If there's one thing I like to do on a Monday afternoon, it's hang out with the Sugababes. The one in the middle seemed a bit haughty, but Keisha Buchanan was right up for it. It's just a shame she's a cardboard cut-out.
Anyhoo, Lisa's on annual leave this week, so in an attempt to broaden her horizons, I dragged her out of bed yesterday afternoon and along to the Brighton Centre, which is currently celebrating its 30th birthday with a free exhibition. And it's a good job I did. The doors opened for the first time at 10am yesterday morning, we arrived at 3:15pm, and having been there for 25 minutes, one of the stewards let slip that we were only the 13th & 14th visitors of the day. I don't think the crowd control barriers were strictly necessary.
As it turned out, visitor number 15 was the author of this piece, who swept through the place like a man on a mission, got a couple of quotes from Penny Parker (who sounds like a cheap pen), and promptly left. I don't think anyone turned up after that.
But the lack of visitors meant we were able to get chatting to a lady steward who's worked there for more than twenty years, and once had her handbag stolen during an Echo & the Bunnymen concert. She talked of her great love for Donny Osmond (seen right, sitting on the toilet with Lisa), the time she met Russell Watson, the ins and outs of staging an ice show, and her memories of Johnny Cash, before dishing the dirt on David Cassidy.
She then asked why I was taking notes, I told her I'm an ace reporter on The Argus, and she spoke of her frustration with people who begin sentences with the word 'and'. I agreed with her wholeheartedly. And then promised I wouldn't do it.
Like the staff, the exhibition was surprisingly entertaining. In addition to the blurry pictures above, I also have a photo of Lisa dancing with Tom Jones, but to be honest she looks more like a cardboard cut-out than he does, so I'm not allowed to publish it.
I did discover though, that when Radiohead played The Brighton Centre in September 1997, Cameron Diaz, Ewan McGregor and Michael Stipe were in the audience. Compare and contrast that with a performance by Michael Crawford in July 1992, when audience members included Bonnie Langford, Gloria Hunniford and... Lisa. I know which one I'd rather have been at.
Anyhoo, no doubt the finer points of the exhibition will eventually appear here in an overlong article, but for now I'll leave you with the words of Lee Curreri who played Bruno in the TV show 'Fame'. He appeared at The Brighton Centre in December 1982 as part of 'The Kids From Fame', when he reportedly said this:
"I love Brighton. I have seen the pier in the Woody Allen film and it is amazing to see it in real life".
And they say Americans are no good at geography.