Corrie's Antony on bubbly form!

I’m eating my words this week after spending an evening in the company of Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully in Corrie.

You may recall that I’ve recounted tales of our previous meetings when Antony seemed aloof and disinterested but I can only imagine that I must have caught him at a bad time then as last Saturday he was great fun.

He’d emailed me earlier in the day to let me know he was coming to my bar Fibre, in Leeds with a female friend. Co-incidentally she was the Producer from Trevor Macdonald’s Tonight programme who filmed a documentary a few years ago with me about my friendship with Michael Jackson.

The film was due to be aired at the time of Jacko’s court case but has been kept under wraps. Apparently it is a fascinating watch but I’ve never even seen it and maybe never will.

Anyway, I digress as usual. Antony was celebrating that night as he’s successfully negotiated a 2 year megabucks deal to continue playing his camp character in Corrie and he’s also working on another show which he wouldn’t spill the beans about to me.

I bought him a bottle of champagne to congratulate him, and it certainly went down well as he then bought 3 more bottles before moving the party on to my club Mission. He shared a glass of champagne with my sister Rosemarie and was really nice to her. It always makes me happy when people I meet, especially celebrities are nice to my family, but more about that later on.

Once in Mission Antony became fascinated with my green laser pen which I often take to the club. I use it to point people out in a crowd and have some fun. Antony was like a kid with a toy and played with it for ages. I don’t think it would work quite as well in the Rovers Return though!

What totally bowled me over was the thank you message I received from Antony a couple of days later. It’s very rare for celebrities to send you a personal thank you and I was really impressed that he’d taken the time out of his busy schedule to tell me what an ‘amazing’ night he’d had and how friendly he’d found my staff. He’d even recommended Fibre and Mission to the rest of the Corrie cast over lunch.

Mimi Maguire pops round for a cuppa

The night after entertaining Antony, I met up with Tina Malone, who plays the foul mouthed. loud, brash and violent matriarch, Mimi Maguire in the hit drama series Shameless.

She’s head butted several characters in the show so I was definitely on my best behaviour when I was introduced to her by my friend George Lees.

Tina is a larger than life character but in reality she’s lost loads of weight since having a gastric balloon fitted. She won’t mind me telling you that as she’s been very public about undergoing this revolutionary procedure which is less intrusive than other weight loss treatments as they insert it down your throat and it only takes around 10 minutes. It was all sounding great until she told me that you’re not allowed to fly with one in. Thankfully I don’t need one as I’m keeping up with my gym regime. I don’t think I could cope without flying!

I asked her how losing all that weight would affect her heavyweight character in Shameless but she told me they’ll just explain it away with a couple of lines.

Tina came along to the party I hosted at my club in Leeds, to celebrate winning Britain’s Best Home. Michael and I wanted to thank everyone who had voted for us to win the title but there were too many to cram into the house so we chose Mission instead. She’s become a big gay icon so loads of the guests wanted their photo with her.

She told me she was dying to see my house after watching the programme so I invited her back for a cuppa and a nosey round after the party.

When I took her into the study, she couldn’t believe the wall of photo frames with hundreds of pictures of the celebrities I’ve met over the years. What surprised me though was she got most excited not by one of the sexy popstars or film stars but of a picture of me with the late comedy legend Dick Emery who passed away 25 years ago. Apparently he was her Dad’s idol.

Left Breathless by Shayne

A few weeks ago I told you about how I’d enjoyed showing Shayne Ward around Leeds when he was there promoting his UK tour.

During that evening we’d planned a surprise for my sister Rosemarie who is Shayne’s biggest fan.

He happened to be giving a live concert at Sheffield Hallam FM Arena on the night of Rosemarie’s birthday and I’d mentioned to Shayne that I’d love to bring her along.

He very kindly agreed to arrange for us to go backstage after the gig and present Rosemarie with a bouquet of flowers.

Well, where family are concerned I’m terrible at hiding things from them and how I didn’t blurt it out over the last 3 weeks I don’t know. I told Rosemarie we were going out for a lavish dinner for her birthday so she wouldn’t suspect and would dress to impress.

Most people have an idol, my Mum’s favourite isTom Jones and my father in law loves Elvis. Can you imagine being able to fulfil your loved ones dream and actually take them to meet their idol?

Rosemarie was over the moon when we arrived at Sheffield and she twigged we were going to the concert but she had absolutely no idea what I had planned with Shayne.

She sang along with him all night from the audience, and when I dragged her away right at the end she still didn’t realise we were heading backstage.

For all the hard work she does looking after my Mum and her teenage son Luke while still holding down a full time job it gave me so much pleasure to delight her with this surprise.

Shayne was wonderful with her and posed for loads of photos, most of which she’s posted on her Facebook profile as of course she wants to tell everyone who knows her about the experience.

It’s not the gifts you buy with money that are the most valuable, it’s the memories which last forever that you treasure and both Rosemarie and I will never forget it.

Thank you Shayne!