So on Friday 18th January myself and my friend Leanne finally made our way to Alexandra Palace in London to watch the quarter finals of the Betfair Masters. I had been featured on the programme for this event so the two tickets came with the package. Welsh snooker player Mark Williams had got through to play Mark Selby on this day so I was lucky enough to deliver the portrait I did of him personally. Here’s how it went…
After an epic journey featuring a bottle of Bucks Fizz, lots of snow, 2 train journeys and 2 tube lines we got to Ally Pally a bit shabby around the edges! We quickly made our way to the VIP desk where I had excitedly been told to go and were quickly given VIP passes before being whisked away to the Media lounge. It was here we spent most of our day, chatting to the press, watching the stars of snooker going about their daily business, and getting a real feel of what goes on behind the scenes at any major tournament.
During the afternoon we were escorted to our free seats to watch some of the Dott/Trump game, and after this, we watched them as they each answered questions from the media in the press conference. I was given two programmes, where I took so much joy from opening it to page 46, and seeing my article there in the flesh!
The programme in the flesh!
During the break in the afternoon we had lunch, watched some amateur snooker challenges in the foyer, and oddly signed some autographs!
It was then I was asked if I was happy to be interviewed for the World Snooker website, which I was terrified to do but gladly accepted! Rob Walker held the interview in which we discussed my love for Ronnie O’Sulllivan, my portrait of Mark and my hopes for the future.
Not long after this I was told that Mark was waiting for me in the VIP lounge and could I take my painting of him there as soon as possible. This made me so terrified, excited to meet him, but anxious whether he would like the portrait which I had promised him a good few months before. All these fears were shattered when he warmly introduced himself and chatted about the day. We were then again on camera, capturing Marks reaction to my work. And thank goodness he loved it!
Giving Mark the painting
Before we knew it Mark was off to play his match and Leanne and I settled again into our front row seats to watch the first few games. We then had to make a speedy exit, to navigate the 2 trains, and 2 tubes home. Not before we bought a couple of bottles of wine and celebrated the unforgetful day we had.
I can honestly say this day was up there with getting married and I will remember it forever! A huge thanks goes to Ivan and all the Media team at World Snooker, Steenie and Lucy for being our guides (and promoters!), my great friend Leanne Evans for joining me, to Leggy and Denise for being the coolest partners we could ask for and ofcourse, to Mark Williams for being so gracious and charming as he was.
You can view the interview here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4605249083466 or on my facebook page www.face.com/siancartledgeart