Apology accepted, Jason

Apology accepted, Jason

I met Jason Donovon again, signing his new book at Asda House. I came up with my camera and he said: "I know you!", wagging a finger. I said: "Well I won't tell you where from ..."

"I know where from!" he said, chuckling "I read your newspaper column"
He was really rude and grumpy the last time I saw him at the Party in the Park at Leeds on a cold, wet summer day, paddling round in the mud. I told Examiner readers all about this in a column that featured a picture of him looking thoroughly bemused as he tried to smile convincingly for the camera.

Then I emailed a copy to him with my best wishes. "I am soooo sorry," he said as he scribbled his name in the front of his book for Asda staff. "I was in a really bad mood that day, everything went wrong!" Not only had he waited around for hours to perform - I didn't ask why on earth he'd turned up so early - but then when it was his turn onstage, the sound system wouldn't work properly.
Never mind, I forgive him. But I think he should go a bit steadier on the Botox. He was looking, how shall I say it? Airbrushed.

He's upset Kylie, apparenltly, with some of the stuff he's said in his book - which is ironic considering he hates being
asked about his famous former love and Neighbours co-star.
I remember one press conference he did when he performed at Gay Pride in Gran Canaria at which a press officer hurtled around beforehand, insisting: "No-one should ask him anything about Kylie!" So how come he's so keen to spill the beans now?

I've seen Kylie a couple of times at things like Pride in London, and she's every bit as dainty and delightful in real life as you'd expect her to be.

And I'm a huge, huge fan of her sister. I like to think of myself as a talent spotter, and Dannii Minogue is on fire! Her profile
on X-Factor has really kickstarted her career - I think she's gonna be massive. She looks amazing and her singing is stunning.

I continue to be glued to X-Factor but it's clear it's not a foregone conclusion any more that the winners will get a great career on the back of it. Having said that, Ray Quinn seems to be doing ok. I took my mum to see him as a surprise - we went backstage at St George's Hall.

She particularly likes his Elvis routine and so did a lot of other, older ladies - the place was packed out with mums and grannies. The press have been slating him and Louis Walsh reckons he's a "one trick pony' who can only do swing. Well, what's wrong with "only doing" swing? Good luck to him!

Me, the unlikely rugby fan
I still don't know quite how I became a dedicated follower of the Leeds Rhinos but somehow, over the course of a season, it happened ...
It all started when I was asked to photograph the lads on and off the pitch with a view to putting together a glossy coffee table book.
I stuck with them all season and my sports photography got better and better as I badgered fellow photographers on the touchlines to share their secrets of apertures and shutter speeds.

The players became good friends as I got to know them, and this whole new world opened up in front of me.
The result was that I cancelled a trip to Brazil just so I could catch the Engage Cup final against St Helens at Old Trafford, which of course the mighty Rhinos won, making them Superleague Champions.

It was clear I was a proper devotee when I realised I'd rather scrap a week of sun and sea in South America for the sake of a sports game. I hated sport at school, I always used to try to get notes off PE from my mum, and that sort of set the tone for the rest of my life. But once you learn a bit about rugby, you seem to get drawn in.

Where football's aggressive and intense, rugby seems friendlier and more sportsmanlike. The games are fast-paced and exciting, the fans are colourful and full of enthusiasm. How could you not fall in love with a sport like that?

Now I'm searching for a publisher so I can put it all in to a book - I want proceeds to go to the Rugby Football Foundation which promotes and funds rugby in schools. I have a couple of irons in the fire, so watch this space.

Sophistication ... and Carol Vorderman

Alan Carr, the comedian, told me a funny story about when he was in Miami with his Friday Night Project co-star Justin Lee Collins. They were apparently relaxing by their pool at a very trendy hotel when someone spotted them and "papped" them.

The pictures ended up in the hands of the British press and Alan got a phonecall from a journalist. He was really chuffed.
"Ooh, do we look glamorous?!" he asked. "Well," said the reporter, "Justin's sort of slumped forward and you're lying there
doing wordsearches in a Puzzler magazine with Carol Vorderman on the front."

"But I want to look cool and sophisticated with my mojito," protested Alan. "Is there at least the posh hotel in the shot?" "No,"
came the answer, "Just the Puzzler, and Justin."