I was upset. It was the headline: 'David Bowie dead at 69 after secret 18-month battle with cancer'. Because for me it was far too close to home. All I could think of was my Mum, I couldn't help it. The facts were identical.
Winning CBB for me was a fantastic experience, and if I could only give one piece of advice to any of the housemates it would be simply this, relax - don't forget to be nice and enjoy every single moment of it!
THE REVENANT OUT IN CINEMAS NOW Alejandro G. Innaritu / Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy / Thriller / 2016 / 15 / 156mins A thought occurred to me as I...
Please don't think for a minute that I have done all of this by myself. For every child receiving a book there are 10 people who work locally to sponsor the program by raising money, registering kids and to do whatever they can do to make the Imagination Library successful. There is no better example of this than the effort in Southwark. Once again, kind and gentle souls have taken a dream conjured up in Tennessee and given it new life in their community.
Doing what I do for a living, I spend my waking hours weighing up the potential of misadventure against the likelihood, the steps you need to take to minimize danger against the worst possible outcome. The risk of shark attack in Australia is tiny, but the potential effects are catastrophic, and so I cannot in good faith just tell my Aussie supporters to carry on swimming anytime, anywhere.
Hopefully you've had the chance to take a look at our thought-provoking new campaign film #sharetheorange featuring Alzheimer's Research UK supporter Christopher Eccleston. Why have we taken this unusual approach to communication? And what's with the orange?
Whilst realisation of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation.
Bowie was an outsider. Some have suggested that the man who refused a knighthood would be unlikely to want to feature on currency - perhaps the ultimate symbol of the establishment. But he also made the music and imagery of a cult artist part of the mainstream by sheer force of talent.
For the second year in a row, there are will be no black, Asian or minority ethnic actors that win an Oscar - because the 20-strong list of nominees in 2016 is entirely white.
This, I have decided, is the year for change. This is the year that I will have sex more than three times, fall outrageously in love, stop eating chocolate as a pre-bed snack and, obviously, have less than 12% of body fat. However for now whist I decide where to start we best have a celebratory drink, although best make mine a slimline!
Although we tend to focus on his ability to play 'the bad (good) guy' many overlook his comedic side. Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Dogma and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are evident to his adeptness as an actor.
Alan Rickman played Snape like a poker player carries the winning cards. Quietly. Calmly. Delicately. He shone at the right times and stood out when surrounded by champions. Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon. He outshone, and out-played them all. Whereas they were actors playing a part, he was Severus Snape. Being incredibly Severus Snape.
I get on the bus to go to work. The news is still buzzing in my head. No, not buzzing. That's not right. My head is numb. Just stillness and silence after the explosion. I listen to Blackstar. It is a completely different album compared to the one I'd listened to the night before.
Yesterday morning I heard that David Bowie had died of cancer, aged 69. Yesterday afternoon I spent a grateful and contented hour walking and talking with my darling Dad. He is convalescing from an operation to remove a cancerous tumour, he is 69, thankfully he's going to be OK.
I were pushed to name a favourite track it would be 'Cygnet Committee' from his second album and his more folky era. In the circumstances I hope Mr Jones would forgive me for taking a slight liberty with the last line...
Mighty is the craic of seeing David perform a secret rehearsal gig with Tin Machine, as nominal support act to a local band in a Dublin pub, in front of no more than 100 people. I was upfront, my chest clashing with his micstand. It was punk as f***.