What Katy Did: Taking a trip to Heaven
Columnist Katy heads to London to rub shoulders with the stars at the Sports Relief party and meets her (sur)namesake.
“Heaven is a place on earth,” sung Belinda Carlisle almost two decades ago. But it seems she was right, as situated at Charing Cross station is Heaven nightclub (which has also been open for a similar number of years).
The normally gay club was open to those of all sexual orientations last week for the Sport Relief party, to which I had managed to swing an invite.
Just about catching the 17:42 from Ipswich to Liverpool Street (you can book each way for just a fiver these days - bargain!), I took the central and then northern line to Charing Cross - which has far too many exits - to meet up with my friend Momtaz. But it was only to be a fleeting greeting as she was merely reuniting me with my make-up bag, which I'd left behind in the loos at her Bollywood Crafts book launch in Mayfair just the week before.
Now in possession of my cosmetics (the second time I've misplaced my make-up bag in London - I must learn to slow down and be more mindful), I sat at the station concourse eating crisps, dressed to the nines and feeling rather conspicuous among the multitude of commuters as they marched for their trains. An hour later, my party partners in crime arrived (who would have thought boys could take even longer than girls to get ready?) and it was time to hit the club.
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So what was heaven like, you ask? Far from being housed high up in a building with views of the city, as one might expect from such a name, it was, ironically, located down in the cellars of the Arches - a shopping parade during the day.
But with free entry and free drinks, I wasn't going to complain. We'd gone for a spot of shameless celebrity spotting and weren't left waiting long for the first sighting in the shape of David Walliams, the Little Britain star who swam the Channel in aid of Sport Relief, who gave a speech to introduce a short film showing where the money was going to.
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Later, we went on a wander around the underground vaults and happened across a secret door. Actually it was the entrance to the VIP lounge, guarded by a bouncer who refused us entry due to lack of special invitations.
But one celeb not lurking behind closed doors and instead mingling with the masses was radio DJ Chris Evans, who took part in the Sport Relief cricket match in India.
Fuelled by liberal servings of free vodka, I strode over to my (sur)namesake and introduced myself: “Hi Chris. Your last name is Evans and my last name is also Evans so that means we ought to have a picture taken together.” It was neither witty nor particularly original I suspect (there must be hundreds of Evans's out there who've said the same) but it did the trick.
After that a stream of celebs started emerging from the VIP lounge: Sophie Rayworth from breakfast TV, Keith from The Office (real name Ewen Macintosh), Fame Academy dance master Kevin Adams, former Pop Idol judge Nicky Chapman and David Walliams, who we thought had sneaked out after his speech but appeared with a rather attractive blonde hanging off his arm.
You often wonder why stars get such special treatment by way of a separate room from the rest of the party but then it must become tiresome when you're trying to converse with your mates and strangers keep coming up to ask for autographs or pictures - just as we did, which proves my point.
After adding Walliams and Macintosh to our celeb snaps collection, we proceeded to the dancefloor where I struck a few poses to Madonna's Hung Up and a string of other current, funky tunes.
But before long I had to head to the Tube to catch the last train (note to One, if they are reading - please add another service to Ipswich at midnight as 11.30pm is too early).
Having been to Heaven, the next morning I felt rather hellish as I crawled into work, only just making it for 9 o'clock. Partying on a school night is not to be recommended.