Thursday 30 March 2017

Anna Nolan: In a week of festival flops Kanye West reduced me to tears - of embarrassment

Kanye West performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival
Kanye West performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival
Glan Hansard
Anna Nolan, Paul Kelly and Biddy White Lennon of The Great Bake off
Holidaymakers view flowers left on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed on Friday in a terrorist attack on June 28, 2015 in Souuse, Tunisia. Sousse beaches remain quiet following the Tunisia beach attack which left 38 dead, including at least 15 Britons. Around 1,000 tourists returned to the UK with more set to follow in the coming days. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Chris Evans

Talk about a week of festival flops for me.

First of all, Killarney Festival didn't happen. It just didn't happen. All week I was working through my list, my festival list.

Wellies, plastic ponchos, Wipes - check. I had accommodation booked and the route mapped out. All systems go. But it just didn't happen.

There were murmurs early on in the week that there were problems with the ticket sales. I told my pal at work who is from Westport and she was delighted. "They shouldn't have ever taken it away from Westport anyway," she said with a vengeful grin.

I don't know the reason for the move - Westport was perfect. Maybe they just wanted a change of scenery.

Glen Hansard

Anyway, ticket sales were catastrophic and they moved the festival to the Killarney Racecourse. And then that was cancelled.

Turns out I was ill, all bloody weekend, real ill. So I wouldn't have been able to head down anyway.

So I tune into BBC to watch a little bit of Glastonbury coverage. Headline act on Saturday night - the man himself, 'The greatest rock star in the world', (says him, not me), Mr Kanye West.

I catch him as he is about to do a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. Great, I think.

At this stage, I have been coughing my lungs up for two days, my sore throat is numb with so many drugs I'm pretty much out of it and reckon that any type of performance would have made me high.

Sweet Holy Mother of Disasters. There were not enough drugs in Ireland to make me enjoy this performance.

It was embarassing. It was so embarrassing I had to put my head into a cushion. It was like one of those friends we all have who really think they can sing. And we all have to pretend that they have a good voice.

It wasn't slightly off key - it was majorly out of tune.

As I had my head in the cushion, holding back the tears of embarrassment, I thought of other little festival disasters that I've experienced over the years.

Like the time I chose to see Stereophonics at Glastonbury over Orbital.

It was 2002 and I was young and foolish. I got swayed by the crowd I was with and ended up listening to the syrupy, gloopy, head-melting songs of the Welsh get-up known as Sterophonics. Or the time I went to see The Frames at Electric Picnic and all Glen Hansard would do was turn the microphone to the crowd and shout - 'Sing along'.

I haven't paid a wad of cash to hear me, or that drunk git beside me, shout along to your songs Glen. Get the mic back to your face and sing ...

But for every bad incident I had at a festival I've had 100 good ones. Like the time I met the lead singer of Human League and him telling me that me choosing Electric Dreams as my song in the Big Brother House helped to bring them back on the circuit. Boooom!

Festivals disasters aren't the end of the world. They're as important as a leaking welly. I'll give the festivals a go again next year. And I hope the Killarney Music Festival people do too. There's always another festival year.

Series 3 of the Great Irish Bake Off is coming and I can already taste the cakes

 Anna Nolan, Paul Kelly and Biddy White Lennon of The Great Bake off

Sometimes in life, a gig comes along and you want it to be there for ever and ever. Well that's how I feel about the Great Irish Bake Off. We're back and I can't tell you how happy I am.

Things get very exciting for me now over the summer as we prepare to film the new series in September.

Firstly, I will have to get my lardy arse into shape. There's nothing like a very public event to get one focused on training and eating well.

Some people use a holiday to get fit. Others a wedding or a big birthday.

So, enough of the packets of digestive biscuits and crisps and dips on a Saturday night. It's back to the old reliable running and cutting out the crap. Think Charlize Theron getting fit for the Mad Max movie. Then, divide that by a thousand and throw in a few break-out nights and that's me.

This is series three, so we want to bring the standard up yet again.

Last year, we had an incredible baker in the form of Tracy Coyne.

Wow, was she some competitor. Always pushing herself to do better. Calm and collected yet ruthless in her desire to win.

So, this year, it's going to be bigger and better. Not me. I'll be smaller and better.

I get so excited about this show that I am already there in the tent, talking to the bakers as they pull out all the stops to bring us the very best creations they can make. I can smell the bread, the tarts.

I can taste the cakes and feel the soft sugary pavlovas against my lips already. Ooh-err missus, I'm getting carried away. We're back. And we cannot wait to bring you the next series of The Great Irish Bake Off.


Terror attack was a senseless act

Holidaymakers view flowers left on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed on Friday in a terrorist attack on June 28, 2015 in Souuse, Tunisia

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of the victims of the Tunisia shootings. 

Any one of us could have been on that beach relaxing, sunbathing, having a well-deserved holiday.

Who could imagine that a summer holiday could end in such a horrific way?

It is another senseless act of terrorism. And one that has directly touched innocent Irish people.


Chris is back on top ... exactly where he belongs

Chris Evans

I once presented TFI Friday on Channel 4. 

It was a few weeks after Big Brother and myself and Mel took over the hot seat, formerly owned by Chris Evans.

The most fascinating part of presenting this iconic show was learning about Chris.

I got ready in his changing room and the producer told me that Chris would write the running order of the show on the back of the door with chalk, so that he would know the show inside out.

Everyone said that the man was an absolute genius - great to work with, funny as hell and smart. Real smart.

He's back on top. Top Gear to be precise. I love it when people come back from the depths.

And after Chris Evans pretty much losing his career, he is back where he belongs.

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