On Sat night, I was lucky enough to be invited to ITV1’s an ‘Audience with Lionel Richie”. More about that in a moment; the serious stuff first. While I was there, a well known TV face came up to me and said, “I want to shake you by the hand, your site is brilliant and thanks to it, I’ve successfully got my bank charges back.” He also indicated how other well-known people he’d introduced to this site are doing the same thing.
You’ll note I’m not naming him. He’s a passionate advocate of reclaiming bank charges, and I suggested that it’d be great for us to go public about his case, as I think the newspapers would be interested and it’d be a great way of highlighting the campaign to get people’s cashback. Hence I don’t want to ruin it by giving the game away here; I’m sorry, but I hope you’ll understand.
Now onto the party itself.
I always feel a little nervous going to these dos, as they’re swamped with well known faces off the TV and I sit there feeling a bit of a fraud. Rather than going with the MSG as my guest, I took my agent Sue, who’s a massive fan of Lionel Richie. We were seated right by the stage, next to Andy Abrahams and his wife Denise, and were surrounded by famous faces. Luckily I’ve met Andy before when we did the Wright Stuff together, so it was easy to say hi.
The show itself was fun, though you’re importantly told you must clap along, as the cameras are there and it’s part of building the atmosphere (not that it needed much – there was even the sight of Alistair Stewart swaying with the music next to Moira Stewart and then wolf whistling!) After the first song my hands were already stinging; but quick advice from Andy to just curve your hands and stop clapping before your two hands connect, meant I managed to keep going.
The highlight of the show for me actually happened off-sceen. The compare came off and on during the ad-breaks to keep the audience ‘warm’. In the third break he asked Lemarr to sing Happy Birthday to one of the people in the public section of the audience. While a little embarrassed at first, Lemarr sang the most powerful soulful version of Happy Birthday you can imagine; as soon as he started everyone went quiet, and a few jaws dropped. Even Lionel Richie walked back on stage to give him a round of applause with a “let’s change the format, you should be up hear singing with me!” I believe the two of them sang together as part of Fame Academy.
Then to the after show party with Sue, where we met my other agent, also called Sue (they’re business partners, it makes it easy, I just call their office and ask for Sue!) and Justin and Colin, the interior designers, who I know well.
It always surprises me that there are MoneySavers at these do’s, including Kim from ‘How Clean is your House’ and her husband (who’s recently done split ticketing of train fares), which is great to hear. My favourite quote was from someone who’d told me he’d been sitting next to Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon’s Den and had pointed me out and asked Duncan “what does business think of Martin’s site”, to which the reply was “we’ve got no problem, it’s the banks who need to watch out!”.