Throwback Thursday: Step back in time

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

While we Kylie fans are still spinning around to her fabulous ‘Disco’ album, here’s one of my most prized possessions: A signed photo from Miss Minogue herself, which she floridly scribbled on (it’s hard to make out but it says ‘2 Simon ❤ Kylie Minogue’) and handed to me backstage at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall in October 1991.

I wasn’t stalking her; I’d interviewed her on the phone a few weeks before for the Nottingham Evening Post and asked at the end of our chat if there was any chance of meeting her before the show. ‘Of course,’ she chirpily replied but I wasn’t banking on it happening. Then lo and behold her management got in touch to arrange it.

I’ll admit I laughed when I spotted her walking down the corridor for our meet-and-greet. I hadn’t seen her in person before and, although I knew she was small, I wasn’t expecting her to be that small. At a mere 5ft 8ins I towered above her.

When the Shocked singer asked ‘What are you laughing at?’ I had to think on my feet. ‘I’m just so excited to meet you,’ I answered, which was a canny improvisation but also true as I’d been a fan ever since seeing this bubbliest of popstars camping it up in the I Should Be So Lucky bubble bath.

She was absolutely lovely but it was a quick meeting; Kylie had to get stage-ready and I had to meet friends in the Old Orleans cocktail bar around the corner from the concert hall, proudly brandishing my signed pic. I also had front row seats and I’m convinced that during one of the songs (Wouldn’t Change A Thing if I recall correctly) she waved to me.

It was a great, upbeat show and she was on sparkling form. I gave it a rave review but I could never have predicted that the Princess of Pop would go on to have such a long reign and graduate from concert halls to arenas and eventually the huge likes of London’s Hyde Park. (I also couldn’t have predicted that I’d eventually end up working at Old Orleans, not in Nottingham but in Leeds, during a detour from journalism, but that’s another story.)

Let’s Get To It remains one of my favourite Kylie albums, even though it only made it to number 15 in the UK charts. Disco, on the other hand, looks set to dance itself to the number one slot this week (back off Little Mix!) and if that happens it’ll put her in the record books as the first female artist to top the UK albums chart in five consecutive decades.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer icon. I only met her on one other occasion, when HELLO! magazine despatched me to witness her turning on the Oxford Street Christmas Lights one chilly November day in 2015. Our chat was a few minutes longer than the first one and she was still absolutely lovely. Yes, I laughed again, but only when I asked if she’d be cooking Christmas dinner and she quipped: 'Oh no, I don’t cook but I’m a very good helper. I’ll be one of Santa’s little helpers.'

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