Cult TV 2005 Review

By Mark "Plank" Doney

It will be my first ever visit to Cult TV and I was looking forward to it very much (despite pressure from work for me not to go). Dave and Janine were very kind and offered me a lift to Solihull and we eventually got to the Renaissance Hotel a few hours later. After the initial booking in we made our way to our rooms to dump our stuff off and hopefully meet up with the other LOTNA members. During this time I also looked at the ‘Freebies’ that I got and decided what I wanted to see workshops and interviews wise. Im not really into collecting autographs so that wasn’t really that important (except John Saxon I guess).

We all then got together in our group (after a good evening meal) and made our way to the ‘Opening Ceremony’ in the pretty large Showroom (this is the room that would also be host to the interviews in which of course one LOTNA member Sue would make her interview debut). After the opening ceremony and a few interviews (including of course Wacky Races!) we then attended the disco which went very well and to my amazement I stayed up and danced the night away with Dave and Richard to about 2.45am. I still can clearly remember the dances that we all thought up off and also it was my introduction to the convention dances as well most of which were very funny.

Straight away at the event though I was told that numbers were down from last year and due to this 1 or 2 guests actually pulled out due to money. Due to two similar events being staged the number was down by at least 130. It didn’t matter though as the LOTNA group made up for the lack of atmosphere.

Due to the lack of sleep on the Friday night and the arranged 8am breakfast meeting Saturday for me was mostly a blur! First of all I offered my support and watched the LOTNA team enter the Screendump semi final quiz competition, sadly we didn’t reach the final but the quiz wasn’t exactly the best organised and at one stage un-fair. I was looking forward to the Acting skills workshop around 12pm hosted by actress Kim Darby. This was probably my only disappointment of the whole weekend as it didn’t become an acting workshop but just a questions and answers session by Kim, it was interesting but not what I wanted. Also that day I attended various workshops and interviews including a funny talk by ex Monkee Peter Tork and also saw a very impressive Sue take the mike and interview various stars.

The group then met up for the evening meal to discuss what happened during the day and organise what we had to do next, which was dressing up in smart clothes. After the meal we all got ready for the evening awards ceremony and our costumes (suits mostly), Gail did a terrific job here and getting everyone’s zips on their heads (as we were going as Doctor Who characters in honour of our sponsored guest Amanda Badlands). Dunno how she managed to put at least 14 zips on and then get dressed in time for the ceremony but she did!!

The awards ceremony went very well with Doctor Who winning quite a few of them. The audience did lack atmosphere but we at LOTNA decided to change that and became pretty rowdy, later on Sue (who was with the guests and other presenters told us that if it wasn’t for us at LOTNA the awards ceremony audience wise would have been a total disaster)! After the awards ceremony their was another disco but this time it wasn’t so good, the six! DJs kept playing the same music and it felt like it was their own party and no-one else was invited! I did spend some time near the dance floor chatting to a few people dancing a bit and also seeing a Klingon dance as well!! By 1am I was in bed as the long day and lack of sleep finally hit me hard, Richard (Sue’s brother) though I heard was still up by 3am or even later???

Another early morning as the last full day started, as normal meeting everyone for breakfast around 8am (breakfasts were very nicely organised and set up but I kept missing the fried eggs!) and then headed to the ‘Welcome to Solihull’ update to the event at 9am on the Soundstage.

Again the morning was mostly spent attending a few interviews and also attended a very good radio airplay workshop with Carole Ann Ford and William Russell. It was amazing what is involved in this so I and the others from LOTNA who went all agreed it was very good.

Then the only time that this happened during the weekend we actually had lunch. Prices were typical for a pretty big hotel it cost £2.50 for a pint of coke, £2.80 for a pint! Food well it was just luck if you got value for meal as for instance BLT sandwiches and chips cost £6.50!! Things were not cheap here at all!! If you had a good enough breakfast though you were not normally hungry enough for lunch (the hotel cost included breakfast and evening meal).

In the afternoon the group did various things like attending more workshops, listening to some interviews to people who you may not know but the clear highlight of the afternoon was the Amanda Badlands Closed LOTNA session (about 5pm). This session lasted 25 mins and it went very very well, under the guidance of Sue we asked Amanda to take part in various games related to herself, one of which was a game based on Blockbusters (a childrens quiz show done in the late eighties). Unfortunately for me just before this I heard some bad news back home so I didn’t take it fully in and had to rush off after it was finished.

A few mins later I met up with the rest of the group for our final LOTNA evening meal and then got dressed for the final themed party. The theme was Halloween (as it was going to be that the next day), luckily for me I wasn’t going to wear too much, one problem of the Soundstage area is that their wasn’t much air conditioning so it got pretty warm but as I was only wearing a T-Shirt and long shorts I was pretty cool!

Sunday night was the cabaret night in which we watched a very funny Mitch Benn (my highlight of the weekend) and a very talented Peter Tork. Also before this we saw Gail, Russell and Ann take part in the famous for three minutes section, sadly they didn’t win but hopefully LOTNA may change that next year??

LOTNA were not the only guys in costume many people made the effort and their were some wonderful sights on offer (including Death himself), we decided not to try the disco and yet again it was mostly the same music and the same activities so we were not missing much! Instead we just decided to chat near the bar area and here there were many highlights (including Dave"Shaun of the Dead’ B trying to hit poor Tony with Brown Sauce, in which he was successful!). Also many photographs were done of us all in our various outfits (I was Ed from Shaun of the Dead by the way). By 2am I had to retire and go to sleep though (I think that I couldn’t see a thing out of my contact lenses was a factor as well!).

Monday morning was always going to be sad, we all attended the closing ceremony (before seeing a talkative Mitch Benn interview), in total Cult TV 2005 raised £3600 which was great news as the turnout was a lot lower then last year. Also more good news was that over 100 people already registered for 2006! I could not due to work but would hopefully sign up early next year if all goes well. After a quick meal with the group in Solihull we all then made our way home.

Overall for a Cult TV virgin like myself it was a very enjoyable experience, being with the LOTNA group helped greatly I must admit. The Friday night Disco was a particular highlight and seeing Mitch Benn cabaret as well was very enjoyable. There were some disappointments but they were very minor. Looking forward to Cult TV 2006!!!

Back to Our Stories | Back to Our Historical Documents