Saturday, 28 April 2007

The Price of Fame

I’ve been doing a column in Insider for about six months now and to be honest, I’ve got mixed feelings about carrying it on. First of all some people reckon I don’t even exist! They reckon I’m made up. Frankly if I didn’t exist, you’d have to invent me.

I bowled up at the Insider Young Professionals Awards with Vincent “Vinny” Connaugton and a few of the boys from Hale. How would I know that if I don’t exist?

Went to the FA Cup semi final at Old Trafford with some of the Blackburn Roverrrs lot from around town: Alec "Craigy" Craig, Andrew "Ducky" Duckworth and Roland Horridge all sorting out drivers for our convoy of a Bentley, a Range Rover and my Hummer. Me and Andrew "Dicky" Dick were just fellow travellers (he's Leeds). We pulled up next to the ground and some peasant from Lancashire called us Chelsea fans. "We're Blackburn," said Neil "Ducky" Duckworth. "Not in them fucking cars you're not, you look like the Russian mafia," said the scruffy twat. Has he never heard of the Ribble Valley?

Anyway, someone from the NWDA has complained that I give entrepreneurs a bad name – like he’d know.

Then there was a sticky situation on the door at the Newz bar in Liverpool the other week that was smoothed over by one of the local property boys recognising me – but it can get a bit much. Apparently the next best thing to a footballer for a Liverpool wannabee WAG is a Hummer driving business bad boy like me.

I get asked to speak at events as well. I can hopefully put a few minds at ease by dispelling rumours that I’ve been approached to compere this year’s Asian Business Federation bash up at Preston. Apparently after getting some muppet off the Apprentice last year, they got a bit of stick, and want a proven business success this time. Well it’s not me. Not that I’d be averse, but there are plenty of lads and indeed lasses who’d be more suited. Shaid Luqman would be good. He's got a tale to tell.

The danger is when you’re known as a player with a bit of the midas touch is that people are always after you to put a few quid into this or that. The amount of bars I could have had a piece of, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

We’ve been tapped up for sponsorship for the Manchester International Festival – which is good. I’m a big culture fan myself. I like the opera. But they don’t like it when you join in, do they?

And then there’s the charity bashes. If it’s not abseiling the CIS Tower it’s doing some Apprentice-style do at Sam’s. If you say no you’re difficult, if you accept everything they think you’re turning into that Yo Sushi bloke who’s never off the telly. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

It’s even worse if you’re married. One of the boys got hitched to some Latvian piece a couple of years back, quiet as a mouse at first but now she knows the lingo she’s not happy sitting around watching Midsomer Murders and Jeremy Kyle.

She had her heart set on owning a deli and wanted the poor chap to stump up the Duane Eddies for it. How do you say no? Long story short – they ended up with a little gaff in Hale, “Cous Cous Bang Bang”. Cost the Earth and she lost interest after a few months anyway. It’s a nail bar now.

We’ve all got our crosses to bear though, and to be fair a couple of heads-ups I’ve had from Insider readers look like they’re coming up trumps. And let’s face it, the thrill of the chase is what it’s all about.

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