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
The dark-haired TV presenter was more than candid about coping with life as a working mum when I bumped into her at make-up brand Benefit’s pop-up pub launch of Gabbi’s Head recently.
When querying exactly how she copes juggling a successful career in the media with the pressures of motherhood (while looking so glam!) she joked ‘A large glass of wine!’
Joking aside, the 38 year old mother of two confided ‘It’s definitely about having some sort of balance – and making sure you take time out for yourself.
‘Recently I’ve been working six day weeks – the phone’s ringing, I’m dealing with a four and a seven year old, a bunch of pets and animals – and people will then comment that they think I’ve lost weight! But once I know everything has been done and is in its place – I’m a bit OCD! – it’s important to make that time for yourself, whether it’s a massage, a glass – or bottle! – of wine.’
Speaking for lots of other working parents out there, Gallacher added ‘It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it’s coming at you from all angles, but having a balance and taking some time out occasionally – that’s what works for me.’
As any parent knows, weaning your child onto solids is not an easy path!
With my little one now 11 months, it’s a trauma/joy/drama (delete as appropriate) we’re currently enduring.
So I was interested to hear that leading supermarket Sainsbury’s has entered the baby food market with their own branded goods.
Strapping my boy into his sling, we jumped on the tube and headed into central London to road test the Little Ones range.
Developed with the help of registered nutritionist (and mum!) Fiona Wilcock, the range appears well thought out and, competing with other popular baby food brands, uses organic products up until those created for children over a year old.
So far the dishes have been a hit with my boy, who gobbled up a portion of the Beef Casserole. The next day he also enjoyed the Lamb and Chickpea Tagine with Prune and Couscous.
There are also classics like Spaghetti Bolognese, fruit and vegetable purees and breakfast cereals.
Like any mum, I want the best for my child and in a perfect world it would be home cooked meals three times a day – but, in reality very few of us have the time or energy!
Instead I don’t beat myself up about giving them the odd ready meal every now and again, so it’s good to see the range is also reasonably priced with products starting from 70p.
There are already 50 items in the range which also caters for toddlers up to three-years-old, with another 14 launching over the summer.
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.