SM:tv Visit 1 | Absolutely Brian // the official website of TV and Radio personality Brian Dowling

Christine, Nora, Sue & Nicolette Visit SM:tv Live (April 2002)

So here we are! Four very nervous ladies, stood outside the revolving doors of the London Studios, from where SM:tv Live goes out every week. We have all been awake from the very early hours, bitten our nails down to the quick, and can hardly remember eating breakfast. So as we bravely go through the doors - here is our report of our very special day.

8.45 am - We report to reception and a runner comes to meet us, taking us along the winding corridors to the Studio 2 Café, which is a very surreal place, where stars and guests all mingle together. There the Production Manager, who gave us our guest passes and also went through the format of the morning for us, met us. Then the star gazing began, as we immediately spotted the boys from A1, and Holly Valance sat drinking coffee. Shortly after Conor McAnally came and introduced himself to us, and had a short chat.

At this point due to circumstances, our little group split up.

9.15am - Chris & Nic - were given a brief introduction to the studio before the show began, whereupon they had their 1st encounter with a certain gorgeous young Irishman, first hearing his voice (who could ever mistake that) to find him standing directly to the side of them, and following that seeing him dashing backwards and forwards along the corridor from make-up.

9.20am - Nora & Sue enter the studio with the rest of the day's non-famous guests. After a few minutes a familiar-looking hairdo with a rather fetching reddish-blonde streak can be seen bouncing around at the far end of the studio, and children and crew alike give a rousing cheer as three rather gorgeous (and one extremely gorgeous) presenters take their places in front of the cameras. The familiar opening titles can be seen on the monitors as Brian, Tess, Claire and H make their final preparations. The show begins with the customary SM:tv wave, given a little Irish flavour in honour of the week's new feature, Irish Popstars. A1 are first up and the audience clap along and dance, although most adult eyes seem to be glued in the direction of the multi-coloured couch for some inexplicable reason.

The usual SMTV mayhem follows, all the usual favourites, Men in Splat, Brian's Brain, Casually etc, and lots of banter between the presenters, which is interesting to watch from the other side of the cameras. In particular the support and encouragement they all give each other is tremendous. For example, Tess, who appears to have much less to do on-camera this week praises Brian's interview with Ivory, and is seen giving feedback to the others at regular intervals - a lovely example of the fantastic teamwork prevalent throughout the morning. In between takes, as cartoons are being shown on TV we have the opportunity to watch the rehearsals for the postbag dance, the 'peas' sketch and Casually, which are done to give the Guest Stars a chance to run through their lines. Brian constantly keeps everyone amused throughout the rehearsals, larking about with H before Men in Splat and having a giggle over Irish Popstars with Ben from A1 before the start of Casually! Brian is in constant demand from the children who stand above them on the balcony between the live links, shouting for him to wave up to them. He does seem to be the most popular of all the presenters at the moment. (Hmmm - can't imagine why!) The show goes without a hitch, unsurprisingly as everything seems to be run with military precision, the interviews are relaxed but slick and everyone from the audience to the floor manager, cameramen, presenters and guests seem to be having a whale of a time. All too soon the show is over and everyone is ushered out, back into the coffee shop for some refreshment and celeb spotting.

11.30am - (Jumpin' Jumpin' time as it's known in Brianfan land). Our happy band of Brian fans sit nervously in a corner and await the arrival of He Who Must Be Worshipped. First celeb to be spotted is Claire, who chats happily to the waiting throng together with Conor McAnally (now affectionately known to the Brianazzi in the corner as God) before being whisked away to change for CDUK. A few moments pass and suddenly and without warning Brian and Tess burst through the door and make a beeline for the nearest smiling faces. (Guess who?) A long and delicious handshake for Nora is followed by a huge bear hug and kiss for Christine before Brian is deluged by children wanting his autograph. He leans on the table and continues to attempt to make conversation with the transfixed and monosyllabic Nora while signing an endless stream of bits of paper. Christine hands Brian a small gift bag containing presents from us all, only to be told by Tess (who, incidentally is breathtakingly beautiful) "He's so spoilt Christine! EVERYONE brings him presents!" (…Yours is on the way as we speak Tess!) Brian then continues to chat to everyone; sign autographs and pose for pictures until being torn from us to do an interview for CITV.

12.30 am - 1pm More photographs are taken of the passing stars and autographs collected - Ronan Keating, A1 again, Holly Valance, Cat Deeley(who is extremely friendly and chatty), Sian Lloyd (?) H and Claire and the besotted Brian-ites are just starting to come back down to earth when Brian comes tearing back through the coffee shop on his way home. He stops at the corner table to tell us how much he loves his presents "I love the clip on thing, oooh, and the bear! It can go with the others on the bed! I'm off home for a couple of hours sleep now!" then turns just as he's about to go through the door and says "Byee!! Have a safe journey home to Cardiff!" (Wow - so Nora did manage to say SOMETHING then?) and is gone in a blur of red tshirt and adorable jeans. The netties watch as he climbs into his waiting car and immediately clamps his mobile phone to his ear. ("Narinder? How are you fixed for a spot of shopping later?" I wonder…)

A fantastic, unforgettable day! Brian is the most gorgeous, loveable, warm, approachable, tactile, funny, bubbly, hunky, sweet and delicious man in the world! Huge thanks to everyone at SMTV for a brilliant experience, particularly Conor McAnally who is an absolute diamond, and all the floor staff who made us feel so special.

If Brian was the icing on the cake of this lovely day, then the cherry must surely be that Sue, Nora, Christine and Nicolette all got to meet for the first time "in the flesh" in the nicest possible circumstances! (Well, I suppose Nicolette may have met Christine once or twice before as she's her mum!)

Take heart from our little story guys, none of us ever dreamt we'd actually meet Brian, but we did. Your time will come!!



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