My phone rang yesterday morning at work.
It wasn't a client or a customer, it was the director of the amateur theatre group I belong too.
"The theatre have been on the phone, a journalist from the national press wants to talk to someone about us doing Calendar Girls. I think they may have picked up the story from when you were interviewed on BBC local radio. You're better at that sort of thing than I am and anyway you're our publicity officer, you'll do it won't you. They'll be ringing later today."
I coughed and spluttered into my tea.
"Errr... yeah go on then."
A few minutes later a journalist called Kate from The Independent called. This was serious stuff! I started to tell her about our production. I've been interviewed on local radio loads of times but never by "Fleet Street" (I know no one is in Fleet Street anymore but it's an iconic expression for national papers isn't it). I was very nervous and more than a bit cautious.
The whole story started a few months ago when several local amateur dramatic groups applied for the rights to put on Calendar Girls next year. The London producers want to break the world record for the amount of amateur groups to do the show in one year. As a result the rights are limited to September 2012 to September 2013 and no groups are being refused a request to perform, regardless of how many other groups may also be doing it in your area, or even at the same time.
The reason for this is to raise as much money as possible, as half the performing rights from each show go to the Calendar Girls Leukaemia and Lymphoma charity:
Some larger groups are used to exclusive rights for many of the musicals they perform and are slightly "miffed" that, with this straight play, they are not the only group to get permission and are not even the first in the area to be doing it!
Personally our group think this is a charity event not a competition. It's not about who can do it first or have exclusivity it's about raising money to get rid of this terrible disease and I for one would go and see the show a thousand times if I thought it could help to find a cure for cancers. So we are going to carry on with our performances regardless and raise as much cash as possible for not on only the Calendar Girls charity but a local hospice as well.
This seems to be news worthy, not only for local BBC radio but now the national press!
I felt the interview was going well. I looked over at Byron opposite me. She smiled encouragingly as I spelt out the name of the local village where we rehearse.
Then Kate dropped a bombshell.
"Would you be happy for someone to come and take a picture?"
"Well.. errr..yes... what you mean Calendar Girls style?"
"Yes. We are also interviewing the original Miss February from the WI, Angela Baker, so we'd like to have a picture to mirror her one, you know, at the piano."
I remembered the one!
"Would you be happy to do that?"
"I'd be happier with a few of us to be honest, not just me. When do you need this by"
"It's for this Sunday's paper. So later today or tomorrow!"
"Ummmm... I'll see if I can rally a few of the girls together then."
"Oh and we need a venue with a piano. Can you arrange that? Let me take your number and the picture desk will contact you later"
In the end the girls and our local theatre have all come up trumps. The chap is even coming to open up for us and he's on holiday bless him. So this afternoon seven ladies, including me will be baring, nearly, all for tomorrow's Independent on Sunday!
When I got off the phone Byron, Ken and Barbie all asked how it went.
I told them about the photo shoot!
"Well at least it's not for The Sun!" they said
Oh indeed the News of the World! After all... they have my mobile number now don't they and you have to be careful when your a celebrity darling...
Ha,ha.... I'm beginning to think the biggest thing in this picture amazingly won't be my boobs!
It'll be my head!
To be continued.....