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Celeb-spotting in a night out in Newport

Aug 29 2005

Carolyn Hitt, Western Mail


Carolyn Hitt was celeb-spotting at the All*Star Cup Gala Dinner at the Celtic Manor on Saturday night. Well, it's not every day that multi-millionaire Chris Evans buys you a drink

MICK JAGGER told me never to name drop, but you know you're in for a celeb-saturated night when Charlotte and Gavin join you in the queue for the lift, Terry Wogan is pressing the buttons and there's no room for Ronan Keating on the fifth floor.

It gets better. Once Terry has ensured we're all on the right level for the Celtic Manor's Caernarfon Ballroom, a quick scan of the table plan reveals that, yes, Catherine and Michael are coming, Ant & Dec are here - and Robbie Williams has decided to drop in too.

Throw in Bobby Ewing, a Charlie's Angel (Cheryl Ladd), Chris Evans, James Nesbitt, Jodie Kidd, Colin Montgomerie, Damian Lewis, Kenny G, Ian Wright, Peter Schmeichel, Stephen Redgrave, Mark Spitz and that young American actor who "saw dead people" in Sixth Sense and suddenly a night out in Newport becomes a three-dimensional Hello! magazine centrespread.

Now my Western Mail colleague Karen Price and I are used to being fairly far down the celebrity food chain in Welsh black-tie dos.

Many is the time we've been trampled underfoot by HTV presenter Lucy Owen's paparazzi on the Bafta Cymru red carpet.

We've known the ignominy of mwah mwah-ing a famous Welsh face while they scan the room over our shoulders for more important personages to air kiss.

But at the All*Star Cup Gala Dinner on Saturday night we were plankton in a far more glamorous celebrity ocean.

And on such occasions you must decide whether you want to sink or swim in the choppy A-list waters.

Do you affect an air of cool disdain which makes people wonder if you may be someone they should have heard of? Or do you get hilariously excited about the prospect of the ultimate celebrity mingle.

Plumping for the latter, Pricey grabbed a snorkel and took the plunge from the off, aided in her mission by our fellow table member Susannah, partner of Jamie Baulch.

Susannah, who is great fun and gorgeous-looking, was deter-mined to meet Robbie Williams. "We were just getting to his table and some girl whisked him off ," huffed a crestfallen Pricey, returning with an unsigned menu.

"It was Catherine Zeta-Jones, taking Robbie to meet Michael".

"And apparently, he doesn't sign autographs," added Susannah. Such behaviour is, of course, restricted to royalty and uber-celebs who moan about eBay profits.

I suggested they set their sights a tad lower. Bradley Walsh, aka Danny Baldwin on Coro-nation Street, was far more amenable. And his purple suit was nicer than Robbie's strange maroon dinner jacket. Three photos of Bradley and an inscribed menu later, Pricey and Susannah were back on track.

The charity auction returned us to our seats. In fact, it ensured we didn't move a muscle for half-an-hour.

One elbow twitch and we could have accidentally bid £32,000 for an Audi TT. That honour went to Colin Montgomerie.


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