Terry George Tellin’ Stories: Royal ascot + Boy George
Last month started off pretty well, when Number One Gay Hero and rugby legend Gareth Thomas came to party at Leeds best gay hot-spots. He toured the venues and the crowd at the Viaduct seemed very happy to see him so he returned the favour by taking his shirt off. A little later he surprised me by showing just what he could do with a bottle of champagne. These rugby boys certainly know how to party.
I’d been invited to a day at the races, and as I’d never visited a racecourse before and horses aren’t my thing, I wasn’t really all that bothered about going. However, it was to Ascot, the premier social event of the year, and I just lapped up all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded this event. Even The Queen was there in all her royal splendour, we didn’t meet, although I was in the box above hers and was looking down on her throughout the races. I was hoping for a few tips but couldn’t get a proper look at her race-card. In the end I put a £10 each way bet , which ended up costing me £20, on a horse and was excited to see it romp home… second. I thought I must be well in the money so shot off to the bookmaker to claim my winnings, a grand total of £23… not the most profitable day I have ever had. I just hope Her Maj did better than me.
Later in the day I was wondering past Lightbox bar in Vauxhall when I spotted Chrissy Darling, a glamorous door host I’ve known for years, he told me to go inside and enjoy the private party that was going on at the time. I pointed out that I hadn’t got my invite with me but he would have none of it and insisted I go in. The place was all decked out with a Moroccan feel and the smell of lovely Moroccan tasty tidbits hung in the noisy air. There were also some leather-clad waiters dispensing willie-shaped cock-tails to the assembled throng. I’d stumbled across Boy George’s 50th birthday party and it was terrific to see him again. In fact, his half century of life on this earth seemed to be doing him nothing but good as I don’t think I’ve ever seen him looking so well. Sipping from a bottle of water he had a word and a smile for everyone. We had a brief chat before he was whisked away to meet more of his guests that included Beth Ditto and Jodie Harsh, but I was really impressed at how he’s seems to have turned his life around. There again, he is a very determined guy so I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised.
Meanwhile, these events bring the highlife and a good degree of lowlife out of the woodwork and I’m afraid that some ex-celebs were more than an embarrassing and objectionable pain in the arse. I watched as Pete Burns was giving everyone who wouldn’t buy them a drink… a bit of lip (sorry Pete but they are enormous). Steve Strange rocked on by and I was just telling a group of friends that included; ex Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer, Holly Johnson, who was well on form and looking pretty good, Ollie Locke from ‘This is Chelsea’ and Daran Little (who had recently received a BAFTA for writing The Road to Coronation Street) a story about every time I’d met Steve in the past he always demands a drink… and guess what? Yep, the first thing he said was “Who’s getting me a drink?” We all fell about laughing… except Steve who had no idea why we were in hysterics.
Later, I bumped into a tanned and healthy looking Will Young, who was enjoying the party and I mentioned I was looking forward to hearing his new album, which I hope will be out in the next month or two. He really is a sweet guy and an absolute joy to spend some time chatting to.
All in all, it was a surprising end to a pretty brilliant day and one that I couldn’t have planned better if I’d tried. So next year I think I’ll go the whole hog and get a top hat and tails for Ascot, who knows I just might end up chatting and exchanging title-tattle with Her Majesty.