Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Got By with a Little Help from my Friends

When I posted the blog earlier today about the past year and the year ahead, I said that when I thought about how much I had fitted in, the year seemed very long. It got me thinking about all the people who have passed through it in one way or another, and I just wanted to say thank you to them. I am sure there are people I’ve missed out and will add to the list as I remember. Please forgive me if you’re not on it, but I’m working with very bad jet-lag. They are, by the way, in alphabetical order! It puts a lot of things into perspective in writing such a list. I realise how truly blessed I am to have so many amazing people in it. So, I would like to thank my family and friends for/for being . . . . .

Paul ABBOTT and Larkin HALL – the kindest, most supportive and encouraging friends a girl could wish for
Maggie ALDERSON – one of my long-standing friends and always, always making me laugh and being such a support of my writing
Phillip ARRAN – there in oh, so many ways, and becoming a very close friend I love very much; and for understanding that there will be light
Alex BANNISTER – Daily Mail Managing Editor with a heart (albeit a tough one!)
Susan BOYD – an incredible person, as well as a dear friend. Your success is so deserved and I know how hard you have worked and how much support you have given to others, too, myself included. You should get that husband of yours William to do some writing, too
Lisa BOFFO – my new LA friend, whose unconditional support while going through very tough times herself, never ceases to amaze me
BUTCHER’S ARMS – always being there and just as welcoming when I return home
Richard BRANSON – always being an inspiration and providing the best airline travel in the world
CAMEO CLUB – a stalwart in my Cardiff life
John CHAPLIN – the most understanding man in finance in the Daily Mail (thanks for listening to the whingeing)
Simon COWELL – a friend, albeit one who never gave me a house
Sandy CUPP JAMESON – one of my favourite Twitter friends, whose intelligence and humour have brought me immense pleasure, even if she is a love rival for Judge Alex
Paul DACRE – the best editor, from whom I continue to learn 20+ years on (creepy of me? Probably, but still true)
Judge Alex FERRER – a great TV personality, legal brain, and a newish but great friend who tolerates, if doesn’t totally understand, Welsh insanity
Richie FRIENDLEY – making me feel welcome in Hell’s Kitchen
Stephen FRY – the kindness during the low times and the laughter during the good
Charles GARSIDE – Daily Mail Managing Editor, whose always sound advice stopped me from taking everyone to court when I felt wronged
Alex GAUTHIER – a friend, always
Matthew GRAHAM – a great support and a brilliant laugh from a long distance. Great writer, too
The GROUCHO CLUB – being you
Dany and Martin HAYMAN – the love and support during a very difficult year
Ian, Victoria, Emily and William HISLOP – my second family for many, many years, and for always including me in your lives (ps when are the next parties Emily and Will?)

Chris HARVEY – sorting out my insurance mess so efficiently
Carolyn HITT – a brilliant journalist and a sensitive, kind and supportive friend – and great company in New York
Chrissy ILEY – a dear friend, who knows what is right for me long before I know it; who is mega funny, bright, entertaining, even when she is going through tough times herself. Miss you every day!
Melissa IRWIN COYIER – one of my favourite Twitter friends who always makes me laugh – despite being yet another Judge Alex love rival (we’re all going to have to fight this out y’know!)
Tracey JACKSON and Paul WILLIAMS - writing Gratitude and Trust, and changing the way I see the world
Rhys JOHN – the friend I call my Life Coach, who has the ability to take my ramblings, sort them into a cohesive whole, and deliver the best advice possible, while still having the grace to laugh at all my jokes
Julia LEWIS – one of the funniest people I have ever met; always sensational company and have known for well over 50 years
Diana LJUNGAEUS – runs the LA Press Club with incredible verve and skill, and shows immense patience with my inability to fill in the forms properly
The MALIBU FISH GRILL – a fun, regular LA haunt with some fabulous staff
Barbara MARTIN – my always adored and adorable aunt, whose love I never doubt

Debbie MATTHEWS and ARCHYTAS for saving me from financial ruin and giving me the best advice
Beth MCDONALD – a great Daily Mail Weekend sub-editor (the best) on my column and someone I can also have a laugh with along the way
Heather MCGLONE – my editor on Weekend for a long time, and for the advice and support
Zoe MCINTYRE – the best press officer on the planet and a dear friend with whom hysterical laughter is never off the agenda
MR BIGGS – my favourite New York haunt, with lovely staff who always make me feel welcome
Cynth and Terry MURPHY – my “adopted” aunt and uncle who have known me since childhood, and who I see but once a year, but always love it
Maggie O’RIORDAN – an editor beyond compare (Daily Mail, Femail) with the biggest heart in the world, whose support this year has given me not only a new friend but a whole new outlook on life
Leisha O’SHEA – always the best friend anyone could wish for. Smart, hilarious, perceptive, and a brilliant mother of three year-old twin boys

Theo PAPHITIS – giving the best comfort and advice, both practical and emotional, when I was at my very lowest

Steve and Penny PARSONS – great, supportive friends and the best company, long after we departed our seats at Cardiff’’s Millennium Stadium
Karen PRICE – a fantastic arts journalist and wonderful company in LA
Liz and Ronw PROTHERO – friends who are always there and with whom I laugh non-stop. Fantastic in their TV work, too, as I know, having had the privilege of working with them – and hope to again
Nick PYKE – one of my contacts on the Mail on Sunday and always a joy to work with
Tim RICE – for still being a friend whose voice I never get tired of hearing (talking, not singing)
Susan ROBERTS – the hardest working PA (on Daily Mail Weekend)
SOHO HOUSE – your many brilliant houses around the world that always make me feel welcome, wherever I am
Robbie SAVIN and Ace HOOD – the most entertaining gay duo in New York
Val, Nigel and Kim STEPHEN – my wonderful family: Mum, brother and sister-in-law. Always there for me
Mary and Liam SULLIVAN – friends I know I could call at any hour, from anywhere in the world. Always there with love and wise words. Wonderful parents and grandparents, too
Nadia SWANWICK – still great fun and a great friend, despite the gaps in time between meetings
Shelley THOMAS – my oldest school-friend, who, despite our disparate paths, is still there as we see each other through good and bad, just as we used to
Elizabeth TIMMS – still there and a dear, loved friend, despite the long gaps
Janie and Mike TOMLINSON – the most amazing friends who look after many aspects of my life practically as well as emotionally
Laura TOPHAM – on Daily Mail Femail, and being such a support since your arrival. You instilled in me new confidence
Bradley TUCK – a good friend when I am in LA. I miss you

TWITTER/FACEBOOK -  all the friendship and kindness I received on social networking from people who don’t even know me
Mark WAREHAM – such fun to work with on the Mail on Sunday when I do my TV reviews
Jon WORSNOP – a colleague on Daily Mail Weekend, and having such an astute eye when I get things wrong
VAUCLUSE – my favourite place in West Hollywood. You’ve worked hard, and continue to do so, to make this a success. I just know it will go from strength to strength

VIRGIN – the best airlines (Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America) and the best credit cards. Between the lot of you, I face certain penury. But it’s been fun while it lasted

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