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Comedy Awards: A Diary of Preparations

Published on January 7th 2005.

Eight weeks to sort out the biggest night of the year in Manchester? Easy.
Well, so we thought, with the exception of a few teething problems, we would say the night was a complete success.
08.30 - Turning up at work at 8.30am, a strangely early for work and unhungover Gordo was full of the joys of spring – “The day has arrived”, Gordo rejoiced. It certainly had….
10.00 - The Manchester Confidential office was a sight to behold on the day of the awards – designer Kelly running round like a madwoman with an axe polishing off those table fliers, ‘Young’ Faye in tears (don’t cry ‘Young’ Faye….) and a taxi driver faster than the bloke in Collateral permanently parked outside shipping members of staff to and from One Piccadilly Gardens, the venue for the evening.
12.00 – 13.30 - With Lindsay now jumping up and down like Zeberdee on speed, it was easy to forget that this girl hadn’t slept for days beforehand. At approx 12.30pm, I offered to make the young Geordie a cuppa. The conversation went something like this…..
Tim: “Fancy a cuppa?”
With the rest of the staff cowering in the corner, an executive decision was taken that it might be best to leave her alone and get on with their work…..
14.00 - After this, I popped out to pick up a couple of Slade CDs for the great Noddy Holder to sign as part of the raffle, along with a couple of £20 Phoenix Nights DVDs to join them in the draw (Andy: They were HOW much?!)
15.00 - Next it was off to Moss Bros to pick up our tuxes for the evening from a member of staff who had been replaced by one of the characters from A League of Gentlemen. With teeth sticking out of his eyes and eyebrows on his cheeks, Moss Bros man had managed to lose one of the suits we’d had fitted the day before. I called a panicking Charles to inform him he might have to turn up in his pyjamas. Half an hour later, the tux was found and Charles made peace with the world.
15.00 - Andy and I then met Andy's missus Denise in town, who was understanding of the problems faced on the day of a major event. Denise couldn't find a dress, so Manchester Confidential was about to scrap the whole event before Andy coughed up a bit more cash to allow her to get the one she wanted. Back to work....
18.00 - Well we’ve seen Gordo stressed before but nothing compares to the sight of him standing outside surrounded by Lennox Lewis’ shorts, Wayne Rooney’s shirt and numerous raffle prizes around an hour and a half before the awards started.
With an also slightly ruffled Charles getting changed into his tux in the office before turning up to assist, things were going far from smoothly as the guests began to turn up at One Piccadilly Gardens for the Smooth fm North West Comedy Awards.
18.45pm - At least me, Andy Mullett and Tristan were enjoying ourselves, stuck in traffic in our limos, supping on champers (or in some cases, Lindsay, orange juice) listening to Elvis on the way into the biggest event of the year. With designer Kelly also stuck in traffic up in Warrington it was fair to say we were slightly concerned for our personal safety when we finally got the venue to receive instructions for the night from Lindsay. I was trying to take my mind off it by attempting to sort my bow tie out after being unable to put it on earlier, despite the fact it had come pre-tied!
19.05 - By the time we turned up an hour late, a lot of the guests were stood in the bar supping on their pre-awards drinks. Hollyoaks were at the bar, David Lake was flashing the camera bulbs as the stars including Kevin Large and Steve Kittos turned up and strolled down the pink carpet. Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron wouldn’t have looked out of place here.
19.15 - On the surface, everything was going great guns, a quick stroll up to the second floor and a steam propelled Lindsay Cessford and a sweating Gordo proved otherwise.
First up, the table plans were completely wrong, meaning half of Coronation Street were currently sat in the toilets and Johnny Vegas would be eating his meal from behind the bar….
7.30pm – With the seating arrangements sorted, everyone sat down, things were ready to go!......until Argent told us that none of the pre-ordered wine was on the tables……………

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