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Fabia Cerra has talent (and a plan)

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Britain’s Got Talent has been known for many golden moments, Cher Lloyd’s tantrums, Susan Boyle’s amazing voice to name but two.  But for sheer visual impact one lady always stood out.  Personally I always liked her for making Simon Cowell’s facial expression change from boredom to sheer amazement in less than a minute.

Step forward Miss Fabia Cerra

If you didn’t catch her act the first time it was repeated on youtube endlessly for the viewing public.  Now, this is the first time a burlesque performer had appeared on BGT so there was some doubt as to what to expect.  Needless to say her performance titillated, stunned, amused and amazed the people of this fair land.

In the wake of the spotlight came huge, and scarily persistent media interest, particularly from  The News of the World (you remember them).

But the fifteen minutes of fame tick away fast and she has been working hard.  She consolidated her success by moving into new areas of business, such as perfume.  A lot of her spare time is spent in charitable works and volunteer projects, such as Abdabs, a youth community theatre project based in Witney.  She has even had a letter from Buckingham palace, but more on that later.

To see Fabia’s outstanding performance please click here

I still love the look on Simon Cowell’s face, it was the only time he cracked a smile.  Lucky that desk was there, eh,  Simon?

So I finally caught up with Fabia for a chat this week.

What drew you towards the Burlesque style of performance?

I was watching BBC Three when my son was a year old, it was Jo King teaching burlesque with Dawn Porter to a group of nurses. They were very scared at the beginning of their lessons but, by the end Jo had them performing as a burlesque troupe in a London club and, their confidence had rocketed.
As I was once a world dance champion I knew I capable of doing this style of dance, so I googled and, found where they taught burlesque in Reading. I joined a four week beginners class and, loved it! The women were great to be with and, we didn’t take it seriously. Id never had so much fun in years!
After week two, I began to lose a few ponds in weight, my legs has toned up and, I was feeling sexy again! After having a child any new mum would know that you lose your identity and, just become a mum. I needed to find myself again and, burlesque did just that.
Do you have any Burlesque idols?
My burlesque idol is Immodesty Blaze, Ive seen her perform at KoKo in Camden she was absolutely amazing, to be honest I was turned by her and, her routines! I have her book called “Tease” which is fabulous and, her DVD which was filmed at KoKo that very night in Camden.
What happened after BGT?
Since BGT I made more magazines pick me up, just as beautiful and, others to talk about burlesque and, being a carer to my son who has special needs. People were to quick to judge me and, didn’t know I was mum let alone a single mum and, carer for my disabled son. Too many people always judge a book by its cover, Ive grown such a thick skin to the negative and, Ive thrived off of it! I became the plus size ambassador for 6 months promoting the in Oxford fashion week media articles and, took it Parliament Lynne Featherstone, MP regarding body image. I enjoyed the campaign but, so may projects so little time.
Can you tell us what you are up to over the coming year?
Ive launched my own perfume called burlesque Kiss, what else would I call it? I’m writing a secound book called 2 Follow Your Dreams_ Respect to Mr Simon Cowell. It will be a positive read to the world of reality TV and, the Truth!
I teach a beginners class at Messy Jam dance studios in Oxford to nine fantastic women who enjoy doing burlesque and, other dance styles. Ive just in Oxford 5K walk with my son Leone he was in his buggy. I strolled a nine mile walk on 9TH July 2011 in aid of Sobell House Hospice.I love doing charity work Ive took a leaf out of Mr_Simon Cowells book.  I wrote to HRM The Queen, about him to get him Honoured, as I didn’t know who to contact.
I have a manager for Curvy Models Management UK is going live September 2011 I am a glamour/fashion and, advertising model for this age.
Do the media still follow you around?
The media don’t follow my every move I have a PR manager who sends off press releases when necessary about my latest project. I’m a local talent contest judge for StarCatchers! See facebook for more details. Ive been judging since 2009, and, I love it!
What were your thoughts on the News of the World’s demise?
The news of the screws were a nightmare when they interviewed me over the phone, they kept pushing me and, asked to interview me at home I agreed but, they ended up asking me to lunch and, I said “NO!” They wouldn’t my drive way until they had a hard copy of my autobiography In 2 Minds
I had to call ITV press office and, the police!!! They soon moved off my drive back to London. I’m glad they shut the paper down they are evil bastards! and, Karma came around a bit them where it hurt! in their pockets…
I feel so sad for the families who were lied to by the paper and, mislead to thinking their loved ones were still alive…
So how is life at the minute?
I love my life now and, I’m so grateful to Mr_Simon Cowell for believing in me, my life has changed as Im doing what Ive always wanted to do with my life now. I’m not rich but, I feel rich because, I’m so happy which is priceless.
To see more of Fabia and her forthcoming projects check out her site
Or keep up with her on Twitter find her here:
And special thanks to for the cover photos.  Check out their work.



Written by Nick Gilmartin

July 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

The King’s Speech and I

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There are many things that come naturally to me, for example mixing flavours and anticpating customer needs.  Some things don’t, and sadly public speaking is one of them.  So I would have to be a total lunatic to suggest that I speak live on radio about not being able to speak.  But why?

Coming soon to a cinema near you, and an Oscar favourite to boot, is a film called the King’s Speech.  Colin Firth portrays King George VI, a rather shy fellow who was suddenly pushed on to the throne after his brother abdicates.  Traumatic enough in itself, his problems were compounded by the fact that he had a severe stammer.   The film has proved a major talking point in the US, with debates online and on radio.

Adrian Goldberg, bloody nice bloke.

I knew instantly it should be worthy of some attention in dear old Blighty too so I fired off an e-mail to the main man at BBC Radio West MidlandsAdrian Goldberg is a fellow I had been in correspondence with for a while but never actually met.  I wrote a few pieces for his website, the Stirrer, last year.

My day got off to an expensive start when I filled my tank with as much petrol as I could afford.  To put it in perspective, if it were beer to drink, I would still be under the legal limit.  My sat nav is never happier than when I take it to Birmingham.  It suddenly turns into some kind of Sergeant Major.  “Left, right, left, right, left… HALT!”

BBC West Midlands is a rather swanky place, part studio, part shop and part exhibition center, very people friendly.  Except on New Years Day it was all shut except for the studio.  Through a glass partition I could see the back of a man’s head as he spoke into the microphone.  The studio PA came out to tell me that I had a few minutes yet so I waited.

Preparing for a radio speech took George IV hours, he went through breathing techniques, relaxation and allsorts.  I had a can of red bull on my way in and hoped for the best.  I took this opportunity, though, to pace up and down, breathing like a sex pest, trying desperately to get my heart rate down.  But the more I tried, the more I felt a coranary coming on.  I recited my quotes to a model Dalek, until I noticed people staring in the window at me.  Carry on people, nothing to see here.

After a few minutes I was called in, during the commercials, and introduced to Adrian.  He seemed, indeed is, a nice sort of fellow.

“Ah Nick, come in,” he said “We are very interested to hear about you and how you cured your stutter.”

Hang on.. cured?

“I haven’t, I still have it.”  I replied, in perfectly clear speech.  Which would confuse some people.

“Okay, no problem.”  Adrian replied, the corner of his eye registering the smallest flicker of concern.  He had never actually heard me speak before, so this was a bit of a gamble for him.

So off we went, Adrian led the conversation then gave me ample time to answer, he didn’t interrupt or try to finish my words off, which is the worst thing you can do to a stammerer.  We discussed the film, which admittedly neither of us had seen yet.  We discussed people’s attitudes to stammering, which are generally reasonable, and occasionally rather bad.

We got on to the various therapies available, the best available being the Maguire programme and the Starfish project.  A short phone-in followed.  A chap was on the line who coped admirably well with a stammer for years while holding down a stable job as a journalist.  To me, this boded well for my future aspirations.

We discussed my treatment, which in truth amounted to very little.  After years in and out of therapy I decided to just live with it.  But, and this is paramount, I must learn not to fear it.  The Maguire programme had a stage involving public speaking.  However, without knowing it I had gone one better.

Way back in 1998 I went off along to Greece on a bit of a tour of self discovery.  To find work I had made myself walk into every bar, club and restaurant in Malia and sell my abilities.  It was hard, nerve-wracking, and, yes, often humiliating.  But after dozens of no’s I finally found a little bar on the top of a hill, and the barman said ” Yeah, alright.”  This piratical looking individual, Manos, became a long time friend of mine.  I digress.

The whole interview took about ten or fifteen minutes and, I later learned, had a very positive response.  It also got a plug or three for my blog, Birmingham Food and Drink.  (Cheers for that, Adrian)

So I hope all of this helped my fellow stammerers.  If any of you out there wish to contact me about the interview, my contact address is here.

In all, an unusually productive New Years morning.

To learn more about stammering and it’s affects, please check out:



Britain agrees to help Ireland

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Mr Cowen (Prime Minister) and Mr Lenihan (Finance Minister) facing the music

The latest developments in the Irish financial crisis may have  brought a temporary halt.  I think we can officially say the Irish economy has  sadly reached rock bottom.  It seems a forgone conclusion that the current Government will not survive into the new year, and they know it well.

Europe and now Britain has agreed to  loans measured in the billions, which has at least secured their future  but it may have seriously impaired their ability to act, economically, as a nation.

A lot of British people (mostly English) are asking why should we help Ireland when we have enough serious problems of our own?

The answers are mainly down to the future security of the country and the preservation of the peace process.  Britain needs a stable Republic of Ireland as we share a border that could see thousands coming over looking for work, as indeed happened in the 1930s.  Britain simply does not have the jobs to provide work for all those seeking it, we cannot even provide enough for our own people.  Furthermore they provide a lot of food, mainly beef, to our shopping baskets.

A weakened Irish government would give rise to a new and determined wave of nationalism.  Sinn Fein, like the BNP and the EDL, are gaining ground fast.  They, naturally, deplore this sell-out of their nation to foreign bureaucrats.  They have thousands of young, dissaffected Irish people to subvert for their own ends.  To them, accepting a loan from the British is the last straw.

We all can see that the peace process is running slowly out of steam.  It has made some rock solid foundations in the last ten years or so.  Unemployment shrank, the violence died down by a remarkable degree, ?  We have disarmament, a re-branded  police force (as opposed to an actual new one), and a power-sharing agreement for warring sides.

All this could come to naught if the angry young men and women of 2011 onwards decide: ‘ feck it, let’s blow something up and have a riot.’  Misery divides people, it never unites them.  Naturally both sides will blame each other for their privations and in no short space of time the bubbling cauldron of hate will boil over again.  This would only be fuelled by joblessness and poverty.

Can Ireland dig it’s way out of this hole?  Eventually yes, but we are talking generations, not a year or two.  They are a dogged, determined lot when they set their hearts on something and they can be wonderfully innovative when they want to be.  Don’t underestimate them, and don’t patronize them either, they hate that.  Just wait for them to bounce back.

Go see them yourself here:


Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Posted in in the news, Politics

I quit!

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Actually I havn’t but boy have I thought about it a lot lately.

But the art of telling someone where to stick their job has been taken to a whole new level this week.

Firstly, ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Steven Slater, air steward.  Now dealing with the general public in transit is a stressful occupation.  We have all seen airline, the rows, the idiots and so on, but we never had to deal with it personally.  Steve did it every working day.

Steve was having a  bad time anyway, lets make that clear.  He had family worries and really could do without two women arguing over an overhead locker as the plane taxied to a halt at JFK airport.  He went over to intervene but was told in no uncertain terms where to get off.

At this point the red mist descended.

Steve tore off his nasty airline tie, grabbed the microphone and launched into an expletive-laden tirade against the two women and the airline industry in general.  After which he grabbed a very well earned beer, opened the door, pulled the inflatable chute and slid his way to freedom.  Geezer!

Sadly he was arrested at his home a few hours later on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and other crimes against fun.  He is currently on bail and awaiting trial.

To support his case follow this link:

But my gold medal for sticking it to the man has to go to this little sweetheart.  All we know is her name is Jenny and she was having a lot of hassle at the firm of brokers where she worked.  Just follow the pictures all the way down.

A round of applause please!

For more funny stuff please check out so I don’t feel too bad about stealing their photos.

If workplace stress is causing you hell please do get help.  Just don’t ask me for a job.

Written by Nick Gilmartin

August 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

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Zach Braff is not dead

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Dude, is heaven supposed to look this lame?

Dude, is heaven supposed to look this lame?

Well for a change I would like to announce that Zach Braff, star of Scrubs, is NOT dead.  It was some twat on a fake site putting about a fake rumour.

Roll VT, bob:

I was concerned at first, considering the year we are having for celebrity deaths.  But within an hour nothing had appeared on, sky news or the BBC.  Not even Fox ran the news.

Zach Braff is the star of the long running medical comedy Scrubs, that has won several TV awards.

Here is a clip of this funny series:

Written by Nick Gilmartin

October 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Posted in in the news, TV

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Stephen Gately of Boyzone has died

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Stephen Gately

Yesterday it was announced that the singer Stephen Gately had died at his apartment in Majorca.  The Spanish police do not suspect foul play or misadventure, but no other details have been revealed.

Stephen Gateley shot to fame in 1993 as a singer in an Irish boy-band managed by pop svengali Louis Walsh.  Boyzone, as they were known, became the rivals of Take That at a time when the latter band held dominance of the Boy-band market.  While Take That were mostly from the north of England, Boyzone were all Irish.

Boyzone were an overnight success and sold out stadiums worldwide.

Stephen was also gay, but he found himself still very much accepted by his band mates.  He later came out and few people batted an eye lid.  He later became the civil partner of Andrew Cowles.

Boyzone split for many years, for unclear reasons, except perhaps they had taken their act as far as they could at the time.  They later reformed and played the same kind of slow ballads they had before.

Away from the music Stephen was also an actor and did many voice overs for Doctor Who audio productions and the Watership down TV series.

He was found on his sofa the morning after a night out.  No drugs or other implements were found at the scene and a post mortum is due later this week.  I think it is likely he fell asleep on his back and choked on his own vomit, but that is just personal speculation.

He was 33 years old.

Written by Nick Gilmartin

October 12, 2009 at 5:17 am

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I just made love! (actually it’s a site)

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In the realm of the internet we have come across some weird and wonderful sites.  The church of Elvis, dancing ducks and cutsey pussy cats.  But once in a while a site comes along that just keeps you amused for hours. is one of those sites.

The idea is that the minute you have done the deed you post your location onto the google map provided on the site along with any details you care to share.  Just please remember that there is such a thing as too much information!

I really must read it on a saturday night just to see which locations come up.  Bus shelters, taxi ranks, hang on, is that my garden??  those little…  arrgh!!  It seems the middle of the Atlantic is a common location (probably a lot of frustrated sailors).  One wonders if the site counts masturbation as sex.  Considering the name uses the singular it wouldn’t surprise me.

Ah, it’s the little things that we find amusing.  Are you going to post on it?  Go on.

No I havn’t added a marker.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

October 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Posted in in the news