Stressed-out Dr Who lights up Blackpool

Let there be lights... and Laurence

I had a great time at the big switch-on of Blackpool's lights on Friday. David Tennant, aka Dr Who, was the main attraction.

But he couldn't have seemed ant more stressed out when he turned up to push the big red button. He was totally on edge when I sauntered onto the bus he was using as a mobile dressing room.

''Who's this?!'' he boomed to his people. ''I'm Terry George,'' I said. I explained I only wanted to take a picture for my Examiner column and he grudgingly calmed down and granted me a few snaps.

It must be difficult for him - literally everyone wanted to talk to him, get an autograph, say a few words to him. Security had to form a big circle to give him a big of breathing space.

What confounds this, I think, is his value as Dr Who on eBay - I imagine David Tennant's signature if worth a bit.

So I don't think it's all uncomplicated adoration he's faced with when people approach wanting him to sign stuff.

Anyway, he wasn't the only big name there. Laurence Lewellyn Bowen was in town for proceedings too. He'd designed a section of the lights this year, though I have to say I had a good look and they didn't look any more dazzling than they ordinarily do.

The other reason I was in Blackpool was for the grand final of Mr Gay UK, and he was supposed to be doing a live slot on BBC's The One Show on the sea front with some of our contestants.

He didn't show and thankfully Mr Gay UK 2006, Huddersfield's very own Mark Carter, stepped in to introduce the lads on camera - doing a sterling job!

So I quizzed Laurence about this. ''You were supposed to be on TV for Mr Gay UK, what happened?'' I said. ''Well that's what they asked me to do but I said no way,'' replied Laurence. ''Can you imagine me getting involved with Mr Gay UK? I'm not homophobic far from it - like Jonathan Ross says, I'm gay through and through until it comes to the sex. But I said no, thank you.''

He's so outrageously camp, I couldn't believe he'd be horrified if someone thought he was gay. ''I've got two kids,'' he boomed. ''And anyway, if someone thought I was gay I'd take it as a compliment. Gay men have very good taste, especially in furniture and design.''

We talked about the lights for a bit and I asked him whether he could decorate my Christmas tree this year. ''Yes, of course!'' he said. ''But how much would you charge?'' I asked. ''Oh, about £47,000!''

Gareth Gates was there too - he said hello and threw his arms around me. He's great. And Dale Winton invited me to London for dinner at his house again.

He said to me: ''How old are you?'' I told him 42. He said: ''Bloody hell you're looking good for your age!'' What a compliment! He's 52 but he doesn't look it.

I told him how nice and slim he looked and he said: ''Oh if I wasn't on TV I'd be 20 stone, I'm constantly dieting and constantly at the gym.'' I noticed he wasn't as orange as usual. ''I've eased off on the tan now, '' he said. ''I'm not bothering with all that any more.''

Good old Dale. ''Don't be a stranger!'' he said. ''Come round for dinner!'' That's one date that's definitely going in my diary.

Daniel the local hero

It was a home triumph in the Grand Final of Mr Gay UK 2007 at the Flamingo Club, Blackpool on Friday night.

The winner was Mr Blackpool, Daniel Broughton, aged 21.

And what a star! He appeared on stage in a cute cowboy costume and won roars of approval from the hundreds of revellers who'd turned out to see the 22 finalists from throughout the UK strut their stuff.

Earlier in the evening Daniel had been hotly favoured by a BBC judging panel including Michael Aspel, a former Miss World Judge, on BBC1's The One Show, broadcast live from Blackpool.

Celebrity couple Michelle Scott-Lee from Liberty X and her husband Andy Scott-Lee a former pop idol finalist were the fabulous hosts, The Sheilas - best known for the Sheila's Wheels ads - were the star turn and the celebrity judges included Shabaz from Big Brother, Hollyoaks star James Sutton and Soapstar Superstar's Leon Lopez.

Leeds Rhino Lee Smith and his girlfriend Verity Rushworth, the Emmerdale actress, were judges too.

So on the same night the Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the 2007 season, a new face lit up the stage, and we said an emotional farewell to 2006 winner, PC Mark Carter. He's had an amazing year, and the future looks bright for Daniel too.