Catching up with ex-sprinter Dwain

In the jungle with Dwain

I’ve really got into rugby league since I published ‘Access All Areas’ which is a book of photographs I took when following Leeds Rhinos on and off the pitch last season.

Rhino Rob Burrow’s father Geoff is the secretary of the Yorkshire Sports Section of the GMB Union and he invited me to an event at Castleford Tigers’ ground The Jungle last week.

The union has been created to protect professional sports people from such pitfalls as signing unscrupulous contracts they don’t understand, and they are encouraging all young sportspeople to join.

Former Yorkshire boxing star Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham was there and he gave a speech telling of how he’s lost out on millions of pounds from signing contracts in the past that weren’t exactly looking after his interests.

Castleford Tigers have been attracting so much publicity lately following the arrival of Dwain Chambers at the club. The disgraced sprinter is currently undertaking a one month trial in his quest to find a new career outside athletics.

Dwain was at the event, and he seems like a nice enough guy. I thought it an odd cross over for him to make to rugby which is so much more physical than running, although I guess he knew that already having tried out as an American Football player too in the past.

He makes his debut as a reserve player for the Tigers on 27th April in a friendly game against York, scheduled mainly to give him a run out . If this works out then perhaps he’ll finally turn his back on athletics �" unless he appeals against his lifetime ban from competing in the Olympics this year. Castleford or Beijing �" I wonder if he regrets his past?

I think the other Castleford players must be trying to keep up with Dwain in the hunt for media coverage as they have all started growing beards in a competition to see which one can grow theirs the longest. I can just imagine a whole team of ZZ Top look-alikes running onto the pitch!

Yorkshire's Best Home

After our house appeared on Channel Five last week in the programme 'I Own Britain's Best Home' so many people have told me they voted for us - even our dustbin men came to tell me they had spent £4 phoning in!

The day after the programme was shown we got a phone call from the Producer with the fantastic news that we had won our episode and are now through to the grand final. As soon as I heard the news I literally ran round the house screaming with excitement, I couldn't believe it.

When it finally sunk in, I realised that of the 3 Yorkshire homes to be featured, we were the only ones through to the final, so I guess that makes us Yorkshire's best home. What an accolade.

I hope we or one of the other northern properties wins the coveted title as it will really put us on the map and silence all those southerners who think that all Yorkshire homes are back to back on cobbled streets.

The final will be shown on Thursday 15th May, and will involve us travelling down to London along with all the other winners for nail-biting result. We've had to cut our holiday short to get back in time so I hope it will be worth it.

It's ball season

Even though the weather isn't spring like, the season is bringing it's fair share of opportunities to don my dinner suit for lavish parties.
2 weeks ago I travelled to Birmingham to attend their Pride Ball, where the star guest was Nikki, the dinner lady with the belting voice who came 3rd in last year's X Factor.
Last Friday saw me at the George hotel, Huddersfield for the Pink Ball, which was organised to raise funds for the Pink Picnic which takes place every year at Castle Hill. This year's event is on Sunday 27th July.

As you know I'm never a shrinking violet when it comes to getting up on stage so when I was asked to take on some hosting duties I couldn't resist.

Next month I'll be rubbing shoulders with hundreds of celebs at Manchester United's ground, Old Trafford for a charity ball which will be featured exclusively in OK magazine. The event is to raise money for testicular and ovarian cancer and I’ve offered my services as a presenter free of charge for the evening. One of my ambitions is to do some presenting for TV so maybe I’ll get spotted?