UKations (part one)By Emma
Celebrity spotting is hard work. We all secretly want to catch a glimpse of Chezza’s knickers, or Pippa’s arse, but how? A sponging student like you isn’t going to get near the real stars. You’re not going to get into The Ivy, or make it on the guest list for China White – the bouncers will take one look at your NUS card (even if you’ve forked out the added ten quid for NUS Extra) and you’ll be out on your ear. No chance.
We’ve chosen some of the lesser-known VIP hotspots where all you celebrity-craving sycophants can play paparazzi for the day and rub elbows with the ‘stars’.
Birmingham Walk of Stars
This is one of Birmingham’s, nay, the UK’s best-kept celebrity secrets. Stretching for as far as the eye can see along the Second City’s famously alcohol-sodden Broad Street, the Walk of Stars features the crème de la crème of Brummy talent. In amongst all the drunken teenagers, you will find the pavement littered with golden stars, representing the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Jasper Carrot, Beverley Knight and even Chris Tarrent.
On sunny days (of which there are few in Birmingham), many of these near-forgotten celebs can often be spotted furiously scrubbing their plaques with a bottle of Brasso and a Brillo pad.
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool
This is the closest you’re probably going to get to actually meeting celebrities. The Blackpool Madame Tussauds is much less popular than the one in London, so you’re much more likely to get in without queuing. Plus, it’s full of all kinds of obscure celebrities and out-of-date waxworks that the one in the capital didn’t want anymore.
You could get snapped with the likes of a youngish Billy Connolly, retro Joanna Lumley, creepy Kenn Dodd, and even dead-eyed Britney! New Facebook profile picture anyone?
As everyone knows, Blackpool is one of the classiest beach resorts in the country, so it’s really the ultimate UKation destination. There’s even a nearby Travel Lodge around the corner from Madame Tussauds, so you can easily make a weekend of it.
Did you miss the X-Factor Tour again this year? Darn it! Not to worry, why not embark on your very own UKation X-Factor tour?! As well all know, the X-Factor judges scour the country, travelling far and wide to find the latest gossip-column stars, so this celebrity-seeking venture is sure to take you far and wide.
Take a look below for our 10-stop itinerary around the childhood homes of our favourite contestants. The good news about these stars is that they’re so fame hungry they’ll speak to anyone, particularly if they think it’ll get them into the tabloids. There’s even more pressure now that the News of the World is no longer around to pap/hack them, making this the perfect year to strike.
Leona Lewis – Hackney, London
Alexandra Burke – Islington, London
Katie Waissel – Harefield, London
Cher Lloyd – Malvern, Worcestershire
Diana Vickers – Blackburn, Lancashire
Susan Boyle (Britain’s Got Talent special) – Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland
Joe McElderry – South Shields, Tyne and Wear
Cheryl Cole – Heaton Estate, Walker, Newcastle Upon Tyne
John and Edward – Dublin, Ireland
Matt Cardle – Southampton