I said at the beginning of the review it would have been possible for me to sum up the event in one word, and that word would be “AWESOME”, but its true, the whole event was really good fun, on last count over 1400 people came through the doors and over £3,800 was raised for charity.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved and to all those who attended, without each of you the event couldn't have been what it was.

The date for the 4th Corsham Sci-Fi Family Funday is already set and will take place on April 28th 2012, which as it happens is also the weekend of my 30th Birthday, should be interesting...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Spring Memorabilia, Day 2 - Did I Ever Tell You How I Got Barrack Obama Elected?

With Day 1 of Memorabilia drawing to a close it was time to head off to the hotel. Our base for the night was Corley Services just off the M6, I’m not sure the people there were quite expecting the 10th Doctor to saunter through the building, it did result in a few confused looks!

Me with John Levene

The hotel was really good and I recommend staying there to anyone who is at the NEC, it’s cheap and only 10 minutes from the venue. A relaxed night of chatting about the day followed with us retiring to our rooms at around 9 as we were just knackered!

Sunday morning came as a bit of a shock to the system! My alarm failed to go off due to a software glitch with the iPhone as a result of the clocks changing!!

This meant being a bit more rushed than planned, oh well, not the end of the world...

My day started before I even got to the NEC, while getting some fresh air a van pulled up in front of me and a chap jumped out and asked if his son could get a picture with me. The young lad was highly autistic so it was really nice to get a reaction from him.

Being close to the venue the drive should have been fairly easy, Tim took lead in our little convoy, however it appears that his sense of direction was slightly lacking on this occasion and we had a little detour around Birmingham...

Me with Holly (again)
With the aid of my SatNav be finally landed at the NEC, during the walk from the car park to the hall we were stopped by Storm Troopers doing spot checks from Rebels. Tim went slightly pale when they asked him to open his autograph folder to inspect for rebel documents... (The main reason being he had my signed pictures of Kyla Cole and Holly McGuire in there). When the Troopers can across these pictures comedy ensued with them being declared contraband. Eventually we were allowed to continue on, with Tim looking very embarrassed!

Day 2 went slightly down hill when we found that Craig Charles wasn’t able to attend, but for me the day was all about one person, the always lovely Nicola Bryant.

For those of you who don’t know (where have you been?!?) I have a well know liking for Nicola, basically I think she’s amazing and it’s always a pleasure to see her. She’s just really nice, but anyway more on that later!

Me with Nicola Bryant
After the customary post arrival cup of tea it was time to go and see some guests. First port of call was John Levene, after the comedy encounter with the snake on day one he was rapidly shaping up to be “Guest of the Weekend”.

John didn't disappoint, he was friendly and really good fun. Within a few seconds of meeting us he had insisted on straightening my tie, well the Doctor has to look smart.

The tie straightening lead to John regaling us with a great story involving Barrack Obama of all people! It goes a little something like this...

"During the elections Barrack was on stage giving a speech and I (John) noticed his tie was crooked, being a firm believer that how you wear your tie reflects on you as a person I had to take action. 

"I phoned the studio and explained who I was and that the tie defines the man. After a few moments of convincing them this wasn’t a joke I pleaded that Obama’s aid sort out his tie. 

Shortly after this he went off for a break and to my relief when he returned to the stage his tie was perfect! He then proceeded to finish his speech to thunderous applause. 

If Daleks can fly then I can have wheels!!
As a result I think I did my part to ensure that he was elected!"

After having a relaxed wander around the various dealers tables and resisting the temptation to spend lots of money it was time to visit the Fantom Films area and with that see Nicola.

First off I picked up a copy of the Mervyn Stone Mysteries by Nev Fountain (if you get chance give them a read, they are rather good!). Then it was time to see Nicola, now, I’ve met her a fair few times now (she knows me by name).

For this encounter I’d brought with me the Peri figure for her to sign, while there I also picked up one of her limited edition ‘Vanity Mycroft’ pictures as well (Vanity is a character from the Mervyn Stone books, Nicola had done a shoot as that character and was also signing them under that name).

Me with the stunning Kyla Cole
Having dropped the books and Peri figure back at the car and also watching the Garrison/Reel Icons Parade it was time to wander again. One of the random stands that was there was a young chap who was doing balloon models, plate spinning and other ‘circus style’ activities. One of these was ‘a peddle propelled wheel thing’ (I have no idea what it’s called). I was issued the challenge of a) making it go forward, b) making it go backwards and then to do it at speed. I managed it, but I’m still trying to work out how I didn’t break my neck!!

As you may recall on day one I’d had a picture with Kyla Cole and Holly McGuire, I wasn’t happy with my picture with Kyla so decided to go back and get another, as I was having a picture with Kyla it seemed only fair to get another one with Holly as well.

As I may have mentioned before Holly was really nice, really chatty and a pleasure to meet (but that’s enough of me dribbling on about her for one review!!)

Weekend Travellers: Me, Jemma and Tim
Time was now marching on and the event was beginning to wind down, so 3pm we decided to call it a day. The final things to do were to say goodbye to John and confirm his position as ‘guest of the weekend’ and the final thing was to go via Nicola and say goodbye, much to Tim’s and Jemma's annoyance this quick visit ended up as a 15 minute chat ending with them both texting me to hurry up!

We ended with a few snaps outside the venue with some friends and with that it was time to head back to the car for the drive home....

Overall a really good event and great fun, I’ll definitely be going again!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Spring Memorabilia, Day 1 - Models, Snakes and Sgt. Benton...

It’s been a few months since my last event and as such a few months since I last wrote a review, my typing fingers feel a bit rusty, but here goes!

Prior to Memorabilia I was indecisive (to say the least) about if/when I was going. It started as just the Saturday and then just the Sunday, but after much deliberation and (lack of) planning ended up as both days.

Scarecrow 'meets' the Doctor
Having only decided to do both days the week prior to the event meant booking a hotel was not an easy task, after spending a good deal of time going through the available places we finally decided to stay at the Corley services just off the M6. Hopefully this wouldn’t be a decision we’d later regret...

Being a last minute decision to go also meant that normal convention group was smaller than normal. Our travellers for this trip would be myself (as the 10th Doctor), Tim (as the 11th Doctor) and Jemma (as our Companion).

Having had a disorganised Friday night I hadn’t packed a bag so ended up doing packing at 6.30am on the Saturday morning (I do not recommend this!!). Luckily I wasn’t the only one having a disorganised morning; Jemma overslept and was only woken when I called her at 7.15 to see if she had any concealer!!

Smith and Joneses
Skip on to 10.15 and we arrive at the NEC. With a display of perfect timing both Tim and I arrived in the car park at the exact same time. (Timing, Timelord... there’s a joke there somewhere...)

Neither Tim nor I have much experience with how MCM events like Memorabilia work so the first plan of action was to get our bearings and see where everything was. I have to confess the pre-paid entry tickets work a treat. Book online, have the ticket emailed as a .pdf, print it and take it with you. No need to worry about postage, easy!

One thing that did confuse us was how the photoshoots work, some were advertised at fixed time and others appeared to be on request, I also wasn’t overly taken with the fact that the only proof you had that you’d paid was a raffle ticket with the person’s name written on it, I kept worrying that I’d lose it somewhere.

Tim getting Dirk Benedict's autograph
While at the photo area we also had out first disappointment of the weekend, Brian Blessed had been forced to cancel his appearance due to a family emergency which was a real shame as both Tim and I were hoping to meet him (He is a true legend!!).

Most of the morning was spent wandering round, catching up with old friends and making some new ones. Jemma was patiently waiting for her photo session with Russell Tovey. While Jem was waiting for her photo session Tim and I decided to give Dirk Benedict a visit. It was at this point we came across the concept know as a ‘smiley ticket’. As a concept it works, but what we couldn’t get our head round was why only have this for a couple of guests? Surely all or nothing would be a better idea?

The queue for Dirk Benedict seemed never ending, but there was good reason for this. Dirk was enjoying himself and spending a lot of time chatting to people and making it into an experience rather than a quick encounter, I'm a big fan of guests like that.

Me and Holly McGuire - 'That photo'
After a quick (and not brilliant) lunch, it was time for the Dirk Benedict photoshoot. This for me would be my second little niggle of the day. The photo area was kinda disorganised, after waiting for a good while and multiple queues beginning to form I decided that action was needed, how do you ensure that you’re at the front of a queue? You form one of your own!!

The photo itself turned out rather well (despite me being sceptical to start), it’s just a shame we had to wait so long for it to happen, not that I'm complaining...

After the photoshoot it was time to visit the Kyla Cole and Holly McGuire. I’ve never met a glamour model before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are a number of stereotypes of what models are like, but I’m happy to say that in their case they weren’t true.

Kyla was really nice and truly stunning to look at and Holly was a real laugh. When we posed for a picture Holly turned to me and asked “Are you The Doctor?” this took me by surprise so I instinctively answered “Yes”. While this was happening Jem was in the process of taking a picture, the result? A classic picture of us staring into each others’ eyes; which was just asking for a comedy caption.

John Levene - Legend!!
One of the things I really liked about Memorabilia was the fact there were loads of different things there. It wasn’t just guests and trade stands (don’t get me wrong I love the guests and enjoy wandering round the traders). There was also British Wrestling (which looked good!), Robot Wars (oh the memories!) the Evel Kinevel Museum (a piece of history) and also The Tropical Rainforest Roadshow...

Now the last thing I expected to see while walking round the event was a stand with animals from the Tropical Rainforest. Unknown to me Jemma isn’t overly fond of snakes and had never touched one before; this was something that I felt needed to be remedied.

While introducing Jemma to the snake John Levene appeared, it turns out he has a fear of snakes as well! So it was time to convince him to touch one as well, the look on his face during this encounter was absolutely classic.

How to overcome fear, face it head on.

In addition to the snake I took the opportunity to hold a few creatures I’d never encountered before. A Tarantula was first up, followed by a Scorpion and finally a pair of hissing cockroaches. It’s amazing how such small creatures can cause a crowd of people to take a giant step backwards!!

With that and another cup of tea, it was time to call an end to day one of Memorabilia, time to head to the Hotel and get ready for day two...