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Lights, Camera, Action!

Remember I told you here about being shortlisted as Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the Midlands and having to read my story over the telephone? Well, I won! Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate

Last week I went along to the Disney Store in Birmingham to receive my certificate and read the story to a group of children. It was exciting – TV and newspaper cameras turned up along with a professional photographer organised by the PR company. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and the Lady Mayoress attended in their chains of office and last, but by no means least, Birmingham crime novelist Judith Cutler presented my certificate and kept me company through the afternoon. As an added bonus she introduced me to her husband Edward Marston, who writes historical crime fiction.

The media coverage of the event opened my eyes to the small budgets these people work on and how difficult it is to get publicity for anything that’s not hard news.

I’d been told the previous day that ITV Central News would be coming and had agonised over what to wear. Am I the only one who thinks there’s some rule about not wearing stripes, checks or loud patterns in front of TV cameras? Anyway, in the end I went for plain navy blue.

When the camera crew arrived, the ‘crew’ turned out to be a single cameraman (who’d arrived by motorbike) and that was it. I’d been expecting a reporter as well and possibly a sound man. But the cameraman did have one of those big furry microphones.  So, Lina, the Disney PR lady, became the interviewer and stood just out of camera shot whilst she asked questions of Judith and myself. It’s very hard to talk naturally or sensibly when a camera is pointed towards you but you’ve been told not to look at it and when there’s that microphone, which looks like a cute animal, being held out to catch every word. Judith and I did our best. Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate

The two photographers had their turn with us next and spent ages posing Judith and I alongside various Disney cuddly toys in the shape of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and the rest of their friends from Hundred Acre Wood. They took pictures of us with the Mayor and some children (parents had to sign permission forms) and a giant story book.

After all this, I finally read my story to a group of children who were shopping in the store.

I went home clutching a goody bag of soft toys and a fistful of Disney Store vouchers.  I felt quite a celebrity and couldn’t wait to watch my recording of Central News.
But my TV appearance was short, very short. Either my fears that I was spouting rubbish during the interview were true or everything else going on in the Central TV area that day was much more interesting! They showed a shot of Judith presenting my certificate and then a close up of the certificate and that was it. Neither of us was shown speaking – which in my case was probably just as well …

As for the press, there’s been nothing in the local paper yet despite the length of time the photographer spent with us.

BUT I have been sent some of the pictures taken by the PR company’s photographer AND I have got the platform of this blog to display them. So forgive me for indulging in a little celebrity showing off!

Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate

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  1. March 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Well done Sally! How amazing! What a tremendous experience!

  2. March 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Knew you were going to win, it was a dead cert, Sally. Congratulations and thank you sharing the wonderful photos. Looks like it was a day to remember! Can we read you story – will it be published?

    • March 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks, Tracy. Apparently the story will be published in a ‘special’ book but I’m not sure whether this is just a souvenir for the regional winners or a book that will be on sale. I’m also trying to find out about copyright so that I know whether I can do anything else with it.

  3. March 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Well done, Sally, that looks like it was fun! It’s amazing the places that writing can take you..!

    • March 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Yes, Helen, it was an interesting afternoon.

  4. martin gosling
    March 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Well done Sally!!!

    Martin G.

    Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:23:08 +0000 To: goslingmartin@hotmail.com

  5. March 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Well done, Sally. This is really exciting. You never know where it might lead. When I did my stint on the plinth, I was interviewed for Sky Arts afterwards and the reporter said, ‘I shall ask you a question, and I want you to repeat it as part of the answer,’ So when he said, ‘What was the best part…?’ I had to reply,’The best part was …’ It reminded me of answering old-school essay questions. I don’t know if they used my clip; I didn’t have the channel at the time (but that doesn’t stop me telling people they interviewed me!).

    • March 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Didn’t realise you were a TV star, Julia! That tip about repeating the question in the answer sounds sensible – I imagine it focuses the mind on answering what has been asked.

  6. March 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Wow, well done :D

  7. March 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    What an exciting day – and you’ve got some good photos out of it. Last year a film crew came to film our choir as one of the members was on the voice… only it was never shown. She had got through to the live show but I presume no one turned their chairs round! (If you’ve seen The Voice you’ll know what I’m talking about)

    • March 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      What a shame it never got shown, Wendy. I’ve never seen The Voice but I’m sure you’re choir member must have been good to get that far!

  8. March 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Oh, fab Sally, well done, you can use those photo’s on your blog and everywhere now. So thrilled that Brummie bear won. We all knew he would…. Imagine if they made a children’s programme, and Pooh is now a Midland-er…. So happy for you……

    • March 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      I only won the Midlands section, Susan. But Pooh did enjoy his trip to Birmingham in my story (& he got to eat honey!)

  9. March 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    You’ve every right to show off – well done!

  10. March 13, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I hope you have ordered headed notepaper to showcase your new title!
    Walt would be proud of you… though possibly a little disappointed that you didn’t turn up in sparkly fairy wings!

    Well done, Sally!

    • March 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Maybe I should spend my prize vouchers on sparkly fairy wings – perhaps it would get me in the mood for another children’s story!

  11. March 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Many congratulations, Sally! Well deserved I’m sure. Yes, you will see me on 5th April and looking forward to seeing everyone again.

  12. rohishetty
    March 14, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Hi Sally,

    Congratulations on winning!

    I enjoyed your humorous post.

    Kudos to you.

    much metta,

    Rohi

    • March 16, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks, Rohi – although I’m not sure what ‘much metta’ means …(I’ll assume it’s good!)

  13. March 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Congratulations. Sounds like it was fun.

  14. March 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    What a brilliant title to add to your literary CV, Sally – well done and what fun!

    • March 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      It is a bit of a long-winded title, Debbie – ‘Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate of the Midlands’ – but I’m pleased with it.

  15. Annie
    March 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Wow Sally you are now a star. Fantastic. Well done!

  16. March 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Well done Sally! A splendid achievement, and next time you are interviewed you will do it like a seasoned pro. Nice photos too.

    • March 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Yes, fingers crossed, Liz, that if I ever get the opportunity to do it again then I will do better!

  17. hilarycustancegreen
    March 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Fantastic, you made it all sound so unlikely in the earlier post. Sounds like an instructive day all round.

    • March 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Yes, I certainly learned something, Hilary.

  18. March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, that’s brilliant Sally, congratulations!

  19. March 19, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Brilliant, love the pictures.

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