So why is Boy George now all sweetness and light?

So why is Boy George now all sweetness and light?

I GOT quite a surprise at the after-show party for the Mr Gay Europe contest inBudapest ...

As I mentioned in last week's column, I went along to the Hungarian capital to support Huddersfield 's Mark Carter, Mr Gay UK - who was placed second. Germany triumphed to my surprise, and I think Mark was secretly a bit relieved - he's enjoyed the limelight but now he wants to concentrate on his day job.

Anyway, I was delighted to find out that Boy George was DJing at the plush outdoor park party after the event as the last time I saw him, he flounced out of Discotheque in Leeds halfway through his set because I took a few snaps of him at the decks.

He's never been too pleased with me since I locked him in my house unwittingly in the early 1990s - he did a DJ set at one of my club nights, I had no money to offer him a hotel so I put him up at my back-to-back terrace in Bramley.

As I only had one set of keys, I locked him in then went to kip at my mum's. In the morning when he realised he couldn't get out, he was furious and really let rip when I finally arrived to meet him. Not exemplary for fire safety admittedly, but what else was I supposed to do?

Anyway, since then I've bumped into him a few times. I've always been chatty and friendly, he's generally been a bit grumpy and rude, but the Discoteque incident was the worst ...

I wondered what would happen when I arrived with my camera at this very classy Pride Island place. The place was hardly buzzing, there were only about 500 people there and I get the capacity was about 10,000. The party ran from midnight and when George took the DJ stand I started snapping away.

When I lowered the camera to smile at my old adversary, he simply said: "Oh, hello! I didn't realise it was you!" His brother, who's recently become his manager, was there.

In a bit, when he finished his set and made to go to his dressing room, his brother asked me in tetchy tones: "Can you give him some privacy?" but George told him: "No, it's Terry George, he's a friend."

We spent a couple of hours chatting and chilling out behind the scenes, George was in one of his trademark black jackets customised with safety pins - which apparently his brother now assembles.

And he was so relaxed and friendly, it was untrue. I think the community service he did in New York must have changed him. He appeared level-headed and sober and he actually apologised for his behaviour in Leeds that night, saying he'd been going through some bad times with the American court case hanging over him, and trouble with his previous management who're now out of the picture.

He was telling me he'd just come from Beiruit where he most definitely wasn't about to return to, after he was interrogated at the airport about the jewish star of David tattoo on his head and had his case searched four times.

Even that hadn't riled him.

And he took great joy in retelling the locking-in story to his brother as if it was all a big laugh - I'm pleased he now sees it like that. And I hope this new sweetness-and-light Boy George is here to stay, and not just another bizarre phase in his rollercoaster life!

Just call me Terry Four Puddings

I had fun at the Leeds Food Festival, which involved a load of cookery demonstrations on Briggate. I haven't seen celebrity chef James Martin on the TV much but I'm definitely a fan - he was hilariously funny as he whipped up amazing desserts in front of the crowd.

I was noseying around behind the scenes so I got to try all four of the perfect puddings he made. Imagine that! My own celebrity chef for the day.

Watching him spin sugar around a rolling pin to create the kind of sweets that people pay an absolute fortune for in restaurants was a treat in itself, never mind the tasting.

But of course that's the proof, as they say. First I attacked a gorgeous souffle, then came a delectable crunchy cream creation and after that, a summer pudding ... and I still had room for a fourth dessert.

My eyes were bigger than my belly as usual and I returned to the office feeling a bit sick and in need of a nice palate-cleansing cup of tea.

The day before that I'd been to the festival to see a player from each of the Super League teams - Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Wildcats and Bradford Bulls take part in a celebrity cook-off with Brian Turner and, predictably, they were pretty talented.

A lot of the lads are very keen on cuisine and have done Thomas Danby college courses on gourmet cookery in their own time. It comes from a need to be clued-up on nutrition, which often turns into a passion for food and cooking - you notice this a lot with sportsmen.

I'd scoffed delicious pizza made by Brian, with help from local children, and that too was spectacular. So it's back on the diet now!

Desperate Househusbands

I'm particularly interested in the rumour that Robbie Williams and David Beckham will play a gay couple in the next series of Desperate Housewives. What an adorable couple they would make! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not just idle gossip - and that they're signing the contracts as we speak.