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THE FINAL CURTAIN – DOI TOUR…

It’s the last day of The Final Dancing On Ice Tour – two show day and I’m awake at 5:42 am in Leeds! So writing this…

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • getting to know and being a part of the team – technical, production and cast. Having time with the techies – hearing Toby’s philosophical wisdom mixed with Andy Collin’s life coaching has been brilliant… Ashley, Owen, Alan daily chats… Touching base again with people I worked with on Tour back four years ago, what a privilege and what fun. I am absolutely in the place of we are all equal in this and everyone is doing the best they can at their job. It makes for a great entertainment show for our audience.
  • to skate – the judges had a skate on, and one of the judges seemed to slip on occasion (that would be me then) as he headed for his seat on the podium – it was fun and felt right for the judges to be closer to the audience and integrate with the show. It also menat I got on the ice every day and posture improved and skating after four years hiatus has been great fun. Thank you Andy (Colby) for indulging my unscheduled warm ups in Tech Time and Lindsey for being there in case I broke anything!
  • work outs with Kyran – last time on tour Kyran (Bracken) and I did some working out. I also went to the gym with Andy Peters, who sorted out a Virgin Active pass for us all. It prompted my 5 or 6 times a week gym sessions I now do. So, although – unfortunately Andy was not here (and missed) we got back on it. We have run up and down steps of every arena we have performed in during show days. I have loved the challenge and enjoyed waking up my head by our step runs and workouts before shows or between shows on two show days. I am no fatter than when I started – yay. Indeed, I think I am more toned, the press ups (Kyran calls them Nicky Slater Press Ups because you put your feet on a chair and have to touch your chest to the floor – 50 times in sets of tens – have been done, as have sprints, sit ups and planks along with weights in the gym. Being around all the guys – Andy Buchanan, Lukash, Ray, Andre, Kyran, Matt, Dan, Chris et all prompts me to get on with it and a topless picture of the male cast would be fun! I think a Dancing On Ice Calendar might sell well. The boys are in good shape – even though Rachael and ‘Eat To The Beat’s’ food has been absolutely superb on Tour. Thank you….
  • being booed! A public service? – I guess I will have been booed by almost 300,000 people over the course of the tour – and it’s been fun. Of course I have been right in my marks and the audience has simply wanted to express their opinion – thank you Andy Collins for warming them up!!! Seriously though the pantomime aspect of DOI has been maintained…
  • a couple of gentle duets – I had a little skate with Nina on my birthday and a brief skate with Karen here in Leeds on Friday practise. How lovely, even in my wrecked boots and blades they were magical times
  • writing songs, lyrics and a poem for Andy – I’ve written a song with Bonnie which may well turn out to be two songs. The lyrics are done and an outline of the melody is in place. I bought myself a Chromatic Harmonica for my birthday on Tour and have a motif for the chorus that is haunting and … ‘Sounds French,’ Bonnie says. Sorry I didn’t finish it yet Bonnie but will once home. I can see Bonnie performing it in the future and have the staging in my mind’s eye. It’s all about After The Show and – as Bonnie said to me yesterday at breakfast – “You’ll be in that place Monday.” Indeed. How brilliant to create something with such a star… exciting for me. To create something from nothing and me dare to ask her to write something together in the first place… a very different Nicky to four years ago. I’ve written another four lyrics on tour prompted by the environment. All good. Oh yes and ask Andy Collins for a view of his poem I wrote for him. I did say I’d post it on Twitter but he got rather nervous about that…
  • tequila – well one ‘Blow out’ on a bar bill £102 – saved by Andy (Collins) from it being over £150 and a fun evening of Tequila. I don’t get out much so when I do?… It was fun with Andy, Matt, Suzanne, Kyran, Phil and Stuart in Sheffield…
  • being low maintenance for Tony Harpur – one of my goals was to be low maintenance for our Tour Manager Tony Harpur – I can become a bit of a Space Cadet sometimes and I had a late call last tour that had Tony running along the corridor to encourage me to get the the stage on time! To date… no such stress for him here. And I was gentle on my ticket requests – perhaps too subdued?
  • enjoying the time – being a judge, particularly the one trying to be honest and judge properly all the time can be a pain – I have felt isolated by the role, and my giving folk marks they hated, in the past. This time, thanks to encouragement from cast and support team, it’s been much easier and, whilst there’s been a few moments I’ve felt Billy No Mates it’s been much much less here – maybe I’ve got that ‘It’s Just a Show!’ more. Joe Pasquale and Andy Collins in particlaur have been fab with the coaching –
  • Life Coaching from Andy Collins – Andy Collins has delivered great Life Coaching and comedic coaching for me this tour – I am still very much in training and apparently am perfectly suited to being The Stooge… It’s a natural gift I have Monsieur Collins tells me!!!! Part of the secret apparently is Attack Attack Attack – so when a lady accosted me at breakfast this morning about my judging I told her why and how my marks were right – I think it was probably too much for her… Andy now tells me it’s only attack when there’s ten thousand people! Incremental learning for me…
  • star dressing rooms! – it’s been funny to see stars on dressing room doors, particularly at the NIA in Birmingham. They actually have a sign that leads to ‘Star Dressing Rooms’ and I had one of those. Great fun and all a bit of stuff and nonsense. I’d prefer to be in with a group rather than stuck on my own these days. But then maybe the group wouldn’t like to be stuck with me? Here in Leeds my changing room is huge and I have two showers and two loos just for me! Good to see Andy Collins pop in for biscuits in my tuck shop basket provided by catering… I wondered who had opened the Percy Pig bag, now I know.
  • breakfasts with kippers and how the other half lives – we have stayed in some lovely hotels and kippers for breakfast – particularly at the Lowry in Manchester – has been a treat. It was lovely to be welcomed back there by a couple of the staff who remembered, or seemed to remember me, from last time there. Maybe they do that to everybody? But it felt genuine. Last time we were at The Lowry Darcy Bussell was at the next table with her daughter and we had a little chat. We missed her this time but still super to be amongst the grand and famous and particularly admire the Lamborghini LP500’s in the diasbled parking bays and discuss their merits with the door guys.
  • seeing my son drink in the atmosphere of the show and the people – I bought Tiger a hat in Nottingham and he had his Spy Glasses (that enable you to see behind you) together – with some hat trick coaching from Chris and Joe he had a ball, although he was scared of Phil’s pyro at the event. I haven’t yet got the call from the social worker re: my son’s ability to mimick Joe Pasquale’s act yet. He’s good at it! And the hat tricks are excellent…
  • just being and being over the celeb thing – not trying to be anything, or anybody other than who I am – I have no need ‘to be celebrity’ and indeed am not, been there – in my head – and hey ho. We had a fun moment when the Viano van taking Robin, Andy and me to the arena – my how we are chauffered around and Robert driving our bus has been a star. Well we stopped at the arena somewhere and I swear I expected the doors to open automatically, but they didn’t. Andy Collins got me, “There’s no one here to open the door for me…” he delivered as I waited for the doors to open. It was a funny moment – but you probably had to be there?
  • seeing Chris and Jayne’s – and Robin’s – accomplishments with fresh eyes – I grew up competing against Chris. In early years I was ahead, then he went on with Jayne to far greater achievements than me. How lovely to be in a place of being able to recognise all they have done and equally see Robin’s accomplishments not just as a skater but as a producer/choreographer/showman. The guys have done brilliantly so far and the story is far from finished.
  • touching this world of entertainment – TV and Arena – I love it, it’s home for me… great to be asked back as part of the team…

TOUR LOWLIGHTS

  • lost my boots and custom made blades – I took them to the Dancing On Ice Tour photoshoot and never saw them after that. A real pain as I had to skate on old boots that had no support on blades that had no steel on the bottom and hardly any grind in front of ten thousand people each show. MK – George being gracious to provide some new blades to replace my ACT 2’s… Boots will take six to eight weeks to deliver!
  • Wembley last night – I was so tired after being part of the team at the tour party til 3:30 the night before, hard to concentrate and didn’t enjoy that one
  • iPhone not updated – I have an old iPhone 3 on a pay as you go and I didn’t upgrade my phone as I have to buy one – so didn’t get photos I could have from tour! Shame… hey ho nobody died
  • signing Hayley’s programme on wrong page ! doh 
  • giving Joe a 2! – (this afternoon…) my reasoning being that Andy and Joe had asked for it should not have been relayed to the audience!! I nearly got sacked…

So that’s it – 37 shows complete after last two today…

Then it’s back to Reality… Tiger’s tennis lesson Monday evening and into action Tuesday…

Thank you everybody who came to support the tour.

Love N

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