Miss World (Attempted Streak) 1999
The first time I attempted to 'do' Miss World was in 1999 at Olympia in London. It was the first time it had been shown live on TV for years. When I found out that the tickets were sold out, I had to try and find another way of getting in.
After a bit of thought I decided to try and 'blag' my way into getting a press pass and rang Channel 5 press office. I told them that I was a freelance journalist and asked them could I be accredited to the event? I was asked where I had worked before and after telling them that I had worked for local papers to start with, then onto different major magazines, I was asked to fax my details through to them and they would get back to me. After doing this (without any real hope of getting anywhere) I rang back a few days later and was asked to fax more details. I faxed them more 'porkies' with my phone number, and an hour later received a phone call asking me to confirm my details. When I did I was told that I would receive my press pass in the post a few days later. From a chance thought and a bit of blag, I had got myself into a major event! COME ON!
Come the morning I was expecting my pass, nothing arrived. I waited until the afternoon post and still nothing came, so I decided to ring Channel 5 back. When I did, I spoke to a different person who seemed less impressed with my story and tried to fob me off. When I told them the name of the person I had been dealing with, they said that they were on their lunch-break and would be back in an hour. That hour was one of the longest I have spent in my life! When I rang back, I spoke to the person who had been dealing with me and when I told them that my pass hadn't arrived I was told that only so many press passes could be accredited and that because I was freelance, I was one of the people who had been denied. I was gutted!
After all the build up and 'hard work' I had put in to trying to get in, I refused to take 'no' for an answer and told them that I had already booked my train ticket (which I had) and wouldn't be able to get a refund. This did the trick and was told to go to the press room on the night and a pass would be waiting for me. Nice one! I'd done it!
The following day I got ready and borrowed a pair of glasses (to give it the reporter look) and got my rip-off suit ironed with creases in (to give it the reporter look), bought a notebook and practiced my walk, as everything was a blur when I put my glasses on. Once everything was ready I set off into the unknown.
When I arrived at Olympia, there were a lot of protesters throwing eggs at the 'suits' going in. I got past them and went up to a security guard and asked him where the press room was. He refused to let me past, not accepting that i had a pass waiting for me, but after a while, he let me through. I was finding it hard to see where I was going because of the glasses, but eventually found my way to the press room and was given my pass.
I was in ! I stood around with all the other 'reporters' and waited to go in to the arena. Needless to say, I felt out of place. I was a man on a mission, tense, hoping that nobody would try and strike up a conversation with me. If they had of done, my cover would probably be blown. But they didn't and we finally went in. When we did, I couldn't believe my luck. I was put into an aisle seat, five rows from the front in a sectioned off area that was reserved for 'special guests' and journalists! This was going to be a piece of cake!
The pageant was to last for a few hours and I had already decided when I was going to ''storm'' it. When they were just about to announce the winner I was going to jump on stage and sit on the throne. I've never won anything in my life, so to win Miss World would be an achievement!
During the course of the night, I kept scribbling into my notepad, mostly noughts and crosses and pictures of some of the contestants with big noses, to keep up the pretence of being a reporter. The only person I had to get past, to get on stage, was a girl who worked for the TV company who got everybody to clap at the right time (I thought that was my job!). It really was a piece of cake!
As the third and second place contestants were announced, I took my shoes off and got ready to give the world a jump. This was to be watched by 2.5 BILLION people around the world, and I couldn't wait! As I was about to get out of my seat, a curtain at the side of the stage opened and about 20 security guards came out and lined the front of the stage. WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON?
I'd had the chance to jump on stage at any time during the show, but all of a sudden, the moment that I wanted to jump on was taken from me. My head was done in! BIG TIME!
I walked the length of the stage but it was impossible to get through security. It turns out that they were there to stop any ''journalists'' getting too close to the new Miss World. Irony isn't in it!
All the effort I had put into 'doing' this event was for nothing. All that I could do was tell myself that I had tried my best and then started my sad journey home.