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Monday, 18 March 2013

Birmingham Memorabilia/Expo: SBOC and the Jiffers do Birmingham!

After failing horribly to have my poets day, Jemma and I eventually get to the Birmingham Airport Travelodge for 9pm. 

Captains and the Doc
After checking in we head to the lift and up to the room, we share the lift with two girls who are also at the hotel for the event (whose names I later learn are Milly and Danielle). During the lift ride Danielle made a great comment “have you ever been told you look like the lovechild of Clark Kent and David Tennant?”, my reply “weellllll…”.

With the evening starting well it was time to head back to the bar and go in search of food; this resulted in what shall forever be named “Pizza-gate…” The long and the short of it is that it would have been quicker for me to have my pizza flown on from Italy rather than waiting for the Travelodge to make it… Oh well.

Having bumped into Milly and Danielle again we had a quick chat and talked about the upcoming event. As it turns out it was Danielle’s first event and Milly’s second so I did my best to give an overview of what the Birmingham events are like as well as chatting about what costumes we had planned for the weekend. With that it was time for an early night (I need my beauty sleep!) ready for the fun of Day 1!

Tim and Dan as the Emperor
about life after the Vatican
Before I get to the event I’m once again going to moan about the Travelodge! This time the breakfast is in the firing line, basically it just isn’t very good, in fact parts of it are inedible!! (Listen to ep 8&9 of the Journeys in Fandom Podcast for the story of ‘Ass-Beans’).

Anywho, on to Birmingham Memorabilia/Expo Day 1!

I have to confess I really enjoy the Birmingham events, they are really enjoyable, not too busy and a good assortment of random guests. For this event I didn’t really have a plan (no real change there…) basically I was there to hang out with my mates (Tim, Laura and Jemma) and have a laugh!

Outfits-wise I’d opted for The Doctor on Saturday and as for the Sunday I’d be going as me, well the Podcast presenter version on me (complete with ‘Man-Up, Bat!), Tim had chosen this event to unveil his latest creation, Captain Jack Jack Jack! That’s right, 3 Jacks in one outfit! There was Harkness (Torchwood), Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) and McFarland (Will and Grace), this outfit was genius and watching the reactions was great fun! Laura had also picked this weekend to debut a new outfit, she’d come as Witchblade, I loved the arm she’d done, the amount of work that had gone into it was amazing!!

Lisa Marie, Matt Elliott and the Jiffers
One interesting thing I did notice about this event was there seemed to be a lot of new faces, my reasoning behind this? Well it felt like I had a lot more pictures of me taken than normal, I’m used to a similar level at most events but this one seemed far busier!

As part of our wanderings we bumped into the SBOC News Team. Dan was there as solo reported so we ended up joining forces, the result was the first ever JiF (Journeys in Fandom Podcast) collaboration with SBOC News! The plan, speak to as many people as possible, challenge accepted!

To see the results of the Jiffers team up with SBOC have a look at the videos at the end of this post!

The boys interview Sam Fox
Back to Expo/Mem, one thing I did hear about (but didn’t actually see) were reports of fights and other issues! Personally I had no complaints at all with the event, but one thing where MCM always fall down is queues and organisation! All they need to do is sort out a virtual queuing system and sort out the photo sessions and they would have the potential to rival Showmasters! Come on MCM, you get the same issues at each event, sort it out!!

One of the great things about Mem is that one of my all-time favourite women is normally there, I am of course referring to Kyla Cole! Skip forward to Saturday night and I was once again lucky enough to join Kyla for dinner, the result a very happy Matt!

The second day of Expo is always the quieter of the two, but this was good for the combined JiF and SBOC teams, it meant we’d be able to chat to loads of people on camera and get enough footage to bury Dan under a mountain of editing!

Matt with Tabitha Lyons
(with Tim on hand with the No newspaper)
As mentioned above today was causal day, my outfit “Matt Holden, Podcast Presenter!”, I confess the outfit is also the same as DT wore for his appearance on the Graham Norton show a while back, the result, a number of people asking for my picture as the Doctor, even when I wasn’t (I like to think the ‘Man Up’ bat also helped).

So armed with the ‘Man Up bat’ and accompanied by Tim with the ‘No! Newspaper’ it was time for the Jiffers and Team SBOC to ‘do Birmingham’! We had a great time! Between us we managed to speak to Ian McNeice, Frazer Hines, Sam Fox and of course Kyla Cole. In addition we also managed to talk to loads of cosplayers including the Emperor, Disney princesses, Cowboys and Indians, James Bond (Chris Stone), the Doctor and Amy (Matt Elliott and Lisa Marie), the team from Artyfakes and Journeys in Fandom favourite Tabitha Lyons.

I have to give a special mention to Tabitha for doing a load of great photos with us, it was such fun and the pictures look great so many thanks for that!

So after a manic day of running around and chatting to people the day came to an end. Overall an awesome weekend and I left happy as I’ve now got a my Kyla Cole 2014 calendar!