Minogue Magic in Hyde Park

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Some people get their highs from drugs or alcohol, but I get my highs from Kylie Ann Minogue. And just like the 70,000 spectators at the BBC Radio 2 Festival In A Day (not counting the millions tuned into the radio and television broadcasts) my comedown is BAD today. The benchmark was set sky high by Kylie’s last headline slot at Hyde Park in 2015, affectionately known as ‘the Woodstock of our generation’ but it was easily equaled in a gloriously joyous hit laden set.

The highlight was without a shadow of a doubt her former love Jason Donovan joining her on stage for their million selling hit Especially For You, as evidenced by the above video of my scream which could be heard as far away as Kylie’s native Melbourne. When the opening bars drifted across the festival and Min invited a choir to duet with her rather than the Scott to her Charlene my heart sank. This wasn’t to be the promised surprise after all. BUT never underestimate a Minogue as just before the famous dance interlude she announced “But I need a dance partner”…and suddenly our Jase appeared from the side of the stage. They launched straight into their iconic side to side dance complete with SPIN that featured in as many school discos in the late 80s as units it shifted. The story became even more special when it transpired afterwards that Jason had only got a call at 7pm and without any hesitation he hopped straight on his bike and CYCLED to the festival. Just get back together guys – PLEASE!

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The other big surprise of the evening was Kylie’s former PWL (and now BMG) label mate Rick Astley joining her for surprise medley of I Should Be So Lucky and Never Gonna Give You Up.  This Stock, Aitken and Waterman reunion seemed apt considering the location where the original Hit Factory Live reunion gig was cancelled six Summers ago. Or as I like to refer to it the worst day of all time.

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The chemistry between them was electric, you could feel the pure delight radiating from both of them, as Rick exclaimed when leaving the stage “You have made my year”. Alas they did not go out on a complete high as Rick also joined her for a duet of Kids. I never like to speak ill of Minogues so instead I’ll leave it on this point – at least it was Rick who joined her as her surprise guest rather than the bloated ego of Robbie Williams.

Other highlights included an impromptu acoustic medley of some of her old hits when there were technical issues, personally I do not think it’s a surprise that I bellowed ‘JE NE SAIS PAS POURQUOI KYLIE” then she included it. There were no rarities and the majority of the setlist consisted of songs I’ve seen multiple times before but this was to be expected and the absolutely the correct thing to do considering it was a festival set. When the show ended in an immense explosion of confetti during All The Lovers my appetite was more than whet for the upcoming Golden Tour. Kylie as a performer just gets better and better and it was a true delight to see her win over such a large crowd.

SETLIST

  • Golden
  • Spinning Around
  • Got To Be Certain/Step Back In Time/Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi (Acoustic medley)
  • In Your Eyes
  • Stop Me From Falling
  • Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
  • Especially For You (ft Jason Donovan
  • The Locomotion
  • On A Night Like This
  • I Should Be So Lucky/Never Gonna Give You Up (ft Rick Astley
  • Kids (ft Rick Astley)
  • Dancing
  • Love At First Sight
  • All The Lovers

 

 

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Lady Jaz’s Track by Track Musings on Kylie’s GOLDEN

DANCING 10/10

I truly love this song, it’s like bottled joy and deserved to be number one for 16 weeks straight. Damn millennials and their “streaming” messing up the hit parade! The double meaning in the chorus still tugs at my heartstrings.

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STOP ME FROM FALLING 10/10

We are all familiar with this smash hit by now. Kylie’s latino and country crossover is exceptionally uplifting. I can feel my serotonin levels rising when she trills “For youuuuuuuuuu” in the choruses.

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GOLDEN 10/10

I loved this when I first heard it as the opening track at her recent album showcase gig at Porchester Hall, but the album version is even better. Will Minogue break her trend of having never released a title track to an album as a single despite them usually being A+++? Justice for Aphrodite, Enjoy Yourself, Kiss Me Once & Light Years!

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A LIFETIME TO REPAIR 11/10

I’ve loved this song more than oxygen since the very second I first heard it. Just when you think it can’t get any better you get Kylie belting out the chorus like a sledgehammer to the heart. Heartbreak never felt so good!

SINCERELY YOURS 10/10

Kylie’s love letter to her fans, a truly touching moment that genuinely tugs at your heartstrings. I “love you dearly, yours sincerely” too Min!! The ad libs really make it for me, especially the “SO I PUT IT IN WRITING” at 2 min 38 secs.

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ONE LAST KISS 8/10

I imagine this is one song NOT written about the slimy lothario Joshua Sasse – can’t imagine Kylie would want him and those hair plugs that close to her ever again! A bouncy album track but not my favourite. I do really love the “so baby come to me, oh baby come to me” refrain though.

LIVE A LITTLE 8.5/10

Another positivity anthem. I enjoy the contrast between the verse and chorus but I feel this is a little throwaway. Weirdly (for me) I prefer the ballads on Golden to the more uptempo moments.

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SHELBY ’68 9/10

I’m a little conflicted about how this is in honour of Dad Ron Minogue yet features some romantic sounding lyrics. Fun fact the car sounds at the start are actually from Ron’s car and were recorded by Brendan Minogue meaning all three siblings are now officially popstars.

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RADIO ON 10/10

Completely heartfelt and moving ballad about Kylie finding salvation in music when her life has gone to pot. We’ve all been there babe. Weirdly uplifting despite the melancholic message just like all perfect pop songs.

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L.O.V.E. 9/10

Alas not a cover of the 2005 Missy Elliot featuring Ashlee Simpson single. Kylie’s harmonies are perfection on the choruses.

RAINING GLITTER 7/10

My least favourite on the album (soz Minogue). Is a very solid album track but to me just sounds like a Fever b side with a few added banjos. For a lot of people Fever is their favourite Kylie album but alas it isn’t mine! WHOOP

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MUSIC’S TOO SAD WITHOUT YOU (with Jack Savoretti) 10/10

I still don’t know who or what a Jack Savoretti is but I adore their voices together. The swirling waltz like melodies and orchestration sound gorgeous. I could imagine this playing over the end credits of a 60s British classic film starring Julie Christie & Richard Burton.

BONUS TRACKS

LOST WITHOUT YOU 11/10

One of the greatest, most broodingly epic masterpieces that Queen Minogue has ever been involved with. If you look up perfection in the dictionary you’d find her spoken word interlude. “Can I be honest with you, can I tell you the truth?” breathes Kylie at the start of the track and to me this feels like a metaphor for the album as a whole.

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EVERY LITTLE PART OF ME 9/10

One of the poppiest tracks on the album, that has a very fresh and modern sheen. I could picture this song having some fab choreography, and in all honesty is there any greater compliment in life?

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ROLLIN’ 8.5/10

Probably deserves its place as a bonus track. Works well with the rest of the album, but isn’t a standout to me.

LOW BLOW 8/10

Perfectly enjoyable saloon bop, but the lyric “swinging your lasso at my rodeo” is not gonna convince those skeptical about her new sound to hop on the Kylie train.

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What are your thoughts thus far on Kylie’s country opus?

A Midnight Date With Kylie Minogue

Ever since HMV announced the competition to win one of 300 places at the midnight launch of Kylie’s 13th studio album GOLDEN I had a strong feeling that I WOULD be attending that wasn’t even slightly dampened by failing to be picked in either the original draw or the subsequent re-draw. When there’s a will there’s a way. I’m certain the HMV customer service team were delighted by my daily correspondence on this matter. With 5 days to go I’d been informed that all tickets had been allocated and that there would be no further draw for tickets, or as I call it – a technicality.

The day of the event arrived and weirdly I’d still not received a notification that I’d been allocated a GOLDEN ticket. Working just a few minutes stroll from the venue I decided to pop along during my lunchbreak and see if I could work my charm. I managed to procure an impromptu meeting with Simon, HMV’s Head of Events who informed me, alas, that there was nothing he could do as the event was already oversubscribed so they would not be running a reserve list. I enjoyed his advice that I snap up a cassette if possible, as this was the most limited of all the formats. “Babe, I have a delivery for every single format pending since the dot of midnight they went on pre-order!”. I thanked Simon for his help, and trotted back to my office with only a very faint feeling that I should doubt my proven Kylie Karma.

Despite all of this I still felt in my heart that Cinderella would be going to ball. Back at work I saw a notification pop up on my phone from my friend Danny (a competition winner) “Dear. Spoke to HMV again. You can come with me”; “ARE YOU JOKING??????!?!?!?!?!?!?” was my highly restrained response. It turns out that darling Danny had won twice (under two e-mail addresses) and had spent the past week trying to convince them to transfer one to me to no avail. He tried one last time that day by speaking to a lovely chap at the store who informed him that as long as I entered the venue with Danny I could attend. All seemed too good to be true, so I called the store myself to speak to my saviour Jason, and he confirmed that all was legit and that within a mere matter of hours I would indeed be in the presence of royalty.

This lack of notice was probably a good thing for the stability of my mental health as it meant I didn’t have time to get too worked up beforehand. I headed home from work to select an outfit and plumped for a vintage ‘Kylie Says Relax’ t shirt from her 2006 Showgirl Homecoming Tour with a leather jacket. I caught up on my soaps then popped back on the bus to join my friends. There were many familiar faces in the queue so it was delightful to catch up with so many people. Another Danny who I ALWAYS go and see Kylie with had also won a ticket so I joined the queue with him and many others joined our group as we waited for the clock to strike midnight.

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Minogue herself arrived at about 11.45pm to a sea of paps, some of whom ran in the building after her and had to be dragged out by security. Despite being very near the front of the queue I’m not much taller than Kylie herself so this was all I saw of the scuffle.

At about 12.30 we were ushered into the store to select our product for signing. Despite having every single format on preorder from Kylie.com I panic bought another picture disc as decided this would look best signed, and I had no intention of playing it anyway. So if anyone wants a picture disc (unsigned) holler! We joined another queue where we were issued with GOLDEN wristbands and given an as-invented-by-Romy-&-Michele Post It with our name spelt correctly on.

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We were then ushered to the fourth floor where we joined another queue that had a stage at the far end with a GOLDEN tinsel backdrop. “It’s ACTUALLY KYLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I proclaimed to my group.  Whilst queuing I saw my buddy Simon from earlier who had changed into a snazzy pink suit. Looking at me with a mix of disbelief and confusion he said to me “You made it in then?”. “Why of course!” was my response as I beamed a big smile at him. The queue moved along quite swiftly and I suddenly felt like I was having an out of body experience, my legs felt like jelly and I kept thinking I was going to drop my record.Before I knew it I was at the front and handed my phone over to the attendant who started snapping away.

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“Hello Kylie!” I cheerfully exclaimed “I so enjoyed your Spotify gig the gig the other week”. “Why thank you!” replied the Queen of the Universe “I enjoyed it too!”. “Nice choice Jasmin!” she said as she took my picture disc from me, GOLDEN pen in one hand.

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“Kylie” I said. “Can I ask you an odd question?”. “I THINK so” giggled back my idol. “Well. This has bothered me for 30 years now. WHAT were you wearing on your bottom half on your debut album cover?”  “Oh gosh” she replied. “I really don’t remember”. “Did you accessorise your hair hat with jeans or was that a black dress?” I embellished. “It was a long time again” replied Minogue “I’m really sorry I just don’t remember” “Oh well, if you remember please Tweet the answer! I’m so excited about this new album” and with that our moment was over. It may have been fleeting but meant the world to me.

On the way out the HMV social media team asked to take a pic of Danny, Laura & myself with our signed vinyls as we looked “fab” and we happily obliged. And that was that. I’m delighted to report that Kylie did not turn into a pumpkin at midnight and would implore you all to check out her FAB new album GOLDEN available from all reputable outlets now.

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So the key takeaways are thus….

a) Daniel Langrish-Beard is an ABSOLUTE LIVING LEGEND

b) The power of manifestation. There’s never been a thing on this planet that I’ve not been able to make happen if I’ve really set my mind to it whether it’s moving to New York on a whim or attending a ticketed Kylie Minogue competition that I’ve not even won. It’s all in mind! I wonder what I’ll work on next?!

Kylie x Spotify

The excitement started last Sunday morning. I’d woken up early for another day of essay writing when my phone pinged; my friend Rob had sent me a screenshot of his phone indicating that he’d won a competition to attend a mysterious exclusive and intimate Kylie Minogue Spotify gig. “RSVP IMMEDIATELY” was my highly chilled out response. This all seemed far too good to be true, and I felt the same way until I firmly had a wristband attached to my arm on Wednesday afternoon. The collection point was at a private members club in Soho so I was easily able to stroll along during my lunchbreak and interrogate the Spotify crew as to what we should expect the following day. I managed to conclude that she would be singing a mix of songs from her new album Golden and a selection of classics and some “surprises”, the venue was tiny with a capacity of just 400 guests. I was also thrilled to discovered there there was going to be a free bar as Spotify wanted us to “have a good time”. As I apparently have no filter system for good measure my mouth managed to blurt out that “I don’t even do streaming. I’m very loyal to my iPod Classic”. Whoops. I accepted a complementary drink from their choice of four juice options (pineapple) and trotted back to work safe in the knowledge that as long as nobody chopped my arm off to make off with my precious contraband I was definitely going to see my idol live the following day.

The concert day arrived and my boss thankfully agreed that something “spectacular” had indeed occurred and he was cool with me leaving the office early. I popped onto the 36 (westbound) bus and was soon at Porchester Hall where I joined the queue as the 6th person in line. Being not much taller than La Minogue herself I was DETERMINED to get an excellent view and luckily the other fans who had had the same idea were absolutely delightful and we merrily chatted away as the countdown began. Doors were due to open at 7pm with Kylie Ann on stage at 8pm. My friend Danny had also won tickets so he and my friend Kate (+ unborn child) as well as Rob joined me in the queue as we continued our wait. Me and my big mouth had obviously made an impression the previous day as the guy I’d met from Spotify was walking along the queue to check if anyone need to collect a wristband & said to me “I know you don’t need one. I remember you from yesterday.”

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7pm came along and we began to shuffle into the venue. I was in such a rush to get to the front of the stage I bypassed the free drinks and accessory table; but it was worth it as I found myself right against the front barrier. That’s correct. FRONT ROW. In a tiny venue. As soon as my spot was secured I knew I was in for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Danny kindly offered to take our freebie tokens and collect us some drinks from the bar (wine for the non-preggos, Coke for the preggo) and also managed to visit the accessories table selecting me a gold sequinned hat reminiscent of the Enjoy Yourself era. I was delighted to be informed that combined with my giant hoop earrings I looked very “Mel & Kim”.

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There was some mild concern amongst my party that a banjo and acoustic guitars were laid out on the stage, but these fears were soon laid to rest when Kylie set off glitter canons during her opening track which was the title track of her absolutely fabulous sounding new album ‘Golden’ (available from all major retailers on the 6th April!). Kylie was on absolutely stomping form. I dread to think how many times I’ve seen her live during my decades of super fandom but she looked happier and more relaxed than I can ever remember seeing her before. She is clearly delighted with her new material and it shows. Her stage set up was reminiscent of the Anti Tour with backing singers and a live band and not a dancer in sight. My highlights of the gig were as follows:

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  • An impromptu acapella rendition of the 1988 classic ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’. Rob and I had been joking outside that we hoped she’d sing it but not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate that might become reality.
  • The new songs. It comes as no surprise that I’m usually more thrilled than most when Minogue releases a new album, but after this concert I am even more excited than usual thanks to the strength of the new material that was debuted at the gig. Key tracks for me on first listening were ‘Sincerely Yours’ (a love letter to her fans no less), ‘Radio On’ and ‘A Lifetime To Repair’. Fun fact: I really had to restrain my emotions to stop myself from bursting into hysterical tears during the performance of this one. This is the first time since Impossible Princess 20 years ago that Kylie has co-written every single track on an album, and god does it show from what we’ve heard thus far!
  • Amusing myself by carrying out the original PWL choreo (as learnt from her ‘Kylie On The Go: Live In Japan’ TV special as she performed the Abbey Road ballad version of the 1989 number one hit single ‘Hand On Your Heart’.
  • Kylie being close enough that we made eye contact several times, the accumulation of which was her laughing when I did a cheesy #No1 finger signal during her performance of underrated banger ‘The One’.
  • During my favourite line of the aforementioned classic single (Close to touch like Michelangelo) she actually made her pal touch fingertips with her reminiscent of the scene painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My highbrow goddess!

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Another special mention needs to go to Queen Kylie herself for being kind enough to pose for this selfie with myself and Rob. My only criticism is that my glasses clearly need a wipe!

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Thanks so much to Spotify and Queen Kylie Minogue herself for a truly Premium experience!

SETLIST

  • Golden
  • One Last Kiss
  • Raining Glitter
  • Breathe
  • Wow
  • Shelby ’68
  • Radio On
  • Islands In The Stream
  • The One
  • A Lifetime To Repair
  • Hand On Your Heart
  • All The Lovers
  • Stop Me From Falling
  • Sincerely Yours
  • Dancing

A Meeting With Queen Minogue…

This is something I don’t really like to talk about but I am a Kylie Minogue superfan. I’ve loved her since I was 7 years of age and can’t ever imagine her not being a part of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her once before (at her Harrods book signing back in 2012); but other than that my fandom has been confined to attending concerts, listening to her music, the occasional Tweet from her, writing freelance articles about her and having my cover version of her single All The Lovers featured on Popjustice.

I woke up Saturday morning with a mild hangover and with no idea how the rest of my weekend was going to pan out… At around lunchtime I saw a Tweet from Liberty saying a competition was being held for 30 winners to attend the unveiling of this year’s Christmas window display which the queen of the universe was commandeering. I hit the retweet button, gazed longingly at my Kim Kardashian West prayer candle and hoped for the best.

Fast forward to 6pm and I was sat on my Kylie At Home bedsheets (leopard print, obvs) and applying my limited edition Kiss Me Once lipstick when I saw a notification appear on my phone… “Congratulations!!! You’re going to meet Kylie tomorrow!” I immediately turned into a shaking, gibbering mess and my heart was pounding. Although I’d met my idol before, I’d never had a photograph with her that hadn’t involved me photoshopping myself into it…was this finally going to be my chance? My mind was filled with a million questions and all I had was a time and an address to meet the following morning and an instruction that due to security no phones or handbags would be permitted.

I barely slept that evening, and woke up super early feeling like a child on Christmas Day. I was shaking as I selected a t shirt I’d designed myself to wear which I accessorised with a red sparkly giant Christmas hairbow I’d already purchased for her concert at the Royal Albert Hall next month. My journey was an unmitigated disaster. I left with twice as much time as needed but due to road closures by 11.15 I was still stuck in an Uber near Westminster; at one point I really thought I wasn’t going to make it and I think the poor driver was quite taken aback by my hysterics (fingers crossed it hasn’t affected my 4.9 rating!). At 11.26 I finally got out the Uber at Piccadilly Circus and proceeded to RUN up Regent Street. Anyone who knows me will testify I don’t run but please see the evidence below!

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With one minute to spare I arrived at the office entrance to Liberty and I was beetroot red and making little sense as I checked my handbag in with security, obviously hiding a few personal items for signing under my cape and was given a VIP wristband to wear:

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We were ushered upstairs to the 4th floor and escorted into a small ornate side room with three rows of chairs, a pink sparkly Christmas tree and two arm chairs at the front. On each chair was a small purple Liberty giftbag that contained a deluxe edition of her new album Kylie Christmas. I was lucky enough that two of my friends Danny and John had also won tickets so I sat with them and we chatted to the people around us as we made the most of the complimentary pastries and beverages.

At around 12.15 a buzz went around the room… She was on her way! First into the room was her new exceptionally handsome boyfriend Joshua Sasse who lingered at the back staring at her adoringly. Seanny Sean her tour manager was also accompanying her. A representative from Liberty brandishing a microphone came out and introduced her as the entire room stood to give her a standing ovation as she entered the room. “Sit down, sit down!” she said as she took her seat.

The representative from Liberty proceeded to interview her; I presume for their website as the entire event was filmed. Kylie explained that she’d decorated the pink sparkly Christmas tree herself as part of a charity initiative for ITV’s Text Santa. My Christmas tree always features my Ms Minogue Barbie doll dressed as an angel but I guess Kylie was going for a more understated appearance for her interior décor.

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The interview itself was mainly about her thoughts on Christmas and Minogue family traditions. The most revealing part which had the room howling was probably that her ideal Christmas day would involve “spending the morning in bed, then I’d take it from there”. Also, world exclusive, on her Christmas list this year is a wick trimmer which I initially misheard as “wig trimmer”. I was sat in her direct eye line, and each time we got eye contact my inner 7 year old died a little.

When the interview ended it was time for the meet and greet part of the session, and each person got to go up to the front one by one, row by row. After the first photograph was taken Kylie took command to alter the set up as there was a table with a floral arrangement on between the two chairs. “This isn’t working. Let’s move this table” she said. “The guys will get a much better picture if the chairs are closer together”. Thanks babes!

Eventually it was my turn and as I sat down next to my idol it struck me how much this reminded me of a Santa’s Grotto, but with an opportunity to meet someone much more glamorous and fragrant than Father Christmas.

“Hi nice to meet you, I love your bow!” was Kylie’s opening line. “Thanks so much, I bought it for your Christmas gig at the Royal Albert Hall; thought I might as well get in the festive spirit early” I responded. “Oh you’re coming!” she said, “I’m so excited about it and want to make it special. I hoped all the audience would be dressing up!”

Being a responsible Aunt I have brainwashed my four year old niece into being a Kylie fan too; and when she found out I was meeting our shared idol she burst into tears, informing my sister “That’s not fair, Auntie Cha Cha has already met her”. I handed Kylie a photograph of Florence singing into a microphone with Kylie on the television screen behind her. “Oh my goodness, she’s so cute!” said Kylie and she looked horrified when I told her she was upset she couldn’t come due to the no plus ones policy. “Why couldn’t she come? It’s not a school day” was Minogue’s response as she dedicated the picture to Florence and we talked about how much fun being an Auntie is.

As a side note Florence is not sure that Kylie did indeed sign this herself as she’s not sure that Kylie would be able to spell F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E, but at least this is a great souvenir for when she’s feeling less sceptical.

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The next item I’d bought with me was a bit of a gamble as I handed Kylie a photograph of some artwork I’d created in which I’d superimposed myself into a photo with her and Dannii. “Please don’t be alarmed by this” I warned as I handed it over. “What is this? And how did you do it?” asked Kylie as she raised the picture to her perfectly formed face to inspect closer, as she cackled away. “Oh just a little something I created using a phone app” I retorted as my brain envisaged the nail varnish emoji. “I always fancied being the third Minogue sister”. “I can see that!” giggled Kylie.

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Other items that she signed were the Christmas CD she had gifted me with and also I bought the insert she’d created to replace the dire cover for her Greatest Hits 1988-92 album. “This is a blast from the past!” she informed me as she signed the collector’s item.

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We posed for the professional photographer who took some pictures of the two besties and it was all over. “Thank you so much Kylie!” I said, “I hope you have a fab Christmas”. “You too!” said Kylie as she beamed her magnificent smile at me.

And that was it. The whirlwind was over and I exited the room. It all seemed so surreal and dreamlike. I only hope that when the photographs are e-mailed to me later this week I’m not pulling an odd facial expression. But, hey, even if I am at least La Minogue approves of my photoshop skills!

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