I attended the Showboaters ‘wrap party’ last weekend. Fresh One (Jamie Oliver’s TV company, who filmed Showboaters) held a little shindig to … to what? I’m not sure, but more of that later. It was an interesting experience. As a party it was hardly a killer … lot of very excited people in a small dark room, with Very Loud Music. In our family, and also in our company Parties R Us so we look with a critical eye perhaps. What I mainly observed was the differences in the various people there, who all had common cause, but had very different reasons for attending.
The contestants … eight out of the original ten were there. All pretty excited, dazzling smiles, outfits that had had a lot of thought and so excited they couldn’t stop grinning …. they may go out clubbing regularly for all I know, but they obviously don’t get invited to media events of this nature – very few of us do – and the wide eyes, white teeth and loud laughter were an indication of how much they were enjoying being the centre of attention.
Sadly no photographers, but nevertheless a nightclub in central London has to be an exhilarating event. Some were livelier than others which was perhaps an indication of how they have dealt individually with their chance of fame … which is really the reason that many of them had entered the contest in the first place – although I am ready to believe that several of them would happily sign up to be on a PEEL showteam, which was the actual prize.
One of the girls, a lively, happy- natured young woman has been making the most of her chances and has collected a large following on Twitter. It suits her down to the ground and perhaps all she needed was the format to get her going. One young man has also made the most of his chance … shedding a lot of weight and looking good and making a DVD to show us all how it’s done. He’s a bit of a shy boy really, so it’s given him a shot of confidence.
Another young man has been working abroad for the summer and is now back and ready to jump into the fray – and yet another has realised that he’s improved so much since he was doing the filming months ago.
Good luck to all of them. They seemed very happy to see me and other members of the company…including the MD so hopefully they forgive us for ejecting them at various times!
The TV crowd were a bit more restrained in manner and dress. They do the ‘dress down’ look … no killer heels – lots of jeans and shirts for the boys and plain sweaters and denim for the ladies … obviously there would be little twists that are very fashionable in London circles – but it was too dark to see them.
Their agenda was very different. They were happy to see everyone, and lots of air kissing (and the real thing) went on …but they wasted no time in getting together in small enclaves – lots of natural polarity – and then obviously talking TV shop. The nature of this sort of TV company nowadays is that most people are freelance, so they don’t see each other on a regular basis … and the few people who had been full time employees when the show was filmed, have since moved on to pastures new.
The link between the two groups was perhaps the members of the original winter onboard showteam, which was interesting. They had been in place on the ship and had been involved in the filming, performing and doing a bit of mentoring here and there. But they had not been contestants, showing (sometimes unconsciously) their warts and all, so they were clearly more comfortable with both parties in the room.
After greeting all and sundry I sat to watch the proceedings (which included a free bar of course). It was akin to being at a water hole, being quiet enough to see the natural behaviour of the various species.
And so another box ticked, out into the night for a taxi of which there seemed to be almost none.
Picadilly Circus and Regent Street, I eschewed a rickshaw … been there before, and very nearly went ar… over tip. Thought we might have to walk up to Marble Arch…thinking of putting shoes in my pocket – too high and too big! But just in time along came our chariot of fire…