During my second year at the radio station I wrote and recorded (in a local but cute little studio) a song called Shining Star that screamed Eurovision and was written about George. I used to give the song demo to anyone and everyone that I met. There wasn’t a person at the time that didn’t have that demo!
The boss at the station was a radio/music guru who also happened to be best buddies with George so you can imagine the amount of time I spent skulking around his office with my tape. Shining Star was the first of many demos I played him, he would put them on the stereo LOUD whilst I sat in front of him and cringed and each time he would tell me (years before Simon Cowell coined the phrase) that I did NOT have the X factor! Traumatic as this was it did not deter me and he did eventually let me sing the radio jingles so I couldn’t complain.
Every year at the radio station there would be a weekend completely devoted to the ‘Help a London Child’ charity, this would include all sorts of events, fundraising and donations. George was instrumental in the success of this fundraising each year as he always donated thousands of pounds to the charity. In 1996 he gave Capital Radio the first radio play of his new single ‘Jesus to a Child’. George’s cousin brought it in and I was allowed to transport the CD from reception into the hands of the DJ. It was the first song he had written and released since 1992 so it was all very exciting. George’s relationship with Capital was a strong one and it meant a lot to him to support London’s biggest radio station.
During this period, the programming team managed to present me with a much sought after ticket to the Help a London Child awards at The Lancaster Hotel where George was due to pick up an award. I was beyond thrilled but a little apprehensive at being so near yet so far from my idol! Everyone was seated around tables wedding style; George was sat at Boss man’s table at the front in a cordoned off VIP area. After much deliberating I decided to throw caution to the wind and go over and say hi with my demo in hand (just in case I felt brave enough!).
Boss man’s face was a mix of amusement and horror as he saw me climb over the rope and head towards them. He introduced me to George who leaned over and shook my hand. His first words to me were “haven’t we met before?” I was obviously internally jumping for joy at this point. Boss man actually (to my amazement) got up and let me sit down but I knew time wasn’t on my side. I quickly handed George the demo with a brief explanation before very briskly saying my good byes. I luckily managed to grab the resident photographer as he went by to ensure he snapped the 3 of us!
George was an absolute delight, really attentive and kind much gentler than I ever imagined. George never did give the demo back – it’s likely he never even listened to it but it was certainly a moment that dreams are made of.
me and George 1996