Trying to remain just as cool, calm and collected as the man himself, I recently had a one to one with Hollywood superstar Samuel L Jackson (silent scream).
Fresh from celebrating Django Unchained’s win at the BAFTAs, presenting an award on the night and hosting another charity event two days before that – phew! – this was a man on total form, friendly and animatedly talking about his latest fundraiser.
Launching the Affinity Real Estate Shooting Stars Benefit 2013 at the Moet and Chandon offices in London, over a glass of bubbly (what else?), Jackson spoke enthusiastically about the golfing event in June where those prepared to part with a certain amount of cash can putt holes alongside celebrity players.
Pushing Jackson to say which A-list players he’d like to get on board – Luke Wilson and Alice Cooper have taken part in the past – he replied: “People like golf and people tend to open their pockets to play with, I guess, famous people… and they have a good time and it’s a great way to engage with people in the community and to help raise awareness among certain charities.
“We’re talking to a lot of people – so we’ll see what happens. We don’t really bring people onboard because they’re good golfers, we bring them because they’re good people. You have to be social, people come to have a laugh, make friends and take photographs, so we try to chose people who are personable and wanna come and have a good time.”
Jackson’s mother passed away last year after battling with Alzheimer’s, so funds raised from this year’s event will go towards the Samuel L Jackson Foundation and fund research into Dementia and Alzheimer’s, as Jackson added ‘that could be me one day’.
The Affinity Real Estate Shooting Stars Benefit takes place June 14-15. www.shootingstarsbenefit.com
With the start of the summer holidays, I don’t envy the working mum who has to somehow juggle full-time work with young children looking to be kept animated for seven days each week – luckily, with my little one still at the age of three I can find some comfort in the regular opening hours of the nursery!
And so, the launch of Tickety Toc’s very first toy range could not have come at a better time – and to top it off, taking place in the toy heaven that is Hamleys on Regent Street.
Tommy and Tallulah, stars of the show which screens on both Nick Jr and Channel 5’s Milkshake, were there in all their (bigger than) life-sized glory to greet the VIP testers, who included Denise Van Outen joined by husband Lee Mead and their daughter Betsy.
Other VIPs enjoying a day out with the family included Tamzin Outhwaite, John Sergeant, Laila Rouass, Lauren Crace, Charlie Condou, Shaun Dooley and Luisa Zissman.
The children were all smiles as they joined in with the activities and dancing led by Channel 5’s Milkshake! presenters Kemi and Olivia.
While the obvious point of conversation was the fact that Van Outen and Mead were pictured out together for the first time in months, helping to put to bed rumours of marriage problems – I took the opportunity to chat to TV presenter Kate Garraway and see if she had any tips about the joys of juggling.
Mum to Darcey, seven, and William, three, 45 year old Garraway gave a wry smile when I asked for her words of wisdom.
‘Like alot of parents out there these days I do rely on my own parents – their grandparents – who help to look after the children when I’m working, but when it comes to summer, everyone, even my parents want to take their holidays, so I’d definitely advise people to plan, so no-one gets left in the lurch’.
The Tickety Toc toy range is available from a range of retailers including Argos, Smyths and Amazon and include talking Tommy and Tallulahs, a Clockhouse playset, and a musical Pufferty train, with prices ranging from £6.99 to £30.
DID you know that more than half of parents would stop their child from playing with another child displaying an obvious skin condition because they fear it’s contagious?
Sounds shocking, but as parents we do our best to protect our children from harm, not always thinking things through before we act.
The research by Aveeno Baby came as the skincare brand launched their latest product, Dermexa Moisturing Wash.
A self-confessed fan of Aveeno Baby I was delighted to be invited to join celebrity mum Izzy Judd and dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams to learn more over breakfast.
Not only was it a refreshing change from the school run, it was a chance to quiz the pair on how mums like me and my children could benefit from using the new product.
The launch coincided with National Eczema Week and Izzy – former member of Escala, married to McFly drummer Harry and mum to Kit and Lola – explained how her daughter Lola suffered an outbreak of eczema last year.
An Aveeno Baby ambassador she has now been using the products for three years – and hasn’t looked back.
She acknowledged the pressure felt by parents when it came to taking care of their kids’ skin – over a third surveyed admitted they would be embarrassed about their little one’s appearance during any flare up.
I’ve been using the new Moisturising Wash for a couple of weeks now and have no complaints.
Dr Stefanie also gave a few tips on the day which included applying moisturising cream to damp skin to help lock the moisture in.
Also a warning not to use skin-friendly products like Aveeno, only to go and give your child a bubble bath, which will undo all your hard work!
It takes a lot to get me up and out of the house before 9am on a Sunday morning – luckily enough my early hour traipse into the West End with a toddler to attend The Croods gala screening was well worth it.
Joined by the likes of Elen Rivas, Olympic athlete Steve Backley, Gaby Roslin and their broods, we all had the chance to enjoy ‘fun in the foyer’ – face-painting, balloons etc – before heading into the 3D screening.
If you’re looking for a film to take your little ones to I would highly recommend this offering from DreamWorks, the makers of How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar. The ‘pre-historic’ animated comedy follows a stone age family as they finally venture out from the cave that has always been their safe haven. In my mind it was the perfect mix, appealing to both adults and children – I mean I laughed so many times I lost count and hell, I even almost shed a tear at one point (yeah, I said it).
Admittedly 3D screenings with toddlers who lose quickly lose interest in wearing 3D glasses is a challenge, but mine managed at least 40 minutes before deciding to discard them…
With characters voiced by Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener, each of them had something about them to draw you in, but when it came to my three year old, the star of the show was definitely the sloth and his catchphrase ‘dun, dun, daaah!’
So basically, I loved it, my daughter loved it – watch it.