Monday, 17 December 2012

"How did I end up here?"

Were the words I found myself uttering as I’m ushered by security into the BT Tower lift only to be met by another stony-faced attendant and asked to display my name badge. Ears bursting as we soared 7 metres per second to the top of the tenth tallest building in London, I nervously flashed my ID card that read, ‘Charlotte Turner – Closer Magazine’.

Usually about as unspontaneous as Katie Price is orange, this was so unlike me. Only one month previous I was training to be a primary school teacher, playing ‘sticky sticky glue’ with 10 snotty nosed six year olds hanging off my fingers like the 21st century Pied Piper. Whilst this may sound like to some i.e. Father Christmas, what dreams are made of, I had other ideas, ideas that would see me sipping complimentary white wine, scoffing miniature portions of Fish and Chips and staring at the Female Boss herself as an intimate audience member of BT Infinity presents, Tulisa Live on the 34th Floor.
As the lift doors to the 34th floor open, so too did my mouth. Gobsmacked, I casually selected my drink of choice that was offered to me upon entry with my best, ‘yes, free alcohol is served to me by a man in a penguin suit on a daily basis’ swagger in tow. In reality, I’m sure my unemployed, £30,000 quid in debt Essex girl grin told another story. I couldn’t believe my luck. The 360 degree panoramic view of London that stared back at myself and my boyfriend who I’d earlier made an SOS phone call only hours previously desperately trying to rope him in, was enough to give me butterflies, not merely because of the height in which we were viewing it. At 9:30am earlier that day, I’d stepped through the doors to a world where what Cheryl Cole eats for breakfasts is front page news as a 22 year old wannabe writer beginning her career like thousands of others as an unpaid intern at Closer magazine, happily legging it through a torrential downpour to collect the Editorial team's morning sausage sarnies. Now, here I stood only hours later representing one of the most popular gossip magazines on the planet surrounded by the biggest in the journalism business and I was loving it.
Admittedly, whilst I can’t claim to be Tulisa’s biggest fan and walking past a clan of anxious fans eagerly clutching ‘Tulisa’ memorabilia in the freezing cold gave me flashbacks of my 7 hour stints as a 15 year old obsessed with McFly hanging outside venues wishing for nothing more than to catch a glimpse of my idols only to be barged to the back of the crowd (never underestimate the actions of crazed teenage girls!), made me feel extremely guilty, I found myself bopping along to the X Factor favourite’s latest tracks. The lyrics of her new single ‘Visa’ played repetitively over and over in my slightly tipsy head until it hit the pillow later that evening. It wasn’t too difficult mind you, the song went a little along the lines of ‘Check my visa, check my check my visa’ x10. (I urge emigration to please put Tulisa out of her misery and check her bloody visa.) After lining up unashamedly for a picture with the singer, alternating with my ‘pretending not to care’ boyfriend in order to take it in turns posing next to FHM’s sexiest woman of the year, my first ‘perk of a journalist’ had come to an end.

My return to Closer HQ however, saw me quickly return back to earth, my intern duties of distributing post and making endless cups of tea reminding me of how far I have yet to go if my writing was ever to make such a glamorous lifestyle reality. Whilst this might not seem like to some, i.e. Father Christmas, what dreams are made of, seeing my first piece of writing published on closer's website made the trips to the local cafe in the rain seem well and truly worth it. And let’s face it, it beats having billions of kids hanging off of every last limb!

Note to self: Never, under any circumstances approach security and claim, “I’m with Tulisa”. I was flustered OK!!  



  1. Congrats on seeing your work published :) must be an amazing feeling xxx

  2. Thank you! Yes it definitely gave me a buzz!! xx