Firstly, what. the. (insert preferred word here).
Me. At the BRITs after-party. ME?!?
I honestly, honestly, honestly, can’t express enough how much I feel like I’m living a dream. Things like this don’t happen to people like me.
12 months ago I was pulling pints and serving the local alcoholics of Liverpool. 18 months ago I was mopping up vomit and unblocking toilets in my local nightclub. And now, here I am, partying with celebrities, eating canapés, drinking free champagne and living a life I never thought would be mine.
Do you think if they did a background check and saw that I was from Lurgan, that they would let me in? Probably not. That’s how I always used to think. Watching these celebrity events on TV and reading about them in magazines, always dreaming to be a part of them. Then I would think, ‘Look at where you live, where you come from. That will never happen.’
But it can happen, and it did. It doesn’t matter where you start out, where you come from. Things like this can happen, if you want it enough. You need to make it happen for yourself.
The scary thing is, this lifestyle will be taken away from me in just five months. Hence why I’m making the most of every event, free drink and invite that is passed my way. I don’t have that long left of my placement.
It’s kind of like I’ve been given this pass to live someone else’s life for 12 months and then it will be slap, back to reality and university life come September, which is petrifying.
One day before the event, I was handed my golden (actually red) ticket and told I was going to the ball. At work, I acted calm and collected – hugely appreciative, but calm.
However, my texts to my friends and family were very much the opposite with caps lock effect. Something like ‘OMFG I’M GOING TO THE F*****G BRITS AFTER-PARTY!!!!!!!!!!’ Like I said, calm and collected.
If there’s any awards, or anything associated with awards that I could choose to attend, the BRITs would be first on my list. The BRITs have always been my favourite. Embarrassingly, I think it’s because of One Direction. As they were usually nominated, performing or had an award created entirely for them (International Success Award), I was always glued to my TV in anticipation. And of course, because I loved music in general, these awards were always my favourite.
Do you remember the year Adele performed Someone Like You and the whole world stopped to take notice? (2011) The year One Direction won an award and Harry walked onto the stage two minutes late as he was at the toilet? (2014) When Madonna fell flat on her back during her performance?? (2015) The time Alex Turner literally dropped the mic and told the organisers to ‘Invoice him,’ if they needed? (2014) Or that awful moment James Cordon had to cut off Adele’s acceptance speech for Best Album? (2012) I remember them all. I love the BRIT Awards.
Honestly, one of the highlights of my February, I always geared up for the awards that took place around the end of the month. I would make sure that I had no other plans other than sitting in front of my TV, in my living room, by myself, some snacks and Diet Coke beside me, the fire lit and my Twitter news-feed ready and open so I could live-tweet the entire thing with the rest of the One Direction fans. You may think this sad, but I loved it.
So to say being able to attend something related to the awards, was a pretty big deal for me, would be an understatement.
I only had two days to prepare and find an outfit. Sheer panic. I had another awards event on the Tuesday evening which meant no time for shopping, and the after-party was the following night. I panic bought online and paid for next day delivery, hoping something would suit.
I actually ended up going out during my lunch break on the day of the BRITs to find something to wear. Talk about last minute?! Thankfully most of the team were going semi-casual as it was only the after-party and not the main event itself. I found a top during my lunch to go with the trousers I had ordered online and I was good to go.
My team and I got ourselves ready in the office, then headed to a boat close to Embankment for a stomach-lining meal. We had ordered a bottle of prosecco to start and were quite worried that it had hit us too quickly as the room already seemed to be spinning a bit. That was until we realised the boat was actually swaying on the water. Not the best idea to eat a huge meal on a docked boat if you are easily seasick or get motion sickness. The view of the London Eye was totally worth it though.
After our third (or fourth) bottle of prosecco, it was time to head over to the Corinthia Hotel where the paparazzi were already waiting. We queued like the non-celeb folk do and waited for the doors to open at 10.30pm. Once inside, we explored the different rooms that were open and grabbed a random drink from the waiters that were waiting with filled trays. We were given a hint as to what room the celebrities would be hanging out in so tried to linger there. That was until we heard there was a sushi room and we quickly went on the hunt.
While walking from room to room, I saw the likes of Sketch from Tattoo Fixers, Matt Cardle, Dan Wooton, some of the guys from Rak Su (last year’s X Factor) and Shayne Lynch from Boyzone. My first ‘OMG’ moment was when I was headed towards the toilets and Dave Grohl emerged from the men’s. My mouth literally dropped open before he was whisked away and led to the closed off part of the hotel.
We had also been given a heads up that someone was going to be performing a DJ set at 11.30 and to be in the main celebrity room at that time. When we were walking through the main reception to said room, Professor Green and Nile Rodgers were having their pictures taken. How Chic.
The person doing the DJ set was none other than Craig David. I think I may have elbowed Sketch from Tattoo Fixers on my way to the front of the DJ box so I could get a good view for my camera. I actually went live on Instagram for the first time ever, so yeah, I was pretty star-struck. I think I may have filmed Craig David’s entire set but I also got a fist-bump from him and caught it on camera. Later in the evening when he was leaving, I happened to be walking past him and shook his hand telling him how great he was. Tragic.
We headed back to the Sushi room, topped up our drinks and partied in the opposite room where Roman Kemp was DJ-ing. The rest of the night was spent having too many gin and tonic shots, talking about god-knows-what to Matt Cardle and trying to spot as many more celebs as I could. It was gone 3am and I had work at 9am the next day, surely time to go. I went for one more lap of the place and spotted Paloma Faith dancing at a table with Ella Eyre and Labrinth casually enter the building as if the night had just begun. When I left after 3am, the party was still in full swing. What I imagine a Gatsby party to be like, only his were more extravagant.
I collected my goody bag on the way out which was a huge rucksack – a literal rucksack – and called an Uber. I arrived home after 4am and my alarm was set for 7.30am.
Did I have a hangover? Ha.
The day after
When I got out of bed I didn’t feel too bad. Thankfully I only have to be on the tram for seven minutes and then I’m in Wimbledon, a two minute walk from work. I stopped at Starbucks thinking a mocha would perk me up a bit. I couldn’t stand in the queue for longer than one minute without feeling the need to vomit, so quickly exited. Then I got to my desk and it’s like the hangover hit me all at once. I couldn’t even type an email. Most of my morning was spent in the toilets trying to get rid of everything I had drank the night before.
I grabbed a bag of Pickled Onion Monster Munch and a bar of Galaxy for lunch because I didn’t think I could have stomached anything else and I perked right up. What a hangover cure. I couldn’t even stomach Diet Coke. That’s when you know it’s bad.
I had the worst hangover known to man. I’ve definitely had worse hangovers but usually I’m able to sleep those out and stay in a dark room all day until it subsides around 6pm (ah, the uni days) but I had to be in work. Not the best combination.
Was it all worth it?
The drink was free, the food was free, I was at the BRITs after-party, of course it was worth it. I would go through it all over again if it meant I could go to the BRITs one more time. We both know I’ll never get the opportunity to go again, so it’s either go hard or go home.
I had a look on the Daily Mail website on the Thursday to see if there was anyone we missed. Rosie Huntington Whitely and Little Mix were at the Sony party and I didn’t see one bit of them. I had been tracking One Direction (obvs) and knew Harry was back in London but Niall was still in Vegas on the Saturday before, so hoped he wouldn’t be making an appearance if I wasn’t able to go.
But of course, even though Harry was in London and won a BRIT award, he didn’t attend. Niall showed up at the Universal after-party which looked like a hoot. Although he seemed to show up, take a picture with Liam and Cheryl (adding to their PR stunt of being madly in love), grab a goody bag and leave again. So we were both at BRITs after-parties, just not the same one. Will fate ever bring us together?
So I went to the BRITs
A night I won’t forget for a very long time.