What kind of sports bra can you wear under a ball gown? How much tan is too much? Should my partner Dave get a spray tan too? How big is the Convention Centre stage anyhow? These are all questions racing through my mind as I brace myself for something that's terrifying me so much; I refuse to actually focus on the job at hand.
Last May I signed up to join some real, bona-fide celebrities dancing for charity. It's a Strictly kind of affair, and all proceeds go to the rather excellent Breast Cancer Ireland. They did it last year and raised €80,000; my friend Triona McCarthy performed in hot pants, brandishing a whip and then suggested me to the team as one of this year's participants.
In firing off the ?thanks but no thanks? email, I had a moment of madness. So I said yes, thinking the night would never come. Well guess what, it's on Saturday. And that night, myself and Dave O?Sullivan (Fair City's Deco Bishop) will Quickstep in front of 1,000 people in Dublin's Convention Centre. We fall somewhere in the running order after stylist Cathy O'Connor, Catherine Fulvio and Gerald Kean; and before Charlie Bird, Sinead Desmond, Jenny Buckley (who's rather brilliant), make-up artist Annie Gribbin and Eoghan McDermott. Adrian Kennedy (of the phone show) is doing it too, as is Eighties supermodel Barbara O?Reilly-Hyland (Nee Cluskey), former Mr Ireland Kamal Ibrahim. It's fair to say, we're a mixed bunch.
So, for the past six weeks, myself and Deco have been holed away in the Liffey Trust, walking, trotting, hopping, jumping and twirling our way through what will be the longest - and the fastest ? two minutes of my life.
I'm terrified. I've done a lot of ridiculous things in my life (including Hell and Back last September), and nothing has left me quite so panicked and ill prepared. Standing up in front of a room full of very important people at Monday's IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards is child's play in comparison.
So, if you have €4 to spare (and here's the plug), please vote for Dave and I. We're the pocket rockets, the Quicksteppers. We're fast, and furious. Text Strictly 6 to 50300 and not only will you make an old lady (me) and a young man (him) very happy, but you'll be helping research to turn what has been a fatal illness in to something that's chronic, but from which you can recover.
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