What The X Factor needs to change for the 2018 series

Rak-Su, the 2017 winners

I’m sure even the most diehard X Factor fans can admit that this series has been the worst of the lot. They tried to mix up the tried and tested format to draw in more viewers but instead it managed to drive people away, with just over five million watching the final, the lowest ever.

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I’m happy with The X Factor 2016 line-up

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A lot of people are hating on the new judging line-up of The X Factor because there is nobody new, supposedly proving that it can no longer pull in the big names. But why would you go for A-list, fresh faces and unknown quantities when you have a killer line-up of existing judges?!

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BAFTA 2014: The chaos you don’t see on camera

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Where I stood for the ceremony, the red carpet is behind those security dudes.

 

For those of you who watch the BAFTAs on TV, you probably just see the glitz and the glamour and the celebrities – which is what it’s about really but here is an account from how I saw things at the BAFTAs red carpet and what it feels like being there.

First of all, being a fan by the BAFTAs red carpet takes serious dedication. You need to get wristbands and you need to get them early. The website tells to queue at the Theatre Royal around the corner at 7am to collect them. There are only 500 wristbands available. I arrived at 8am (admittedly, a bit late) and I was number 760, therefore, no wristband for me. Some people stayed all day, hoping to drop lucky but I decided (the bitter cold helped with this) to go home for a few hours and return at midday when the fan pens were filling up.

Dermot O'Leary practices his presenting script.

Dermot O’Leary practices his presenting script.

Wristband holders are told to come back at midday to be filled into the pens – but people didn’t adhere to that and by 12, the pavement was jammed with people waiting to get in. I did not even try and just went to my trusted ‘lucky corner’ which I have occupied two years previously. I never arrived in time for wristbands and I’ve always managed to see celebs from here, because that is where the cars arrive. You can see my view from the picture above. I always get there about midday anyway because then you have bagged yourself a good spot before anyone queueing for the pens gets turned away (and when they proceed to fill up behind you).

The fans make it seem like the red carpet pens are the place to be but it is all down to chance. You may get there early in the morning to bag a wristband but if you don’t come back early enough for the filing in, you could be three rows back and not be able to see a thing. Being next to the red carpet is only advantageous if you can actually see what is happening. I’ve decided I’m not going to try for wristbands anymore and just stick to my corner. It has served me well three years in a row. Admittedly, last year was a failure because of the rain and everyone was hidden under umbrellas, but that was a problem wherever you where stood.

Fearne Cotton running through her E! introduction.

Fearne Cotton running through her E! introduction.

I had my best position yet  – with direct view of the red carpet and a little lady in front of me so short that I could see over her completely. WIN. At one point, I had a massive guy stand next to me and elbowed so vigorously that he essentially took my spot but luckily after 10 minutes, he got bored and left. You always get rude people like that and what makes me laugh even more was that when I called him up on it, he called me childish!!! You cannot believe some people. But I’ve been to premieres enough times to know that there is always one. I have the slight satisfaction knowing he got moved along from the place he relocated to, so he didn’t get to see the show at all.

My area is the only viewing area you don’t need a wristband for and you are at the start of the action. You are the people screaming to let everyone else know that someone big has arrived. That waiting area gets very, very crowded so you have maintain a tight parameter and keep a firm stance on your spot. I prefer to come to these on my own because you don’t have to worry about anyone else. Most people will complain about their feet, that they ache, they need to pee, they’re hungry etc etc and I can’t deal with that. The girl behind me kept whining and I wanted to tell her to man up or go home.

Bad Sam Claflin shot.

Bad Sam Claflin shot.

So 4.30pm comes around and cars start arriving, everyone is primed and ready for action with cameras. This position will not get you signatures (although the lovely Sam Claflin was the only celeb to come over to us) and cameras can be tricky, so I gave up and just watched with my own eyes. It is a shame not to get pics, but I would rather see it happen than obsess over missing good shots. At our point, the celebs get out, we scream, they smile and wave at us and then they turn and walk up the red carpet. The time to take pictures is so small that it is very difficult, so it’s easier to just watch.

For the first 20 minutes, we don’t recognise anyone but there is always the anticipation of ‘who is getting out the car?!’ that is so thrilling. It feels great to be the first person to say the name. Then everyone starts chanting and there’s such camaraderie within the crowd (unless there’s a dickhead) that we are all excited and sharing names and what movies they’re in etc. Christoph Waltz is the first to arrive and he’s such a cool guy but very short so most people did not see him. The first BIG BIG person to arrive was Leonardo DiCaprio. He got out his car, on my side, right in front of us so we got the first look at him and he smiled at us!! I’m not a massive girly girl but I squealed so bad. That image is imprinted in my brain.

Oprah Winfrey got huge cheers.

Oprah Winfrey got huge cheers.

Then the cars arrive thick and fast – sometimes three at a time – and you’re constantly moving your eyes, scanning for a famous face. There are a few that slip through the cracks purely because there is so much going on. Not all celebs acknowledge us and just head for the red carpet, which means we don’t always get a good look at their faces (I don’t count that as a spot). There will also be times when we don’t react to someone but then the red carpet pen guys start asking for autographs and you’re like “who?!” It is manic but so exciting at the same time. You are on such a high. I can’t adequately explain.

Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped out her car right in front of us and nobody reacted and I was the only one who shouted Maggie – she smiled and waved right at me!! WOOHOO! Besides those two big moments and Sam Claflin coming to see us, we saw everyone but just as a polite smile and wave. I thought I had seen everyone but I got home to watch the show and realised some celebs slipped my notice and I don’t even know how.

Anyway, going to the BAFTAs as a fan is mental but absolutely worth it. If you have the dedication to get up at an ungodly hour and then stay there all day to bag a good spot, then you were reap the benefits. The views will be amazing. However, you have to note that having a wristband does not guarantee you a good viewing position. If, like me, you want to go but not be there from 7am, my lucky corner is the best bet but you still have to put in a good 4-5 hours of waiting before the pay off. The amount of celebs you see within 2 hours is phenomenal and you won’t get another opportunity like it in England. It is worth the wait. Nothing else is quite like it.

Big Pics: Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Scherzinger and Joe Jonas

Lindsay Lohan 

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Who knew Lindsay Lohan was such good friends with British boy band The Wanted?! According to reports, on the night Lindsay was arrested in a New York club, she was actually trying to get into the VIP area to meet the boys, particularly Max (left) and she had a dispute with another girl about it and ended up punching her. That’s the story anyway. I’m more convinced about it now though, seeing this picture.

Lindsay has clearly become friends with them since that night and has apparently travelled on their tour bus with them groupie style. This is so weird and I’m interested to see how it develops. Sources say that Max isn’t interested in a girlfriend but he doesn’t mind Lindsay hanging out with them.

Joe Jonas

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Joe from the Jonas Brothers has gone all edgy on us and got a tattoo! He posted this image to Instagram with the caption: “Two ropes (two parents) make four ends (four brothers)”. I get the significance but I don’t like where it is placed and it rather big. Not a fan.

Shenae Grimes

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90210’s Shenae Grimes has got engaged to her boyfriend of nine months, British model Josh Beech. The 23-year-old, who plays Annie Wilson in the show, announced the news on Twitter on Friday, writing: “Yes… I’m engaged!Thanks for all the congratulations everyone, I’m a very happy lady indeed and all the warm wishes are well appreciated! We plan to keep our special day very private and we hope everyone can respect that. Thanks for the love, right back atcha!”

Nicole Scherzinger

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I do love Nicole! Look at the Christmas novelty jumper and that she’s behind the bar at old English pub! She and X Factor host, Dermot O’Leary, were filming scenes for the show in the pub used in Coronation Street- The Rovers Return.
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Jessica Chastain 

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Jessica Chastain gets all arty in this photoshoot for W magazine. The pictures are amazing! The actress shot four different covers for this issue as well- but I’ll just show you my favourite. The actress is promoting her new movie Zero Dark Thirty, which covers the covert operation which lead to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

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Dermot O’Leary gets married

I shed a tear at this news because I do love Dermot! The X Factor host got married to long-term girlfriend Dee Koppang at a church in Chiddingstone, Kent this afternoon with a ton of celebrity guests.

The pair have been together for over ten years but have had a long-distance relationship for some of that time due to her work as a film producer in the US.

The reception was held at the nearby Chiddingstone Castle.

Ahead of the wedding, Dermot, 39, said; “Wedding plans are going well and engaged life is brilliant. We lived together for seven years and been going out for 10 years so we are settled down already.

“There’s no sort of raucous bachelor days to put behind me when we get married. I love my girlfriend and the woman that will be my wife and we are really relaxed with each other.”

Celebrities at the ceremony were James Corden, Chris O’Dowd and wife Dawn Porter, Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton, Caroline Flack, Keith Lemon and Bear Grylls.

 

 

 

Dermot O’Leary is engaged

This is very sad news. My highlight of the weekend, Mr Dermot O’Leary, has finally got engaged to long-time girlfriend Dee Koppang.

I say finally because the couple have been together for nine years. Dermot never publicised the news and we only found out after Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack congratulated him live on air last night. After the show Dermot tweeted: ‘Thanks for all the tweets tonight. Very lucky boy’.

The X Factor host popped the question to Dee in New York earlier this month in a restaurant in Manhattan.

The news isn’t all that surprising considering they have been together so long. They also bought a £3.5 million North London home seven months earlier which had sparked rumours that engagement was on the horizon.

I feel very happy for Dermot and Dee. I feel sorry for myself though because I have a little crush on him!