Sunday, 29 September 2013

Week Zero at Cardiff JOMEC

The Bute Building, Cardiff University. Image from

This week was officially Week Zero for all Postgraduate Newspaper, Broadcast and Magazine students of Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. I am just one of the new intake of budding journos, eager to start the course and refine my journalistic skills.

Week Zero has been busy and intense, with a series of interesting and concise lectures that have taught us all the skills a journalist has to arm him or herself with. We learnt about patches and contacts, with the need to build a book of contacts who will give you the exclusives. The main point was that even starting off with one contact is better than nothing, as this one person can provide you with a whole series of stories.

The lectures in law and public administration taught me that these areas are the bricks to our mortar, without the "building bricks" - knowledge of the law and administrative structure of our country, we would not be able to lay the "mortar" - our stories. Being familiar with what a journalist can and cannot do is important, if not more important than getting the story.

BBC News at Ten presenter, Huw Edwards rounded off the week with a keynote lecture about how to stand out from everyone else in an overcrowded profession. Edwards drew upon his time at the BBC, giving an example of a colleague that has shined individually through using their initiative to spot an opportunity and think of creative and new ways of doing things. I think that what he lodged in my mind is that to do exceptionally well in a corporation or media company you have to go that extra mile, whether that be creating a new section of that magazine or newspaper or undertaking extra work, rather than just doing your 9-5 schedule and going home.

Overall Week Zero has given me and many others a great grounding in journalism, with messages that I will carry with me throughout the course.

For more information on Cardiff JOMEC visit and keep up to date with debates in journalism at

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...

The Only Way Is Essex cast have just finished filming in Vegas, shooting a one off special where they get up to their normal antics within the background of the famous gambling hole. We have been kept up to date with their activities by pictures showing them strutting through the airports, enjoying girlie meals and sunbathing sessions. However what has actually happened? At this point we have no idea what the storylines will be in the new series, but here's what I predict they got up to in Vegas...

Ferne will backlist Charlie whenever she can

Ferne McCann. Image from the

After the last series finished Charlie Sims was papped flirting with a girl in Ibizia who he also romanced when back in the UK. After taking a few weeks to make a decision about the future of her relationship, Ferne chose not to take Charlie back, instead taking to Twitter to voice her emotions. So us viewers are waiting for her to make an announcement about him. In usual TOWIE style this romantic blip will not be left un-spoken about, I predict multiple conversations about Charlie in Vegas and the girls helping Ferne to move on.

Lucy will have washed the man out of her hair

Lucy Mecklenburgh wearing her new hair extensions. Image from

Lucy revealed towards the end of last series that she was dating The Wanted's Max George, however over the summer this dalliance came to abrupt end when it was revealed that he had been seeing model Jasmine Lennard behind Lucy's back. After suffering yet another romantic setback Lucy is probably keen to start afresh. By chance she has just had some long hair extensions put in, perhaps in preparation for the Vegas jaunt. A new hairstyle signals a fresh start, as they say.

Mario will gamble at a casino

Mario Falcone. Image from

Mario is not un-known to hang out in casinos, remember that episode when he bumped into Rami (Gemma Collins' ex in a casino in Mayfair)? Mario will literally be in heaven in the heart of casino land. After all what is the point of the cast going to Vegas to film without making use of the infamous gambling capital?

Joey Essex will meet someone new

Joey Essex. Image from

Over the summer Joey Essex was photographed flirting with a girl at V Festival who his ex fiance Sam apparently knew when she was younger. Despite Joey and Sam no longer talking to each other, Sam was still upset, giving an exclusive interview to a celeb weekly saying how much those photos disappointed her. Joey's behaviour gives us a clear indication that he is enjoying being single and is certainly ready to mingle. So it's very likely that he will have met someone on this recent trip.

What do you think will happen in Vegas? Are you excited for the new series of TOWIE?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

5 days in Barcelona

I recently went on holiday to Barcelona for 5 full days and 6 nights in total. Having read just about every blog, travelling website and reviews on TripAdvisor I had very pre-meditated expectations of Barcelona. However nothing can compare to actually seeing the place with your own eyes and discovering it's hidden gems.

In a synopsis here is what I did (not necessarily in this order):
  • Explored the Gothic Quarter
  • Visited the un-finished Sagrada Família
  • Did a tour of Casa Mila, a Gaudi creation
  • Looked around the outskirts of Barcelona Cathedral
  • Went round Park Guell and Gaudi House Museum
  • Visited Montjuic
  • Spent a day on Barceloneta beach and explored Port Vell
  • Went on a bus tour around a couple of routes
  • Cable car to Barcelonetta 
  • Las Ramblas

On my first day in Barcelona I purchased a 5 day metro ticket, which covered use of the Metro for the duration of that time. This is the equivalent of buying a travelcard, which we get here in England. This is so much more cost effective than buying metro tickets every day. 

I highly recommend the bus tour around Barcelona, as it's a quick and easy way to see the city from a birds eye perspective, without getting lost. I jumped on the stop at Sagrada Família, where you can purchase tickets, having queued for a while I waited patiently to get top deck seats, as here are the best views.

Visiting the Gothic Quarter is a MUST, there's so many quaint streets and if you love to learn about the history of a place, then this is the place for you. I actually preferred the Gothic Quarter to Las Ramblas which I found too touristy and busy, kind of like the Barcelona equivalent of Oxford Street, London. Also around the back streets of the Gothic Quarter are arguably the best restaurants in Barcelona, tucked away from the crowds. 

Before going to the city, I read that it is advisable NOT to eat on Las Ramblas as they charge you over the price for eating on the famous street. I also read that it is essential to avoid eating at restaurants which show you pictures of the food on the menus as they can be touristy and not overally great quality. I generally stuck to this rule, and did indeed find that I enjoyed the restaurants which did not shove advertisements in my face. 

Researching TripAdvisor for restaurants to go to is a must, every restaurant that I had visited on recommendation by this website, I preferred far more to any that I stumbled upon myself. Culinary delights included PLA restaurant in the Gothic Quarter which was highly recommended on Trip Adviser and Milk and Marmalade, where I enjoyed delicious brunches, feasting on breakfast burgers and pancakes. 

I also went to a restaurant called La Fonda, which I discovered to have a great atmosphere with delicious food, even at 11pm people were coming in for food, so it's a popular choice. A treat for vegetarians is Restaurant Sésamo, which gives diners some of the most unique food I have ever come across. I am still craving those chili peppers seasoned with paprika! If you are fed up of eating the standard paella and tapas, then definitely head to Sésamo

A highlight of the trip was visiting Montjuic, it's water features and the building which houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, are so impressive. And reaching the top of Montjuic you can get some breathtaking views of Barcelona. In some ways I preferred visiting here than Park Guell, because I found this park very crowded and Montjuic offers a close up view of Barcelona as a city, without the crowds of people blocking the views.

Overall my TRAVEL ADVICE would be:
  • Be aware of pickpockets on Las Ramblas and Park Guell and ignore anyone that tries to talk to you on the street or tries to advise you on directions. Somehow pickpockets can sniff tourists from a mile off!
  • Research TripAdvisor before you go.
  • Have filling breakfasts as the locals eat very late - around 9pm or even later!
  • For nice, atmospheric restaurants eat in the Gothic Quarter.
  • The metro closes before 1am so be aware of this and plan nights out accordingly.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The top celebrity hangouts in England

It's the question on everybody's lips, WHERE do celebrities hang out in England? Where do they go to get that perfect manicure? Where do they satisfy their hungry appetites? If you love reading about celebrities lifestyles as much as me, then read my guide to the top celebrity hangouts. They go to some pretty fabulous salons and restaurants, so who knows you might find your next hangout...

Glo Fulham, London

Rosie Fortescue's nails. Image from

This is the go to place to have your nails done. Most of the Made in Chelsea ladies are regular clients of this hair and beauty salon based in Fulham. Rosie Fortescue and Louise Thompson regularly both get manicures done here. This is definitely a place that the MIC girls go to rather than just simply using it for filming purposes.

Inanch London, London

Sam Faiers getting her locks tended to at Inanch. Image from

Inanch is the salon which the celebs hit when they want to get that fabulous blow dry or more specifically want to have their hair extensions put in or worked on, as the salon specialises in this. Favoured by the likes of Michelle Heaton, Nicola McClean and Sam Faiers, who paid a trip to the salon on Thursday, it is one of the exclusive hair salons in London boasting celebrity clients. 

The King's Road, Chelsea, London 

Millie Mackintosh shopping on The King's Road. Image from

This is the stomping ground of the Made in Chelsea cast. You're likely to see Millie Mackintosh wondering around the boutiques. However a regular King's Road visitor is former MIC star Kimberley Garner, who un-like her former co-star actually lives in Chelsea and is papped wondering around on a regular basis.

Nobu, Berkeley St, London

Nicole Scherzinger at Nobu. Image from

If you want to spot an A-lister Nobu on Berkeley st, Mayfair is the place to go. This famous restaurant has welcomed many famous faces from Tamara Ecclestone and Elle Macpherson to the Beckhams. All who want to get their sushi fix.

Rosso Restaurant, Manchester

Lucy Mecklenburgh poses with fans outside Rosso Restaurant. Image from

Owned by famous football player Rio Ferdinand celebrities from all over the country dine at Rosso Restaurant. Recent visitors include Lucy Mecklenburgh from The Only Way Is Essex and Helen Flanagan. Michelle Keegan has also dined here, having taken fiance Mark Wright there when he was in town.

The Rose Club, London

Kim Kardashian at The Rose Club celebrating her fragrance launch. Image from

This nightclub is a hit with any celebrity who is in the capital who fancies clubbing in a plush club. Cheryl Cole, Kim Kardashian and Pixie Lott have all partied there. Most recently The Only Way Is Essex stars Sam Faiers and Ferne McCann went on a night out there. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Helen Flanagan's style inspiration

Helen's style transformation from sparkly princess to sophisticated lady. Images from and

Helen Flanagan has undergone such a style transformation of late, since hiring a stylist her wardrobe has gone from girl next door meets FHM babe to high end glamour. Her look now is very relevant, as she has been spotted wearing chains, ripped jeans and barely there heeled sandals. In fact, her style transformation seems to be dictated by Rihanna who has popularized crop tops, ripped jeans and gold chains. Helen's fashion makeover is one which is very controlled, perhaps she is trying to steer away from the girl next door image which her Coronation Street role turned her into. 

During this style transformation Helen has copied many celeb looks. Find out WHO has inspired her:


Rihanna and Helen Flanagan. Images from and

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian and Helen Flanagan. Images from and


Beyonce and Helen Flanagan. Images from and

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie and Helen Flanagan. Images from and

Rita Ora

Rita Ora and Helen Flanagan. Images from and

What do you think of Helen's style? Do you like her fellow celeb inspired looks?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Are some TOWIE stars getting too big for the show?

Lucy Mecklenburgh on October 2013 FHM. Image from

Lauren Pope wears a clip-in hair extension from her Hair Rebab London range. Image from

Before the likes of Lucy Mecklenburgh and Sam Faiers appeared in The Only Way is Essex, there were no magazine deals or boutiques  No, these were in part the creation of TOWIE, which gave these young Essex girls a platform in which to build a media image. As the long running show has progressed we have seen less scenes of the girls lying on each others beds drinking cups of tea and more scenes of them working in their shops and on photoshoots. It is no longer a show documenting the lives of normal Essex girls, but rather one giving an insight into the life of a celebrities. It is arguable that some of the stars careers have ascended to such a point that their sole claim to fame is no longer just TOWIE.

This happened to Amy Childs who was quick to leave the show, as soon as her boutiques had hit the ground running and clothing and beauty lines was taking off. Similarly Mark Wright left when television presenting deals were on the horizon. You could argue that some of the current cast are too big for the show now. 

Lucy Mecklenburgh's career has escalated in the last year, as she is no longer just a TV personality. She has launched her own fitness website, Results with Lucy, signed a modelling deal with Select model management as a special bookings model and has just recently set her sight on an acting career. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Lucy was prowling the streets of LA dining at The Ivy and meeting Doug Reinhart. Most notably, it would seem that even Lucy herself no longer defines herself by TOWIE as on her bio for her Offical Twitter page, she simply has 'Fitness and Fashion Media Bookings', with no reference to the show.

Lauren Pope's career has also progressed as well, as she has DJ'd for Ministry of Sound and has her own brand of clip-in hair extensions, Hair Rehab London which have been worn by Little Mix members Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson.

Whilst TOWIE has played a huge part in both Lucy and Lauren's lives, they are no longer defined by it. Their outside projects have done much to evolve their careers and develop their celebrity statutes. They are now known as business women with expanding brands, not just a cast member in a reality television show. Perhaps they are too big for the show?

What do you think - are these TOWIE stars too big for the show? Should the programme just document the lives of normal Essex girls?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Why all wannabe journalists should read October ELLE

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the cover of ELLE UK. Image from

We always have reasons to buy ELLE, it is packed with fashion and always has exclusive celebrity interviews. However this month, there is even more reason to buy it and that is because this issue has been put together by the interns as part of the Edited By The Interns initiative

For those of you that have not heard of this, it's a programme set up by the publication, in which budding journalists become interns, enrolled with ELLE University, (sponsored by Nokia) and get to take on the roles of the magazine team, such as Entertainment editor and Editor-in-Chief. ELLE's own Editor-in-Chief, Lorraine Candy offers her own advice to them, giving them a welcome talk.

Reading this issue of ELLE is a must for all you wannabe journalists and interns out there as the interns give an insight into working at the magazine, from their 'Best Moment' to the thing that most surprised them, offering advice to 'fellow interns' along the way. For those of you that are un-sure of which role you would like to play in a magazine, they also give us a clear insight into their roles. There is even a 'Role Play' quiz chart which enables you find out which function in the team would most suit you.

I think it's amazing to pick up a magazine which is a pure collaboration between interns and well established journalists. It just shows how far most internships have come in the last decade, as they are increasingly becoming more interactive and hands on, allowing interns to have a real input into publications.

So if your a budding journalist, pick up a copy of this month's ELLE and take notes. You never know, one of those tips might just be the key to succeeding in your next internship!

To find out more about what the 'Edited by the Interns' team got up to read their blogs here:

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Are Louise Thompson and Lucy Watson faking "hatred" of one another?

Lucy Watson, Binky Felstead and Louise Thompson at the TV Choice Awards. Image from

At any given opportunity Made in Chelsea stars Louise Thompson and Lucy Watson have always laid in to one another through the medium of Twitter, ever since Lucy started dating Louise's ex Spencer Matthews. Recently Lucy could not hide her amusement at Louise being labelled a 'slut' on Twitter. However at the TV Choice Awards on Monday the girls did not appear indifferent to each other, as they sat just one seat away from each other with co-star Binky Felstead sat in between them. Whilst ever friendly and entertaining Binky could have helped diffuse the tension between the girls, it does seem suspicious that these two were willing to be that close to one another, given their apparent hatred of each other.

Of course, this sets fuel to the fire, that some of the storylines in Made in Chelsea are exaggerated in order to boost the ratings. It could be that these two are civil with one another, but the reality show emphasised their hatred of each other, to create explosive scenes. This was famously done, when it was revealed on the show that Louise slept with Spencer Matthews, behind boyfriend of the time, Jamie Laing's back. However after facing a very public backlash for apparently doing this, Louise admitted that this storyline was in fact made up and she never did cheat on Jamie. If this plot can be made up then there is every chance that Louise and Lucy's continued "hatred" of each other is contrived for a public show. Indeed, in the past there have been questions raised over whether co-stars publicly "fight" on Twitter in order to get publicity for the show.

Whilst we will never know the truth behind this on-going 'spat' that they have, unless the show abruptly ends and the stars release memoirs, we shall assume for now that Louise and Lucy are civil to one another, despite their past disputes. There is of course every chance that these two girls try to get along at awards ceremonies for the sake of putting on a united MIC front.

Do you think Louise and Lucy have pretended to "fight" all this time? Is their supposed hatred of one another a show for the cameras? Do you think they are civil only for awards ceremonies?

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Millie Mackintosh discusses her wedding

Millie Mackintosh and Professor Green on their wedding day. Image from

Millie Mackintosh revealed to fans how amazing her big day was on Tuesday as she tweeted 'Thank you to all for the lovely messages! Best day of my life x.' On Wednesday Millie also posted an Instagram picture of sunglasses and two big bottles of water with the caption 'Travelling with a hangover.' This indicates that her wedding day was a drunken affair and she and her new husband, Stephen Manderson are disguising their hangovers with a pair of sunnies, the usual celeb way. Rosie Fortescue also tweeted a picture on Wednesday stating 'HELP' with a picture of a McDonalds meal, suggesting that she was curing her hangover with some fast food.

It is not known whether the couple are taking their honeymoon now or waiting until later on in the year. However it looks like the pair are sitting in a back of a car, so it's likely are being driven to the airport. Enjoy married life Millie and Stephen!

To see Millie's picture click here:

Thank you to all for the lovely messages! Best day of my life x

The London IT list

Tara Palmer Tomkinson: the original IT girl. Image from

Back in the late nineties 'It girl' was the label used for ladies of leisure such as Tara Palmer Tomkinson who came from aristocratic backgrounds and were working their way around the social set of London, shopping in Harrods by day and falling out of clubs such as Whisky Mist and Mahiki by night. Today's equivalent would be Tamara Ecclestone. In my opinion the It girl has sufficiently evolved, and now works for her living as well as coming from an affluent background. 

Here is my guide to the current London IT list:

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevinge. Image from

An It list would not be an IT list without Cara Delevingne, she is the girl of the moment, the fashion world loves her and so does the tabloids. What makes Cara an It girl? She attended private school her whole life and already mixed in high social circles before she started modelling. One of her old school friends Mother's happened to be Sarah Doukas, the famous model agent who founded Storm Model Management. This of course helped Cara to launch a career in modelling. Since then, she has graced London's social scene attending all the exclusive parties, and regularly hangs out with Rihanna when she is in town.

Bip Ling

Bip Ling. Image from

Bip Ling is a blogger extraordinaire and a model, who has risen to fame purely due to her creative talents. In her blog Ling posts updates of her outfits, with fun tongue in cheek posts. She is a fashion conscious young lady with the industry at her feet. If you were to be invited to an exclusive party in London you would probably see her there, either socialising or DJing which is also her hobby. She has also hung out with Karl Lagerfeld and has good relations with British Vogue. 

Pixie Geldof

Pixie Geldof. Image from

Pixie Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof is primarily a model who knows all the right people. She is likely to be found rolling out of the Box club, in Soho with best friend Nick Grimshaw or chilling backstage at a fashion show with Henry Holland. When Miley Cyrus recently came to London, Pixie was THE person to hang out with and be papped with. That must mean something! Look out for her on the FROW at London Fashion Week.

Suki Waterhouse

Suki Waterhouse. Image from

Suki Waterhouse is the model to watch, whose eyebrows give friend, Cara Delevingne a run for her money. Suki has that right amount of quirkiness about her which makes her a modern It girl, you only have to look through her Instagram photos to see her wacky personality shine through. Since dating Bradley Cooper she has gained more column inches and risen up the social ranks, as Bradley is sure to have introduced his girlfriend to a few Hollywood contacts. Suki is definitely the name on everyone's lips now and is one to watch.

Georgia Jagger

Georgia Jagger. Image from

Georgia Jagger, needs no introduction, as the daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall. With a famous family and private school education Georgia is undeniably an It girl. High profile modelling campaigns with brands such as Rimmel have forwarded her career significantly and gained her interest from the fashion industry. She is also good friends with Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse, further elevating her status.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Millie Mackintosh's Jane Austen inspired wedding dress

Millie Mackintosh's wedding dress. Image from

Millie Mackintosh. Image from

Millie Mackintosh's hair. Image from

Millie Mackintosh wore a Alice Temperley vintage dress for her wedding to Professor Green on Tuesday, which took place at Babington House in Bath. The top half of her dress was made of fitted lace, with a delicate appearance whilst the bottom half of it was very loose flowing and romantic.The way that the top half of the dress was very sheer and had a scoop neckline reminded me of early 19th century style dresses from Jane Austen's time (see below). 

Also the very vertical form of the dress echoes the straight-up-straight-down shapes of that century. It seems that Millie's dress was inspired by this period, but updated with lace detailing and a peplum style train. Her hair also bore a striking resemblance to the hairstyles of the early 19th century as she imitated the delicate braiding and intricate, feminine hair accessories of the time (as modeled by Keira Knightly in the 2005 film re-make of Pride and Prejudice).

Overall Millie seems to have taken inspiration from the fashions of the early 19th century and put a very modern and polished spin on it, taking it into the 21st century. 

What do you think of Millie's wedding dress? Did you expect her to wear a more traditional strapless style? 

A still from the 1996 adaptation of Emma by Jane Austen, staring Gwyneth Paltrow. Image from

Millie's hair inspiration. A still from the 2005 film adaption of Pride and Prejudice, staring Keira Knightley. Image from

Jane Austen style dresses. A still from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Image from

A still from the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, staring Kate Winslet. Image from